Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa and often referred to as the ‘Giant of Africa’, is a Federal Republic made up of 36 States.

Akwa Ibom, located on the coastal southern part of the country in the ‘South South’ sits between Cross Rivers State and Rivers State. Created in 1987, from the former Cross River State, Akwa Ibom is home to over five million people.

The State capital is Uyo with a population of around half a million.

This week, I was lucky enough to be part of a group, including colleagues from Nigeria and our guests from Ethiopia (which, with over 100 million inhabitants, is the most populous landlocked country in the world, and second-most populous country in Africa), visiting the Usoro Uso art exhibition, a celebration of contemporary Nigerian arts and craft featuring some outstanding work from artists of Akwa Ibom.

The exhibition opened on 8 June 2017 and is on display at the Ibibio Union Museum, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. The exhibition is slated to close on 22 June, 2017 so, if you are visiting the area, I urge you to go and take a look before it’s gone.

At the conclusion of our visit we were honoured to meet the curator of the exhibition, Mr. Uwa Usen, who described the background to the exhibition. and kindly agreed for us to take photographs. I also spoke with one of the wonderful artists who contributed her work to this exhibition, Ms Mandu Offiong.

The quality of the art on display is outstanding and multi-faceted. A celebration indeed of the huge creative potential to be found in Akwa Ibom, in Nigeria and across this glorious African continent.

I have included below a selection of some of the outstanding works on display. Where I have details of the piece, and their creator, I have included them above each image. I hope to obtain the missing details as soon as possible in order to give a shout out to these wonderful artists.

Different Strokes by Ime Eteno Udofia

Title and Artist to be confirmed

Title and Artist to be confirmed

Foreground: Title and Artist to be confirmed. Middleground: Untitled Piece by Emem Eyo

Untitled Piece by Akaninyene Bassey Davies

Title and Artist to be confirmed

Untitled Piece by Akanimo Usen Essien

Title and Artist to be confirmed

World Dragger by Emem Eyo

Title and Artist to be confirmed

Title and Artist to be confirmed

My Pride by Denis Okon

Title and Artist to be confirmed

Title and Artist to be confirmed

Title and Artist to be confirmed

Stilt Dancers by Ime Eteno

Title and Artist to be confirmed

Title and Artist to be confirmed

Title and Artist to be confirmed

The exhibition is accompanied by a book which contains more details of the artists, together with a number of essays discussing art and culture in Akwa Ibom State, a foreword by Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel (Governor of Akwa Ibom State), a preface by the Rt. Hon. Victor Antai (Commissioner of Culture and Tourism,AKS), an introduction by Mr Uwa Usen, the curator of the Exhibition and an acknowledgment by Mr. Aniekpeno Mkpanah (Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, AKS).

*All images made with Fujifilm X100F with fixed 23mm (35mm full frame equivalent) lens with kind permission of Museum Curator*

5 thoughts on “usoro uso

    • I am delighted that you liked it and are giving the exhibition a little more publicity. Nigeria is often in the news for negative reasons, this is something to celebrate, along with much more…


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