Artist wrongly accused of looting finds success
An artist who was wrongly accused of looting last year has said the event spurred him on to find success.
Adjani Okpu-Egbe, 33, of Battersea, was one of 20 artists selected by the BBC to capture the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant live from the Millenium Bridge.
Since his arrest on August 11 he has gone on to have his work exhibited in New York and Los Angeles.
His artwork for the Diamond Jubilee involved 60 diamonds representing the Queen's reign on the throne, which were sponsored by art suppliers Partridge's, in Lavender Hill.
Mr Okpu-Egbe, who used to serve in the Adjutant General's Corps, was held in a police cell overnight during the August disorder after a member of the public accused him of looting a t-shirt.
At the time of his arrest he was hoping to inspire people with his art by painting with young people at the site of the riots in St John's Hill, Battersea.
He was released the following morning when a receipt for the t-shirt was produced.
Mr Okpu-Egbe said he has never received an apology for the mistake, but was inspired to work harder towards his goal to become a full time artist.
He said: "Nothing came out of the arrest - no apology from police. I have had no apology from no-one.
"I think it has pushed me to go further. I have come across adversities, for me they inspired me to follow my dream.
"Since last year I have done a lot. The most important event this year was the river pageant exhibition organised by the BBC. It has spurred me on to continue and push on with what I believe in."
The up-and-coming artist's work is described as Afro-surreal Expressionism, which is often autobiographical.
His next exhibition Letting Go is on at the Mok Space Gallery, in Museum Street, opposite the British Museum, from September 7-27.
Find out more about his work at www.facebook.com/adjaniokpuegbe