In Wetin You Go Do?

In Wetin You Go Do?
– Title of an installation at the Tate Modern, created by Nigerian born Otobong Nkanga

The title of Nkanga’s piece, when translated from Nigerian Pidgin, an English-based Creole language widely spoken across Nigeria, is ‘What are you going to do?’. ‘In Wetin You Go Do’ integrates voice and sculpture to reflect on contemporary anxieties.

The theme of anxiety stitched a ragged thread through the time I spent lingering in the Tate Modern after my early morning arrival in London. Or perhaps, when visiting a gallery such as this, the feelings we have, that we bring in through the door, colour the way we see the exhibits, determine the way we select what to linger with and what to pass on by?

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connections

Those who were living now are dead
Those who were breathing are from the living earth fled.
If you want to see how the poor die, come see Grenfell Tower.

From the impassioned poem on the fire at Grenfell, by Nigerian writer, Ben Okri, whose poem, published in the Financial Times on 23 June, 2017 is a searing statement from which it is impossible to hide, impossible to avert one’s gaze, impossible to forget.

I wrote earlier this week about my arrival in London, on the red-eye from Lagos, and my efforts to both stay awake and entertained before being allowed to pass through the portal of my hotel.

I decided, after grabbing some breakfast, and scribbling a short poem, (which I published on Facebook), to walk along the South Bank to the Tate Modern. During my walk I found some inspiration by shooting the various vans being prepared for the hordes of tourists soon to fill the streets which at that time were still and relatively quiet.

What I hadn’t counted on was the degree of connectivity I felt with the things I saw and experienced that morning.

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shard (revisited)

Do you mean to tell me that you’re thinking seriously of building that way, when and if you are an architect?
– Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

Back in August last year, I shared a series of photos of The Shard, shot with my Nikon D700 and Nikkor AF 80-200mm f/2.8 D lens.

Yesterday, equipped with my Fujifilm X100F with its fixed 23mm (35mm full frame equivalent), I made these images.

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chewing gum man

But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
– W B Yeats

I like to contribute to the weekly photo challenge hosted by WordPress and must confess I hadn’t quite found inspiration for this week’s prompt, which frankly is quite unusual for me, which seems apposite as this week’s theme was indeed unusual.

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vans

Having arrived at Heathrow this morning on a red-eye from Lagos, and finding myself unable to check in to my hotel for several hours, I took to the streets like any other self-respecting homeless person, by which I mean no disrespect to actual homeless persons, it is of course no laughing matter.

I had two main goals, one was to find breakfast (which I did, and I must have looked particularly hungry as an additional slice of bacon was added to my bacon roll and coffee), and the other, that was to walk along the South Bank to the Tate Modern. My plan being to spend six hours or so in quiet artistic contemplation, before the hotel would throw open its portals (or at least activate a smart card) to me and my battered luggage.

I also had the foresight to bring my camera with me, my Fujifilm X100F, which has now has become my constant travelling companion.

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usoro uso

A celebration of creativity in Akwa Ibom, over on nigeriastreets

nigeriastreets

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 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…

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