Hello there! Did you know that Henrimoweta is officially the sixteenth Art Gallery I’ve visited in South-Western Nigeria?! Crazy right. I took more time to explore art and history in the past year than ever before because art is life, a form of expression that can be linked to cultural assets plus it’s much more affordable to curate.
Nestled in Anthony Village, Lagos, Henrimoweta boasts of over 2,000 pieces in its collection. The gallery is situated at 7, Adebayo Mokuolu Street, Opposite Hotel Newcastle and flanked by a lion statue (you definitely can’t miss it).
On the Friday morning of my visit, I was opportune to see the workers getting the gallery in shape for the day. A little sweeping here, dusting here and a full blown store renovation and that really felt like an eye opener for me.
Shortly after introducing myself, I got a heartwarming response from Gideon who kept me company during my time at the gallery. He thoughtfully handled all my questions and even shared some interesting facts about the best of African Arts on display.
Here’s why I loved the Henrimoweta African Art Centre.
#1. Ancient Relics
Founded by Mr Henri Moweta over twenty years ago, Henrimoweta Gallery boasts of a steady collection of relics. Visiting this Gallery made it my first time face-to-face with Nok and Ife Art. How amazing? Other indigenous relics were also showcased. It felt like a dream come true. I was finally in contact with something I read about in books.
#2. Abstract Heaven
Typically spending a day on an art piece, Mr Henri Moweta’s most popular works stem from abstractions. His paintings either small or large canvas mostly included abstract traces. There was one, a tall wood carving piece, African mother. It cost millions of Naira and it was an abstract! This gallery opens your eyes to a world beyond realism. I love it.
#3. Art Classes
One of my favourite thing about Art Galleries like El Carvar and Omolayo is their classes. Like, this proofs that there’s a certain appreciation for blessings and Henri Moweta wants you to know a bit of his craft. For kids, the summer art classes cost an affordable 50,000 Naira fee and they get the full attention of grooming what they love doing best whether painting, mosaic, sculpting etc. Asides the classes, schools can organise visits for students just so they have a feel of what an art gallery is supposed to look like.
#4. Artistic Innovations
Believe me when I say, Henrimoweta Art Centre is where I saw a lot of ‘new art’ and after visiting a chunk of galleries, I was good to see something different from the past. There was a nice bust figure carved from fibre glass, odd-looking wood carvings, sack on board art, Benin bronze heads, metal sculptures, mat weaving, mosaic art, ivory tusks at 12,000 Naira, toothpick art and handcrafted candle stands (the cheapest item in the gallery – 5,000 Naira). And paintings. Ah! Acrylic oil pastel, oil painting impasto, mixed media, abstract paintings, miniature paintings,
The Gallery is set to take you on a complex art journey because of multiple collaborations with great indigenous artists like Hakim Ijedunola and Poni Anthony Ogunde. Sometimes, pieces are bought off artists for display while others prefer a sales of return percentage. Virtually every single piece had a price tag. Another first for me.
#5. African Art Outlets
Just like the Nike Art Gallery and Omidiran Art Gallery, Henrimoweta Art Centre has dominated the Lagos Metropolitan City. It is situated at Anthony Village and the highbrow Victoria Island. The Anthony Village Gallery is opposite Hotel Newcastle while the Victoria Island Galleries are located at Block 1411, Adetokunbo, Ademola Street and Silverbird Gallery, 3rd Floor, Ahmadu Bello Way respectively.
Each hordes a huge collection of artistic mastery with the Anthony chapter housing over 2,000 pieces!
Art is life; it is beautiful, thrilling and adventurous. Every single art gallery crossed out of my itinerary backs this. And as for Henrimoweta Art Centre, my ‘literary qualifications’ cannot do justice to this African wonder. You need to see it for yourself.
In Other News…
Back in January, I had a crazy idea to visit seven art galleries in one day! My friend, Leonard jumped on this and we created something awesome! There’s this video particularly on my Instagram if you’d like to watch. It’s fun, trust me.
I relate to the Henrimoweta Art Centre, don’t you?
Oh, when was the last time you visited an art gallery? Please share your response in the comments. Be honest ; )