• My technician Bolaji installs 'It Doesn't Need More' (2013)
  • Zainab Ashadu experiencing 'It Doesn't Need More' (2013)
  • 'Local Market, Foreign Goods' by Olanrewaju Tejuoso
  • 'Who I Think I Am (Food is Ready)' by Erasmus Onyishi
  • Zainab Ashadu experiences 'E mi ni e” (I am you)' by Alayande Ayanwale
  • 'i-dentiTrees' by Sesu Tilley-Gyado
  • 'Arti-tude' by Victoria Udondian
  • Uche Uzorka, Karimah Ashadu and Bob Nosa at the installation of 'It Doesn't Need More' (2013)

National Art Competition 2013 Participation – Lagos, Nigeria
January 2014

The ‘National Art Competition’ is a yearly art prize for Nigerian artists, conceived by African Artists’ Foundation and supported by Nigerian Breweries. In 2013 El Anatsui led the panel of judges, and I was shortlisted to compete alongside 12 other finalists.

Each year, the competition proposes pertinent themes – often relating to issues of Nigeria and its contemporary situation. This year’s theme: ‘Identity (Who Do You Think You Are?)’ provided much food for thought (in the case of Artist Erasmus Onyishi’s ‘Food is Ready’, this was certainly the case!)

The November 2013 show proved very interesting indeed, with interpretations of the theme varying wildly.

I chose a simple, yet deeply engaging filmic root in a project titled ‘It Doesn’t Need More’, which captures Nigerian women in London navigating the discrepancy between two different cultures and sharing how this negotiation shapes and informs their lives.

In terms of effort, artistic merit and conceptual prowess, some of the work was just superb. It was such a pleasure sharing the show with artists like Taiye Idahor, Alayande Ayanwale, Olanrewaju Tejuoso and Erasmus Onyishi, who all produced enticing work.

But in the manner of a competition, somebody had to win! And on opening night as the public excitedly buzzed around the show, judges feverishly whizzed around deciding the three winners in the allocated time.

Congratulations to Sesu Tilley-Gyado, Abubakar & Zemaye Okediji and Victoria Udondian!