Surprise Visit from a Dear Friend

Just two days ago Arts Ambassador to the United Nations Ibiyinka Alao came to visit East Wind and see some old friends. The renowned Nigerian artist first came to East Wind in 2006 and stayed for several months with a short return visit in 2008. Longtime members Bert and Otto were pleasantly surprised to see their old friend ‘Yinka’ and excited to talk about what he had been up to since his last visit.

Deborah gave Yinka a tour of East Wind’s land and at night the talented and charismatic artist put on an art show for everyone interested. There were a number of small pieces discussed and an ultra violet light was used to showcase one of his special works.

Normal Light

Ibiyinka talked about drawing strength from our perceived weaknesses and recognizing the infinite within and without ourselves. He also described how his art is intended to be a bridge between groups in conflict. The United Nations work Yinka has taken up involves communicating with groups of people who, in some cases, are loathe to even speak to each other and the non-verbal, visual message of his artwork aims to dissolve these barriers. The inspiration for the piece shown above (normal light) and below (UV light) came to Yinka while he was living in the Lighthouse, which was built by Bert as a guesthouse for East Wind.

UV Light

Yinka is continuing to do presentations around the world and is currently promoting a Scholastic book authored by third graders about his art called Ibi’s Fireflies. You can find his website here and a short video about the creation of the book here. Thank you for your illuminating visit Yinka and we hope to see you again!


Pictures (with the help of Yinka’s camera) and post by Sumner


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