MEMORY AND METAPHOR – Ibrahim Adebayo Lawal (18-04-2013)

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African Artists’ Foundation (AAF) is pleased to announce the first Meet the Artist event of 2013 featuring the tapestry works of Ibrahim Adebayo Lawal in a two week exhibition titled Memory and Metaphor.

The Meet the Artist event is a preamble platform for group and solo exhibitions created to introduce young and emerging artists to the public.

Ibrahim Adebayo Lawal’s Memory and Metaphor opens on Thursday 18 April, 2013 at 6 PM at African Artists’ Foundation Gallery, 54 Raymond Njoku Street, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Works on display from 18 April – May 03, 2013.

Storytelling has always played an integral role in African communities and oral narration was the primary means of passing down creation myths, folk lore and idioms from one generation to the next. These stories stitch and define the fabric of every society from which they originate.

In a bid to capture traditional symbols of power, deity and origination, Ibrahim Lawal succinctly harnesses the technique of embroidery and quilting to create tapestries of cultural and historical  significance that explore traditionalism in contemporary Nigerian culture. Lawal researches and accumulates the ingredients of Yoruba folklore by intricately translating the figures of festival masquerades onto locally woven cloth, aso oke. These works create a visual time-line of folklore and customs while questioning the location of our indigenous identities. Lawal describes his tapestry work as ‘agbara asa’ which means “power of culture.”

Lawal is a self-taught artist with origins in the fashion embroidery industry.


Ibrahim Adebayo Lawal was born in 1979 and is from Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria. Lawal obtained a diploma in Cultural Administration from Nassarawa State University, Lafia, Nassarawa State (2011).

Lawal trained as an apprentice embroiderer for six years shortly after completing his primary school education. He worked in the fashion industry with notable designers where he gained a fine understanding of textiles and quilting. Lawal’s recent work explores the indigenous customs and traditions of Nigeria’s diverse heritage and vanishing ideals in contemporary Nigerian society. Ibrahim Lawal lives and works in Lagos.

Exhibition History

Shobande Talents Hunt Show (2007) Surulere, Lagos State

Agbara-Asa Arts Fashion Show (2008) Ikeja, Lagos State

CBAAC; Black History Month (2009) National Arts Theatre Iganmu, Lagos State

Workshop for Cultural Rejuvenation of National Integration and Sustainable Development, Lekki

Peninsula Resort, Ajah, Lagos State (2010)

Yoruba World Film Festival (2010) National Arts Theatre Iganmu, Lagos State

FESTAC Reloaded. (2010) Accra, Ghana

Multiculturalism and the Prospects for African Diaspora (2011) Salvador-Bahia, Brazil

For more information regarding Ibrahim Adebayo Lawal’s Memory and Metaphor, contact or call 01-7450750.

AAF Gallery opening hours: Monday to Friday: 10 AM – 6 PM. Saturday: 11 AM – 2 PM

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About AAF

African Artists’ Foundation (AAF) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the promotion and development of contemporary African art. Established in 2007, African Artists’ Foundation aims to encourage the highest standard of art in Africa. African Artists’ Foundation serves a significant role in art and academic communities through organising art exhibitions, competitions, and workshops with the aim of unearthing and developing talent, creating societal awareness, and providing a platform to express creativity. By providing assistance to professional and emerging artists in Africa and support to international exhibitions and community outreach programs, African Artists’ Foundation views the contribution to a strong cultural landscape in Africa as a transformative element in driving social change.

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