Travelers waiting for their luggage in the Terminal 1 International baggage hall will discover something inspiring on which to rest their eyes: new art by seven local artists that capture the endless possibility of travel and ambition. Ambition Takes Flight consists of paintings, sculptures and mixed media works by a diverse group of Canadian artists. These creations offer passengers waiting for their luggage a moment to dream about their own journeys and connections. A total of 157 artists originally applied to have their work shown at Person, with seven selected as winners. In partnership with CIBC, the exhibit runs throughout this year. Check out this week's featured Ambition Takes Flight artist featured below.
An outsider's gaze in a floating city sparks one artist's exploration of transportation
Komi Olafimihan didn't expect his 2008 trip to Lagos, Nigeria to impact him in the way it did. He'd ventured out to study the Makoko fishing community as part of his Masters degree in architecture. Roughly one third of Makoko's inhabitants live in homes built on stilts in a lagoon and use boats to get around; Olafimihan's project consisted in part of designing housing that used local recycled materials and redesigning the community transportation systems.
Growing up in Nigeria, Olafimihan's early travel experiences in Europe, America and South America had helped shape and broaden his view of the world. But now, visiting this floating city in his homeland, he was discovering its history of community and learning about the pride people felt in their way of life.
"With my outsider gaze, I had assumed so much that turned out to be false about their way of life," recalls Olafimihan. "The site visit left an impact on my psyche and life in general."
Two years later, Olafimihan shifted from architecture to making art; for him, it felt like a calling. Since then, he has experimented with materials, found objects and technology. More recently, his work has been influenced by Afrofuturism.
The impact of his visit to Makoko is the inspiration for his painting Aquatic Expedition. So too was the change in climate when he immigrated from Nigeria to Canada — the tropical weather of home was a stark contrast to the one of his new adopted land.
"The use of warm and cold colours in the composition is my way of referencing this change in weather," says Olafimihan.
Olafimihan hopes Aquatic Expedition will motivate travellers to explore other means of transportation that enhance their experiences during their journeys.
"Whenever I travel, I leave my comfort zone," says Olafimihan. "I have come to learn that it is always a great time to welcome change and to be receptive to alternate ways of doing things."
Materials: Acrylic on canvas
To see more of Komi Olafimihan's artwork, visit his website.
Follow Komi Olafimihan on Instagram.
Terminal 1, International Baggage Hall, carousel 6