Retro Africa | Abuja Diaries

This year, I want to explore the world of art more. I mainly want to explore various art mediums such as painting, photography and ceramics and grow my skills. I also want to visit more art galleries or art events in Abuja, that showcase work from local artists.

I’ve visited a few in the past like ‘Thought Pyramid’, ‘Heritage Africa’ and the ‘International Arts x Craft Expo’ of which I saw really impressive art pieces in various creative forms.

Hope you’re as excited as I am cause I have quite a few exciting places lined up. First up on my art journey is ‘Retro Africa’ located at 12, Ukpabi Asika St, Asokoro, Abuja.

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I had visited the art gallery in August ‘19 to see the ‘In The Making’ exhibition which was quite inspiring as it explored artworks by artists who were at different stages in their respective careers.

Retro Africa is an art gallery and initiative that focuses on providing a platform for various artists through a series of exhibitions, art fairs and intercultural dialogues.

Referencing their website, Retro Africa aims to create awareness and contribute to the growth of African art which I find very important as African art deserves more recognition within Africa itself.

This time around, the art on display is ‘HYPERFLUX’ which is a solo contemporary exhibition by Williams Chechet.

He is a contemporary artist that fuses African/Nigerian cultural images and Western popular art techniques. Majority of his work focuses on Nigeria’s societal and political history and how it has shaped the current country we live in.

The HYPERFLUX exhibition is a series or works that are based on self-identity, which highlights past political leaders from Northern Nigeria. Looking around the gallery, what I found most interesting was how the artist used mixed media to distort the original image to create an entirely new one. Amazing.

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My favourite was definitely ‘Phenomenal ’. As there were no descriptions beside the pieces, I interpreted it my way. I saw the fearless Queen Amina of Zazzau who was one of the most important leaders in Northern Nigeria. For me, she’s a depiction of determination and strength, as well as how women are equally capable of being leaders in society just as much as men are.

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I’ve learnt a lot of Art History while studying Architecture, of which Pop Art was one of them. So seeing Nigerian Art being juxtaposed with Pop Art was something I never imagined I would see which was truly inspiring. For me, it showed how art is important in bringing people, cultures and history together.

If you’re in Abuja and have the time, take a trip down to Retro Africa and feast your eyes. After which you can have a quick bite to eat over at Pavilion.

Read more on ‘HYPERFLUX’ by clicking here. See you on my next art-venture.

Love, Salmahxo