The turtle first caught my eye in this life-aquatic dreamscape mural appearing here on first. Soft, pastel tones a wistful yet pleasant hallucination, water… fish… houses on stilts… but the turtle is obviously a land tortoise not an aquatic terrapin, oh and there seems to be a hut tied to his head.
“References to Hawaii,” says Ekundayo, who was creating the work on a sunny afternoon. "He's from Hawaii, it's where he was raised and the inspiration for these images comes from his past.
The guy who looks part squid, in the center, who looks like a part of the rebel alliance fighting the empire in Star Wars, who is he? “A friend of mine.”
That is actually part of the street tradition – and by tradition I could mean trend, only time will tell – ultra-personal references. I suspect the faces peaking out of the houses on stilts are also based on some personal acquaintances. I like the inside joke aspect. Not knowing seems to open the art up more to the viewer than knowing. Why is there a squid-man here, or a land tortoise swimming with fishes.
This mural was tricky for me to get a complete picture in one shot with my cheapo camera. A house on stilts is on one end, on the other is another house, not on stilts – both have faces sticking out, as if the houses are squeezed around an entire head of a blue-skinned human, but the house not on stilts has arms attached, has a weird smiled (of course, if you were blue and had a house surrounding your head, you may have a weird smile too) and has a fish perched on his hand.
In the background are trees and the lower portions of the painting show what appears to a be shoreline – land and tides washing up on the sand – yet the large, floating fish abound throughout, part of a Finding Nemo like entourage to the swimming tortoise.
Are we submerged – is this a world we live post-tsunami – where even the raised homes are under the ocean. Is the ocean now everywhere. The title of the mural – Finally, a mural with a TITLE!!!! – is Savage Habit. Is living by the ocean, say in Hawaii, mean that the savagery of nature, the unyielding and relentless waves makes the possibility of submersion a reality every moment. Do we adapt by evolving into squid? Is this the world climate change will actually bring? Even in our houses, we are not safe and even when we bring land-based homes in our minds, we still have to adapt to the ocean, return to where we were born, and live a life-aquatic? Savagery may be a constant risk, but this soggy vision is warm, inviting, invokes no fear.
Is this the dream one has growing up in the tropics, where the ocean surrounds you. Some faces are familiar to you, but you’re dreaming so they look different. The turtle, the fish, they’re familiar to everyone. They’re in our dreams too.
Ekundayo Website Here