Abuja Nigeria Art
The artist and designer Nike Davies Okundaye invited me to visit her home in Abuja, Nigeria, an ancient culture that thrives in a world that can be easily moved from talking drums to the Internet. Known for her colourful batik paintings that polish up traditional themes in a modern way, she brings the traditional weaving and dying that she practices in her home village of Ogidi in western Nigeria. Nike found that traditional weaving and stamping methods, which were its original inspiration, were fading in Nigeria due to lack of access to modern tools and technologies, and high material costs.
She was encouraged to pick up a brush in the arts and crafts village of Abuja, where local painters and sculptors worked and sold their art mainly to tourists. There she met a well-known Nigerian painter, Dr. Nnamdi Okafor, who encouraged her to sell her works. African artists were persuaded to apply for apprenticeships, and she spent two years working under two master sculptors. Given her skill, it took six months from the time she started painting to when she started painting with oil.
The colourful and complex gels (Nigerian headgear) play an important role in Nwafo's work, and they skilfully give life and movement to the folds of the fabric. She concentrates on painting the canvas with oil and integrating it into collages, using pieces of fabric to create stunning mixed-medium artworks. There is a proverb on the canvas: "If you are fed, you will be; if you hide your sickness, you will hide it in the grave." It dangles like an earring from the ear of the sitting one.
Nigerian artist Clement Mmaduako Nwafor works with oil paint and collages to create stunning large-scale paintings on canvas. The Nigerian painter shares images of her process and lets us see how her painting has developed over time. It is easy to understand why her works have already been exhibited internationally, as her skills have developed since the beginning of painting and have made her an emerging star of contemporary African art. If you are interested in art, art history or even art in general, Nike offers an opportunity to "see Nigeria with fresh eyes."
From the moment you arrive and enter the departure hall, guests will be in awe of the art centers of Nigeria to visit.
Over the past 20 years Nike has been offering workshops on traditional Nigerian textiles to audiences in the US and Europe. Nigerian artists and craftsmen learn where to practice their craft and where to study. If you are planning to visit, please contact Nike to invite them to your institution for a lecture, demonstration or workshop.
Visit the world of the Yoruba to explore a culture that has flourished in western Nigeria for well over 1,000 years. Spend a day visiting museums, galleries and traditional markets and studying the techniques employed by Yorubas, craftsmen and artists. Nigerian artist Clement Mmaduako Nwafor creates oil-color collages using traditional techniques such as oil painting, watercolors, oil paints and collage.