Tiwani – A new African art gallery in London

The recently-opened Tiwani Contemporary gallery brings London its first permanent exhibition space exclusively for contemporary African art.  The artists exhibited to date have been predominantly Nigerian, but the curators plan to expand the scope of the collection to incorporate visual artists from across the continent.  The gallery has links to the Centre for Contemporary Art in Lagos —  their curatorial advisor is Bisi Silva, the Centre’s founder and artistic director. Tiwani’s primary aim is to promote African artists to UK collectors, but the gallery is open to the public and has a programme of free talks and panel discussions.

Sokari Douglas Camp
Waka Shege, 2011

Until 19th May, the gallery is showing new work from the sculptor Sokari Douglas Camp. It’s Personal features large, figurative steel sculptures that combine her Nigerian heritage with experiences of life in South London:

“This exhibition presents a continuation of the artist’s exploration of life, but presented from a more intimate and biographical perspective. Personal as well as physical maturity are Douglas Camp’s point of deviation. Her steel sculptures, metal drawings, fusion of colour and found objects are both an honest examination of emotional transitions as well as celebration of maturity, power and independence.”

There’s a nice interview with her here in which she talks about the Nigerian Renaissance that inspired her as a young artist (and about pouring the evil spirits of her menopause into these figures):


Tiwani Contemporary, 16 Little Portland Street, London, W1W 8BP


Categories: Announcements, News, & Upcoming

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3 replies

  1. Thanks, Jenny! This is so interesting! Maybe I am in that stage that I link everything to my thesis, but her interview was spot on regarding my research. I am writing about how academics from the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s constructed/invented (I am still very unsure which verb I should use) the culture nationalism of the 1900-1920’s. It is really interesting that she calls the post-independence period in Nigeria as a Renaissance. Many of the academics of this time, also named the 1900-1920’s period as ‘Lagosian Renaissance’. I argue in my thesis, that they projected their cultural nationalism (and their own feeling of renaissance) onto the early intellectual production, but I had never thought that this nationalism spread to other forms of art (sculptures, for instance) and it was not restricted to historians/scholars. I also argue that not only NIgerians were writing from this cultural nationalist perspective; some European authors were also very engaged with these feelings and we can see in their writings. Maybe this is related to the renaissance feeling in the university campus that she talks about.

  2. Wow, that’s a really clveer way of thinking about it!

  3. Another very, very interesting aticrle. I think it’s a shame how African American artists have been overlooked, but this has changed now and I am glad about it. I think there is so much treasure and so much soul in African American art.

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