By Anita Kouassigan
October is known as “art month” in London, and fortunately there is a significant amount of African talent being represented in the city during this period. With 1-54 and Frieze having just taken place, as well as world-renowned auction houses Bonhams and Sotheby’s holding their Modern & Contemporary African Art sales, it’s hard not to notice that there is an ever-growing movement recognising Nigeria in particular as a leader in this sector.
I’m also enjoying my newly acquired knowledge and the updates I am getting in the wider world of Art & Design, which includes culture and heritage, especially when I come across more and more Nigerian names. And I don’t just mean the artists or creators. I mean the cultural ambassadors of Nigeria, who are working tirelessly to create exhibitions, curate artworks for sale, open galleries both at home and abroad, acting as brokers or agents for buyers and artists. These women are actually making a significant contribution to Nigeria’s reputation as a leading African country that produces works, not only by painters and sculptors, but from other areas of the creative industries such as design, cultural tourism, film, theatre, fashion design, architecture, and more. We should be attending more of their exhibitions, frequenting more galleries and buying more artwork from them.
Interestingly, more and more women are becoming the movers and shakers in the Art & Design field and they have a real passion for leveraging the creative arts to promote Nigeria and her cultural identity abroad, with Lagos in particular being recognised as the African cultural capital.
Back home, we also cannot underestimate the power of culture and creativity to transform communities and to drive emerging economies, and hopefully more women will contribute to creating a sustainable economy in the cultural and creative sectors, which can help to encourage talent development and inclusion from all social strata.
This also includes the creation of new jobs, the promotion of tourism in Nigeria (both local and foreign) that must be driven by more innovation and infrastructure. Audiences will hopefully get to enjoy emerging museums, galleries, theatre shows, festivals, nightlife and even alternative cinematic experiences.
If you know any Wonder Women in Art & Design promoting Nigeria, please nominate them at: www.investinginwomenball.com/nominate.