The Contemporary African art scene in Lagos just got shaken up by 5 brilliant young artists discovered by the Rele Arts Foundation.

Last weekend, the quirky Rele Gallery was filled with trendy, young art enthusiasts who came out to support the Young Contemporaries selected this 2017. The air was thick with creativity as the artists engaged with guests explaining the thought process behind their impressive work. You instantly understand why the Rele Arts Foundation gives this yearly platform to young artists, awarding them with a grant to produce a body of work. In a conversation with Adenrele Sonariwo (Director of Rele) she states;

“The world is changing and fast, it is important that the voices of young ones are not drowned out, as they are the ones that will shape the future”. 

The themes of the exhibition ranged from feminism, to cultural and self identity, to racial boundaries and the duality of human nature and it was refreshing to see young people engaged, plugged in but most of all, enthusiastic about the topics highlighted by the artists’ work.

This is the second year of the Young Contemporaries which is an artistic initiative that identifies, promotes and mentors young visual artists; giving them the tools to succeed critically and commercially in the global marketplace.

The turnout was beyond impressive as over 350 people came in and out of the space during the exhibition. But Adenrele is already thinking of the future of the initiative and her plans for next year;

“For 2018, we want to continue to give young artists the tools they need to succeed, by giving them more mentorship opportunities, more grants to create boldly and freely, as well as giving them opportunities to exhibit both locally and internationally.”

Meet the artists and check out their incredible art work below.


                 Ezekiel, 24, a painter; has chosen the use of colours in adaptation of the Fauvism and naturalism movement; he will be exploring how man is shaped and influenced by his environment.




Oladimeji, 26, is the only photographer in the group, and will be using his lens as a map to navigate the duality of human nature and the hard questions surrounding the creation story


Marcellina, 27, is a mixed media artist, a mother to a woman-in- progress; she urges you to look at her works and contribute to the conversation on how to make the world a better place for generations of women to come.



 Sejiro, 26, the most conceptual and experimental of the group. His series “Physiognomical Distinction” will question the act of predicting or judging a person’s character and personality by mare looking at the outward appearance






 Rewa, 29, a self taught artist; commits to paper all the things it means to be an urban nomad; disconnected from your starting destination but not quite at home in new location. Her Travellers series is a triptych representation of moving through societal, racial and cultural boundaries.




The exhibition will run for 4 weeks at Rele Gallery so make sure you take the time to stop by. Rele Gallery is located at 5 Military Street, Onikan, Lagos.