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We are delighted to present Knees Kiss Ground, a solo exhibition by Motunrayo Akinola exploring faith and belonging through everyday objects.

The exhibition was produced during his six month Postgraduate Residency at South London Gallery, delivered in partnership with ourselves.

Motunrayo Akinola (b.1992) uses images of the home and everyday objects to explore comfort and belonging. He is interested in the function and materiality of these objects, and how they can trigger emotions and memories.

Akinola spent some time studying architecture before moving into art. He is interested in ideas around existing within different kinds of spaces. For this exhibition, Akinola will present works made during his residency, including an immersive installation constructed entirely from corrugated cardboard to replicate the exact dimensions of a shipping container, and several light works that explore the relationship between light and religious or spiritual rituals. These works also make reference to Biblical associations of light as a revelatory presence.

Akinola’s interest in attitudes towards migration stems from his dual upbringing in London and Lagos, Nigeria. His research throughout his residency has delved into post-colonial power dynamics and the psychology of ownership. By noting subtle gaps in cultural knowledge, his work aims to come to a new understanding about the possession of space.

About Motunrayo Akinola

Motunrayo Akinola is a London-based artist who uses images of the home and everyday materials to explore comfort and belonging. He creates sculptures, installations, sound and drawings. He studied at RA Schools, graduating in 2023. As a British-born Nigerian who has spent time in and now feels comfortable in both countries, Akinola’s work exposes the nuanced differences between the two places.

About the residency

Bonington Gallery have partnered with South London Gallery to deliver their 13th Postgraduate Residency, an open submission six-month residency that provides an early-career artist with a rare opportunity to produce a new body of work, which is then exhibited at the SLG and in this instance at Bonington Gallery. The residency is open to artists who have completed a BA, and have undertaken a period of self-directed, peer-led or postgraduate study in the year prior to the residency. This can include alternative, peer organised and non-accredited programmes from an institution, collective or art school in the UK as well as an MA, MFA, PGDip, MRes.

The SLG has an international reputation for its contemporary art exhibitions by established, mid-career and younger artists and programme of film and performance events. Its highly regarded, free education programme includes a peer-led young people’s forum; family workshops; artist-led projects and commissions on local housing estates; and a programme for looked after children.

The Postgraduate Residency is supported by The Paul and Louise Cooke Endowment.