From visual art and performance to digital photography, Lagos is a city that’s reshaping its artistic story. Check out some of the city’s creative venues to find out where to go and what to see in this highly dynamic African metropolis. Here are just a few of our favourite places to see contemporary art in Lagos.
Nimbus Art Gallery
Lagos’ Ikoyi neighbourhood is home to colourful murals and local artworks © crashdburnd
The two-year-old Nimbus Art Gallery
in Lagos’ Ikoyi neighbourhood is where you’ll find contemporary African art – mainly from Nigeria. However, there’s a distinct cross border as well as an international flavour to the creative mix. Exhibitions have featured artists from South Africa and the US, and buyers from within Nigeria or as far as Dubai. Nimbus sits upstairs from, and opens during the same hours as, its lively partner venue, the Bogobiri Guesthouse
, so live music, spoken word, food buffets and art workshops are all part of the upbeat experience.
9 Maitama Sule Street off Awolowo Road, South-West Ikoyi, Lagos
The experimental Terra Kulture theatre can be found on Victoria Island, Lagos © iStock/Thinkstock
When in Lagos, take a trip to Terra Kulture
, the only consistent theatre space in town. Annual art auctions, Nigerian language classes for children and adults, book readings and workshops are regularly on the events list, alongside occasional big-time, Broadway-style musical productions.
1376 Tiamiyu Savage Street, Victoria Island, Lagos
African Artists’ Foundation
Wonderful objects of self-expression are what you’ll find inside the intriguingly labyrinthine African Artists Foundation
(AAF). This venue, which is bedecked with fine art pieces and photography, is also the creative think tank for the annual month-long Lagos Photo Festival. The yearly festival features photography from Nigeria and beyond — last year’s event explored the making of image, identity and culture through advertising, portraiture, textiles and conceptual photography.
54 Raymond Njoku Street, Ikoyi, Lagos
Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA)
Curator Bisi Silva, left, has guided the Centre for Contemporary Art in its creative vision © Heinrich-BÃ¶ll-Stiftung
Bisi Silva is an internationally renowned curator and the MD behind The Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos (CCA,Lagos
), the gallery for experimental visual art from Nigerian, West African and international artists. Found on the upper level of a whitewashed building on Lagos’s Mainland, a terraced area looks out over the huge span of the city’s suburbs; inside, the breezy library and gallery spaces provide perfect respites for topping up your knowledge of West Africa’s modern cultural landscape of photography, painting and installation.
9 McEwan Street, Yaba, Lagos
Video Art Network (VAN)
VAN, Lagos captures extraordinary moving images of the dynamic city © iStock/Thinkstock
Like a younger sibling to CCA, Lagos, the neatly titled VAN Lagos
(Video Art Network) shares the same venue space, but differs in that it’s a hub for new media art. Its mission? To capture the dynamic energy of the Lagos metropolis through moving images and urban soundscapes. Video screenings and exhibitions by filmmakers and artists from within and beyond Lagos are part of a rolling programme of local and international events that have featured films4peace
for World Peace Day and partnership projects including “˜Blue Nile’, an experimental video making series from Sudan.
9 McEwan Street, Yaba, Lagos
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Have you had a taste of Lagos’ burgeoning visual arts scene? What was the most striking artwork that you saw?