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Adebayo Bolaji: Expressionist Artist and Filmmaker


His search for serenity would continue as Law ended and a life which was planned for him had begun. Bolaji soon after began work in the city and ‘Played the game’ as he often describes it. However, this period would soon come to a halt, his energy to continue to ‘Play the game’ had run empty. With a body breaking down due to abundant stress and a mind full of racing thoughts, crashing against his cranium. Memories of a friendly message to follow his dreams echoed around him during this time saying, ‘listen to your body, your body knows who you are, what it wants… and if you don’t, eventually you’ll fall sick.’ Bolaji’s family began to realise that life as a Lawyer was not the destiny of their son/brother, his mother just wanted her son to be happy.


Peace of mind, rejuvenation, and clarity came in the form of a small philosophy and theology book shop, a place to recalibrate and find his passions again; creativity, imagination, and individuality. An environment that allowed him space to think ahead without drowning in the daily demands of corporate life. The zeal to be artistically productive began to re-emerge. He began to shoot spontaneous short films in his area of London, directed plays and his passion for drawing returned, releasing his inner child as it was an activity he had kept dormant since his youth.

His was the genesis of his abstract style as he found his art to be very emotional and sub-consciously driven, a form of self-meditation and discovery. Bolaji’s time at this bookstore gave him the thinking time to find himself again and build the confidence to pursue his acting career once again, a decision that bared great fruits.


‘I thought I would never act again, but now everything seemed possible.’ These theoretical possibilities manifested in the physical as Bolaji was accepted into The Central School of Speech and Drama. Things in the life of Bolaji were taking a turn for the better.


Regardless, something within him continued to speak to him in a language he could not comprehend. To relieve himself he would begin to write, but end up drawing. At first, he would be confused as to what was driving him to draw abstract figures rather than write a meaningful story, drawing to a point where notepads would be launched across the room in frustration. His reluctance came to acceptance when after a morning of fatigue and melancholy moods moved him to find a solution to his feelings. Rather than writing, a calm and convincing voice urged him to do something different…buy paint.


He obeyed his sub-conscious and opted for strong, heavy, and dense paint and bright, glaring, and unapologetic colours were a torch that Bolaji would now have in his possession, passed on from the likes on Jean Michel Basquiat and Cy Twombly… all this was purely instinctive, a free roaming stream of consciousness.


- New Wave Magazine Issue III


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