There’s education buried deep inside the algorithm that makes TikTok so addicting. Recently, I came upon a video of two people, an African couple, painting on the same canvas and became mesmerized by what those swirling paintbrushes were creating. Here’s the link to experience the transformation for yourself. ( https://www.tiktok.com/t/ZTRfhgfvh/ )
Here’s what I learned about the couple that created the stunning painting of the Orishas. Adeche Atelier is an artist couple— Solomon and Adwoa are from the Nigerian and Ghanaian diaspora. They are both deeply passionate about painting together and telling stories about the world rarely shared, and that’s the pantheon of African folklore and mythology. As a couple from the Nigerian and Ghanaian diaspora, they expressed their excitement in researching, curating, and painting — together. They felt that it’s essential to tell the stories of our ancestors and, most importantly, depict the deities and folklore surrounding people who look like us and come from the same continent in the world they do.
In terms of their education, they worked as artists before they met. Solomon was a photo-realist graphite artist, and Adwoa was working as an illustrator. Both were studying at Manchester School of Architecture. When they finally met, it didn’t take long for them to understand that their destinies were intertwined.
Here’s what Adeche Atelier—Solomon, and Adwoa—had to share about creating art together.
NEW JERSEY URBAN NEWS (NJUN): Your work floors me! What’s the inspiration behind the images? I’m curious.
ADECHE ATELIER: Thank you. Well, we explore the world of African mythology and folklore. So naturally, the Orisha and Orishas are part of that world. The Orishas originate from Nigeria and are part of the culture. So, naturally, we’re interested in [African] mythology, but we didn’t know [anything] about African mythology. Like most people, we know more about Greek mythology [than our own cultures]. A vast lexicon of African mythology and folklore hasn’t been explored yet. So that was our main goal.
NJUN: How did it begin? Do you remember?
ADECHE ATELIER: It started with a question. Someone asked us what we knew about Orishas, and we realized that we knew nothing, so we started looking into it. Greek mythology dominance is the result of mostly [white] colonization, and, you know, they make people think that anything traditionally African, in terms of religion, is witchcraft. And, you know, I think there’s a power [in learning], and they [colonizers] knew the power there is. Seeing yourself represented as a God, or seeing yourself in your notion and concept of God.
Our main goal is to start to let people know that you can represent it [our culture]. As you can see, there is an extensive number of ideas of ‘Gods’ in different cultures and tribes. You should look into it because it’s really interesting to explore.
To learn more about Adeche Atelier, please see all links below.
Instagram: @adeche.atelier https://www.instagram.com/adeche.atelier/
TikTok: @adeche.atelier https://firstname.lastname@example.org
Youtube: Adeche Atelier https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCV9fE_7NUmVT57jaCcHwhQ
Podcast: Art Mythos https://media.rss.com/artmythos/feed.xml
Pinterest: @adeche_ https://www.pinterest.jp/adeche_/