At the height of my frustration at the routine social lives most of we Lagosians live, I felt the urge to find better places to visit, hangout, and connect with my interests. I’m talking places asides clubs, the palms, Ikeja City Mall and the other few common places that Lagosians coincidentally converge. Yes, I know Lagos is a happening place, but what if I don’t like the smell of cigarettes, or the feel of sweaty people bumping into me?. What if too loud music is not something I like to encounter often?. What if strolling around palms and ICM doing nothing in particular isn’t my favorite sport?
Seeing that I’m one person who craves adventure, change in environment and a good time, a trip to Zanzibar (for example) or Greece would be a perfect dose of those cravings, but seeing as return tickets don’t grow on trees, I decided I’d save some money and explore this city which I’ve called home for 20 something years. I mean, who knows what treasures I’ll discover?
The first trip was in August 2014 with two friends, Stacey and IK, I had just returned from my Euro tour and still had some jolts of spontaneity and crave for adventure in me. I decided to visit the highly notable Nike art gallery. I had a budding interest in art, and what better place to find Nigerian art than the largest gallery in Lagos?
The gallery was bigger than I imagined, different, white walled with Adire markings, artsy from entrance to its interior; sculpted animals decorated the compound, and what I found inside left me even more in love.
First of all, Ndidi Emefiele (one of my favorite female artists), welcomed me with two pieces I could already imagine hanging on my wall. Her art is absolutely beautiful and celebrates the female form which she considers the most sophisticated art form.
Four floors high, Nike Art Gallery is enormous and holds a massive amount of art work, something I found a bit overwhelming -as thousands of artwork occupy almost every inch of space on the wall. Each of these floors present you with Nigerian art in every medium; painting, mixed media, digital, metal work, wooden sculptures, and the list goes on. It’s a realm of creativity, one I could spend days exploring if I decide to take my time.
Nike Art got its name from the founder, Nike Davies Okundaye, an artist and designer on a mission to improve the lives of disadvantaged Nigerian women through art by teaching the unique techniques of indigo cloth dyeing(also known as Adire) to rural women. Nike found that the traditional methods of weaving and dying that had been her original inspiration were fading in Nigeria. She used her international success to launch a cultural revival, building art centers where young Nigerians master traditional arts and crafts.
If you’re looking to discover amazing Nigerian artists, Nike art gallery is the first place to visit honestly. You’ll be inspired, overwhelmed, amazed, and surprised, while experiencing Nigerian creativity through art.
Ever been to Nike Art Gallery? What did you think about it?
Nike Art Gallery: 2, Elegushi Road, 3rd Roundabout, Epe Expressway, Ikate Cross Road, Lekki Phase 1 Peninsula, Lekki Lagos, Nigeria.