|A mural from the Next of Kin Series 5 workshop.
TEN finalists have been selected by our Jurors from over 1500 entries. They include Popoola Nurudeen, Samuel Inalegwu, Idowu Emmanuel, Samuel Godwin, Jor Collins, Useh Akpoghene Caroline, Bosun Omotayo, Akintayo Eunice, Adeyemi Joshua, and Eruotor Tega are the ten finalists of a national art competition and exhibition, Next of Kin Series 5.
The finalists will be officially unveiled at the Next of Kin Series 5 grand finale scheduled for 26, March 2023, Sunday the 26th of March 2023 at Thought Pyramid Art Centre, 96 Norman Williams Street, Keffi Awolowo, Ikoyi, Lagos State. At the grand finale, winners and prizes will be announced.
In October 2023, Next Kin series, organised by Thought Pyramid Art Centre will be 5 years. That affirms half a decade of giving back to visual art, empowering the creative voice of emerging Nigerian visual artists, and supplying the Nigerian art industry with a new breed of the best visual artists from around the country. The current edition of Next of Kin Series 5 is unique as it marks Next of Kin’s 5th Anniversary ahead of time.
As part of the 5th anniversary celebration, Next of Kin engaged art students with down syndrome at Modupe Cole Memorial Child Care And Treatment Home School, Akoka, Yaba on Saturday, February 11th, 2023. Some of the Series 5 finalists were on ground to engage the students of the institution in a motivation workshop session on the topic “You Too Can Go Far”.
During the workshop, our finalists also guided the students in the creation of their own art by familiarizing them with the basic skills of art and also led them in the mural painting of the exterior entrance walls to Modupe Cole Memorial Child Care And Treatment Home School, Akoka, Yaba.
Additionally, Next of Kin with the support of our sponsors: Nigeria Machine Tools, Hyde Energy, and Platform Capital, including the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture that donated food to the home school and art supplies to its fine art department.
One of the students, Toma who is also a down syndrome warrior but paints delightfully by aiding the brush with her toes, has been added as one of the honorary exhibitors for Next of Kin Series 5. Her outstanding works will be displayed alongside 30 collectibles of the Next of Kin Series 5 finalists.
After the grand opening, Next of Kin Series 5 remains open to the public until April 22nd, 2023.
Joecollins Ezepue (b. 1996) is a conceptual digital artist and photographer who lives and works in Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria. Joe has a BA in Fine and Applied Arts from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and was awarded the best graphic designer in his department upon graduation in 2017. He is a graduate assistant and a Master's student in the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
His artistic talent and keen interest in photography started when he was a little boy while regularly visiting his mother in her little art and photography workshop. From there he developed the adroitness to create collectibles from negative unappealing images.
He is currently experimenting with two photography styles and techniques. The first constitutes photographs of peaceful landscapes superimposed with stylized illustrations of female figures, decorated with uli traditional motifs and symbols which he uses to subtly address issues of denial and negligence in the Igbo culture. His second interest explores halftone lines, stained glass effects, and Ankara designs to address governance and the Nigerian and African conditions and at the same time celebrate the passion, forte, and resilience of Nigerians and Africans.
He has participated in a couple of exhibitions in Nigeria and London, including the Forward to the Past exhibition which showed at Brunei Gallery, SOAS, London in 2022.
Idowu Emmanuel (b. 1992) originates from Osun State, Nigeria. He was influenced by books on pointillism’ as well as color separation and harmony in the painting.
Idowu was able to experiment with that stylistic approach to develop an investigative attitude that has empowered him to eventually master the art of visually blending small strokes of color together. His breakthrough came during his university studies where he specialized in painting at OAU Ile-Ife.
His works are in public and private collections in Turkey, the United Kingdom, and around Nigeria. Idowu draws his inspiration from African folk lyric tradition, ageless wisdom, Yoruba history, spirituality, and cultural heritage.
Samuel Inalegwu's creative concept, which is Samuel's observatory projections, is largely influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2018, He graduated from Benue State University after obtaining HND in painting.
He portrays both natural and anthropomorphic characters; his human portraits express both genders in their pure form, while the animal figures are personified in human bodies disguised in outfits similar to those worn by renowned African and western leaders.
Samuel Godwin (b. 1994) is a naturalist painter and a technology-savvy visual artist. A native of Isoko South, Delta State but currently resides in Lagos State, Nigeria. He studied Fine and Applied Arts at the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Arts from the University of Lagos, Nigeria, with honors.
Samuel Godwin exploits Augmented Reality in bringing his paintings to life. His works are unique VR pieces. Thereby offering his viewers an art experience that is in a class of itself.
