Rasheed Araeen will present his work For Oluwale II for the first time in Leeds, marking the 50th anniversary of the death of David Oluwale.
The work responds to the death of David Oluwale, a British-Nigerian who drowned in the River Aire in 18th April 1969 after being systematically harassed by members of the Leeds City Police force. Araeen was shocked and deeply moved after reading about Oluwale’s death in 1971, and decided to make a work dedicated to his story, marking a politicized shift in Araeen’s practice who was previously making predominantly abstract artworks.
For Oluwale comprises six photographic panels, that document a previous version of the work. It includes two additional panels that provide further information about Oluwale alongside a letter of complaint from someone who protested against the display of the original version of the work in 1973.
Araeen’s work will be contextualised by a collection of press clippings, a scrapbook owned by the whistle-blowing police cadet Gary Galvin, and excerpts from plays and poetry relating to the death of David Oluwale made in the intervening years.
The exhibition is organised in partnership with the charity Remember Oluwale, who are hosting a series of events throughout April 2019 to mark the 50th anniversary of his death.