Yusuf Ayokunle Dongo
From Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, Nigeria, Yusuf Dongo is an interdisciplinary artist, passionate about his culture, the environment, and the art of craftsmanship. Yusuf grew up and was educated in Ogun State, graduating from Obafemi Awolowo University in 2017 after studying Fine and Applied Art.
Yusuf is now based in the United Kingdom after completing his master’s degree in fine art at De Montfort University. An upcycling and repurposing artist, some of his earliest work involves the use of scrap metal, with the aim to curb pollution and waste creation. He gravitates to found objects and discarded automobile parts to create his detailed – often animalistic or littered with symbolic features – sculptural pieces. Yusuf considers this the act of ‘turning scrap to luxury’.
He’s a member of STEAMhouse, part of Birmingham City University, currently exploring digital technology and sculpture, using welded metal and wood. He has ventured into facilitating since becoming a member of Eastside Projects EOP program. Additionally, Yusuf joined the local collective BRMTWN as an introductory step toward art-making and social practice. His work is part of an ongoing exploration into Black British culture-building in Birmingham, to create healthier association and identification with the group identity by forging new rites of passage and commemorating Black presence in the country both historically and speculatively.
His practice is flexible, providing him the scope to explore ideas in varied ways; but also, enabling him to create art wherever he is. Regardless of the theme or medium he chooses to explore. His works are created to attract the eye and prompt conversation in society at large.