ARTful Dodger

We are going to kick the week off with an art gallery

I have to be honest with you, I had no idea we had art galleries here. So there I was researching and I stumbled on a couple. Who would have ‘thunk’ it. I quickly drew up a list and the first place I decided to check out was the Nimbus Art Gallery.

Nimbus Art Gallery is a modern day art gallery located in Ikoyi, Lagos which houses contemporary African art. It is located above Bogobiri Restaurant (the same person owns both) which also has a guest house. I hope that wasn’t too confusing. There are so many definitions of what contemporary African art is or should be, so I went there with a clear mind and really wasn’t sure what to expect.

They offer art evaluations, auctioning services and advisory services.

When we got there (as usual I dragged someone along), the first thing we saw was a little store. It’s called ‘hole in the wall’. They sell little knick knacks, which do not necessarily relate to African Art. I think the general idea was just to have a little store where people can pick up random things.

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I later noticed the top of the entrance. Danfo body parts are used to decorate the top of hole in the wall. How creative is that?(Danfo is a local form of transportation in Lagos).

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Beyonce and Tupac fans, you can always go to hole in the wall to buy this and hang up on your wall.IMG_6982

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Like I said, the little knick knacks are not really African related but they are things you can put up on a fridge or a mantle. When we were done looking around, we asked the lady there where the art gallery itself was and she showed us the stairs leading up to it. It’s on the first floor. Honestly we should have just followed the signs instead of bugging her. LOL

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I spotted some bicycles. of course I wanted to ride one, but I was told it’s for the staff and they use it to get around.

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These are the first things you see right before the stairs leading to the gallery itself. A message from the artist, who I suppose is being featured. (The owner wasn’t around so we couldn’t really get full explanations on everything). I really like this wooden chair but it’s definitely not the most comfortable.

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When you get to the top you see this entrance which is decorated using pebbles of some sort. You also notice that it’s sort of dark, but I guess it’s to add to the the whole natural African vibe. It’s not really big place but they make use of their space very well.

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Wole Soyinka

The Wole Soyinka painting was woven like a basket

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One thing you notice about Nimbus is that they just don’t have paintings. They have books, African set ups, structures, wall murals etc.

While looking at the paintings, if you get tired, they have a sort of lounge where you can sit and just enjoy the fresh air.

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They have a lounge chair made of bamboo and wood, and the make shift coffee tables. Notice how everything is African oriented. They also have books everywhere which you are allowed to read.

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News paper clippings are also used as a form of decoration on the walls. In the second picture, you can see a picture of the owner of the art gallery, Uche. Can you guess which picture is his?

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One of the best things about being a tourist is you get to meet new people and make new friends. I met David who is French and works for AFP news agency. He’s here reporting the Ebola case. He’s only been here for 3 weeks but he’s as Nigerian as it gets. I mean the guy offered me groundnut and later had jollof rice for lunch.

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I met the curator for the gallery Ozzy (sitting on the stairs) and Nojeem Muse who is an artist. They were very friendly, and told me the gallery has been opened for about 8 years. I asked them if I could paint and they kindly obliged me.

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My finished work. A dinosaur basking in the sun. Maybe I could be the next picasso? LOL.

My little helper over there is Zephaniah. He lives in the area and so he’s always there. Little man is just too funny. He didn’t want us to leave.

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He ended up being my tour buddy for the rest of the day. He took us to the other side of the gallery where you can also just sit down and enjoy a drink or two. David said it’s really nice in the evenings.

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You can see that it continues to maintain its African theme everywhere.

If you get cold and you don’t want to stay outside, you can head into the inner section.

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The entrance to the make shift barbing salon

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Femi Kuti

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That is meant to be a chandelier made with chains. Next we decided to go to Bogobiri, the restaurant that houses the art gallery and which also has the guest house.

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We went downstairs through another side and I noticed the wall art. Can you see the back of the chairs in the first picture? It’s in the shape of an African map.

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I noticed something I didn’t see earlier when we got back downstairs. Bogobiri Market. Here you can find African clothing or jewellery.

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I tried to copy him, but I don’t think I got the legs properly. This was the entrance to Bogobiri restaurant/guest house. Like it’s gallery, everything about it is African themed. I felt like I was thrown back into pre historic African times. they have a website, so you can read more about them heretheir menu and their rooms.

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Zephaniah being a regular 13 year old and running down the battery life of our phones playing games.

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On the weekends, they usually have live music which explains the drum set. Apparently this is a really big attraction for musicians and Asa has played here before. They also have spoken word poetry. I really need to come watch one when that is on. I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who listens to spoken word and snaps my fingers when its done.

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Their menu comprises of Nigerian food such as jollof rice, goat curry, plantain etc. They also have sea food and pasta. I got the chicken and bacon pasta but couldn’t take a picture because I got it to go.

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This reminds me of window frames you would find in an old Nigerian home.

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A drum I found in the corner.

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I got tired so it was time to leave.

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Horses made of sticks, metal and rear view mirrors.

My verdict – It’s a pretty nice place. I honestly didn’t expect to have a good time but it turned out great.I won’t pretend like I understood everything I saw but hey there’s nothing wrong with soaking up some culture. Besides its free.

It’s a nice place to sit and have a drink too. My guess is that it’s quiet during the day but before I left it started picking up (at least for the bogobiri section).

It can be found at 7/9 Maitama Sule off Awolowo Road. Ikoyi ,Lagos. (Bogobiri is 7 and Nimbus is 9 but it’s basically the same building).

It’s great for people who love art, those who are creative or just for cultural experience.

And even if you don’t enjoy it, if you’re lucky like I was, you’ll make meet a bunch of cool people.

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