His colorful paintings depict women as beautiful flowers unrivaled in diverse ways with a distinctive personal style emanating calmness and peace and expressing the fusion of beauty, love, and fruitfulness.
In his decades-spanning explorative practice, Samuel has worked professionally in the creative capacity of a graphics designer, photographer, and videographer. He has helped various multinational companies in Nigeria and abroad to execute brand assets with well-crafted visual designs.
Useh Akpoghene Caroline, (b.1994) is a recycled artist resident in Lagos, Nigeria. She graduated in 2019 from Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo state.
Her mixed media artworks address prevailing human circumstances and individual identity in relation to class, creed, and form for equal recognition.
Useh’s upcycled pieces speak against individual discrimination in the world. This is interpreted in her works through the accommodation of leftover objects in her masterpieces regardless of their forms, shapes, and shades.
She is a mixed media artist who majorly explores found objects to produce A1 works filled with tones of bodacious themes. Her tremendous artworks have been featured in art events such as Nirantar online exhibition in 2022 and prestigious locations like the Spanish Embassy in 2019.
Adeyemi Joshua (b.1991) is a Neo-traditional artist, who currently lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria. He obtained his degree from the University of Benin, majoring in painting.
In his works, Joshua strikes a balance between figuration and abstraction exploring different thought-provoking themes and ideas, fusing old and modern rhetorics together.
His paintings attempt to submit narrative associations which seem invisible but exist with both the cultural and contemporary.
He is fond of using a multitude of found materials such as fabric, leather, and paper to represent African symbols and patterns using a newfangled point of view.
Akintayo Eunice Damilola (b. 1998) is a figurative digital impressionist artist and a First Class graduate of Painting from the Lagos State Polytechnic, Art and Industrial Design, Ikorodu, Lagos State, Nigeria. She believes the objective of art is not to reproduce reality but to create a reality of the same intensity.
In 2022, she graduated as the overall best student in the Art Department (HND). In 2017, she graduated as one of the best students in the Art department 2017 (OND). Her excellence in art grew as a result of her parents' encouragement to practice art right from childhood.
She has been featured in art exhibitions in Missoula, United States of America (Together We Rise 2021); Lagos Continental Hotel (Brush and Strokes 2022); Harbour Point (Lagos Art Exhibition 2022)
With her lively and sparkling human renditions, Eunice pushes the boundaries of art and takes risks evident in the throbbing settings in her works. Her works are grounded in the atmosphere of African culture; creating mental health awareness, and adding her voice to the campaign for women's empowerment.
Bosun Omotayo (b.10th 1998) originates from Ogun state, Nigeria with a seasoned root in realism. He specialized in Painting at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Ife.
The Natural Synthesis in his works advocates the purity of Africans and their brilliance. Petals as used in his works communicate his quest to ensure the proper recognition of African beauty in the world.
His mentors include Adelani Adesanya, Abiodun Olaku, Oligbide Rotimi, Alade Ife, and Daodu Emmanuel.
Eruotor Tega Steven (b. 1988) is an Expressionist Painter, who directs his creative focus to the human portrait and figure. He acquired his first art diploma in 2013 at the Federal Polytechnic Nasarawa in the Department of Art and Industrial Design and went further to attain a Degree in 2019 in Visual and Creative Arts, Federal University Lafia.
He is distinguished for using vivid colors alongside a strong ability to create harmony using various pigments.
Eruotor seeks not the objective reality but rather the subjective emotions and responses that objects and events arouse within a person using watercolor as his preferred medium.
Popoola Nurudeen (b. Dec. 17th) studied Fine Art and majored in Painting at the prestigious Yaba College of Technology Lagos. He is the award recipient of the Best Student in Painting in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Popoola is the overall best-graduating student in the School of Art, Design, and Printing, Yaba College of Technology Lagos, 2016.
Popoola's works are largely inspired by Africa and its people. His practice is centered around creating artworks that communicate the modernity of Africanism. He creates a reverie visualization of African youths, male or female hoping they will maintain the identity of their heritage.
Popoola is the winner of the World Bipolar Day Art Competition (2018). He has been featured in exhibitions by Didi Museum (Passing on The Touch,2012); the Lagos Art and Fashion Exhibition (2015); United Nations Information Centre (2017); amongst others.
He had his first solo exhibition "EVOLVE" in February 2021. He exhibited at an off-exhibition in the 2022 Dak'Art Biennale, Senegal. His works have been collected both locally and internationally. After his NYSC, he worked briefly as a lecturer at The Ultimate University Porto Novo, Benin Republic.