Painters, sculptors and other creators, living and working together in a setting dedicated to artistic creation in Lagos, Nigeria, have been Yinka Shonibare’s dream for several years.
After working there for a long time, this Nigerian artist of Nigerian origin, whose giant work « Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle » is on a base in London’s Trafalgar Square, is on the verge of seeing this dream become a reality.
He announced the launch of his project for 2021, at the annual art fair called ART-X, which attracts artists from all over Africa to Lagos.
« ART-X is already increasing its visibility, I think a lot of international artists come here and it’s going to be great for African art. There are many galleries from different African countries, people can come from different parts of the world and experience them in one place, « says Yinka Shonibare.
Artists can apply for the first places in the residency program. A program in which a group of three artists will spend three months a year on sites in Lagos and a 30-acre farm in Ijebu City, 100 km away.
« It is clear now that for a number of complex reasons, we are starting to have African artists getting involved. We have been waiting for this for a long time, it was almost negligence, « says participant Abiodun Odedina.
Experts say there has been a renewed global interest in African art over the past decade. Much of this growing interest is due to investors who see African art as « a market where growth can be achieved ».
A recent study indicates that Nigeria and South Africa dominate the African art market, but collectors also show great interest in works from Kenya, Angola, Morocco and Senegal.