Raimi Gbadamosi biography

Raimi Gbadamosi is an artist and writer. He received his Doctorate in Fine Art from the Slade School of Fine Art in 2001, where he is now the current Honorary Research Fellow and is a member of the Interdisciplinary Research Group of the University of Leon, Spain. He was the recipient of the 1994 Benjamin Boothroyd Prize, and was commended by the Association of Art Historians in 1995.

Gbadamosi has published numbers of journal, online, and catalogue essays since 1996, including 'Am I Black Enough?' in Third Text, 'Death is Performance Art Too' at Spike Online, Violent Bodies for Faculty UK Conference of SOAS, University of London, and 'And the Band Played On' at Arts Professional.  He has written for by this, always both faces and in-print.  His Doctoral thesis 'The use of Black People in British Advertising, or A Man Should Be judged By the Colour Of His Shirt' continues his concerns with social politics and cultural differences in British society. His chapter in a book on Artists and the African Diaspora will be published in 2005.

He has exhibited nationally and internationally, solo shows including ©R. Gbadamosi !995 at Henry Moore Institute, Leeds(2000), I am a Man and an Artist at Leon, Spain (2003) and Shrine at Market Gallery, Glasgow (2005). His works range across many media and practices, including craft, music, web media, writing and audience participation. His work draws attention by allowing open debates, instead of simply representing concerns. He challenges entrenched perceptions defined by the viewer's personal specific social, cultural and political context.
Language plays a central part in his work.  His most recent publication, four word, was published in conjunction with the Slade Press in March 2004. The book's 2002 Press Release reads: 'Categorisation, while simplifying access to data, ultimately causes alienation because the coding information becomes the primary form of address. [. . .] The book's letter form demonstrates the arbitrary nature of language and representation, and by restricting itself to four letters highlights the obscene.'

He is author of many books including: incredulous; ordinary people; extraordinary people; and contents. With the Galerie Tangente, Liechtenstein, he published Drink Horizontal and Drink Vertical. The Dreamers' Perambulator was published with Spacex Gallery in 2002.

Apart from being an artist and writer, Raimi curated the exhibition When in Rome in Lewisham Art House, London (2002), and co-curated Homelands at Spacex, Exeter (2004).  A site-specific exhibition, it investigates the notion of Middle England, a unique social-cultural phenomenon defined by the nature of inclusiveness and exclusiveness within English society. The exhibition played a central role in the recent cultural diversity debates, and later featured in decibel, Arts Council England's diversity initiative. 

Raimi's work investigates the complexity of social and cultural politics, often challenging our view on ethnicity, race and culture. He engages seriously with current 'cultural diversity' issues, constantly addressing them in different ways through his diverse practice and use of media.  His work is skilfully executed while maintaining a sense of humour. He is aware of the use of labelling and the power of language, choosing to address issues in a playful way, cleverly questioning the viewer's own perception.

Raimi Gbadamosi likes mango trees.

Zoe Li
decibel Officer, Arts Council England, South West