NIGERIA-UK: Andrew Esiebo and Titus Agbara

This dialogue ran from 22 November 2009 – 17 January 2010, after which the artists were invited to discuss ideas for new work. The dialogues have now ended, but you can see and engage with the development of the selected proposals here.

Andrew Esiebo

Andrew Esiebo

Titus Agbara

Titus Agbara


View from two places

I’ll be taken a close study of my environment, my place of birth and where I‘ve lived and grew up. Originally am from Delta state of Nigeria, In the search of greener pasture and white collar job my parents migrate suburb of Lagos state called Ajegunle. There I was born, lived and breed. The city is now becoming a breeding ground for art personalities and significance. Indeed the place is notable for its moral decadence and indecent housing system. Dwellers has been a victims of official neglect by the government,, life is nothing else but appalling in comparison to me new place cos everyone has been living in contentment (that’s the way it is becomes the slogan) Plans to reconstructing the environment and rehabilitate the people has been shoddily conceived and never saw the light of the day. The striven thing about the people, there life style and everyday genre is that they keep hope alive and live in contentment. The economical and political situation has fashion them to be debaters of such issues as a way of life, if only their voice could be heard they are potentials that could profess changes to humanity in the society. I know I owe a lot to my society, I often aspire for greatness not for selfish reason but to reason how long shall we remain like this economically politically socially when we know the truth. In essence, when I look at life in my place of origin and compare it to life in my new migrated place, I see both as two extreme. My place of origin has a short coming that could be improved on and that’s what they could be enlightened about. To capture a glimpse of my original environment in compares to my new environment would create an awareness of the socio economical decadence and deprivation, putting them in abject contentment. Two things are involve in my research and development, to portray and create awareness of my environs in visuals and audio which I believe in some way will impact to the society and establish goodness to humanity

Proposal form

All our artists are invited to submit one or more proposals for new work, individually or collaboratively, by 1 April 2010. Please click here for the form:

iaa proposal form

My eyes my world

Hello Titus, your last proposal sound experimental and great for me. I like to see how it progress.
As for my second project Idea.
I want to continue with the project “My eyes my world” (MMW) a participatory photography workshop for socially deprived or vulnerable children. Last year I was able to work with some children from a beach community in Lagos called Kuramo. This beach is notorious for children who left their parents or families to seek refuge there. Many of these children get expose to various social vices especially since they they lack parental care or mentor to put them in better path of life.
The MMW project is meant to empower the children and give them a voice in expressing their world to the larger society. Last year, with the support of the Spanish Embassy Lagos and a Street Child Care and Welfare Initiative. we recruited about 7 children from the beach. Today am happy to inform you almost all the seven children have been reconciled with their families through the NGO.
The workshop was also climax with a exhibition at the publish place in Kuramo beach, a harbor for children abandoning their families. I was touched by the response of the community to the modest exhibition. They keep on asking about the project and how they could take part in it. It even created informal dialogues about the social of children in Lagos and the responsibility of the state. I think the project was the best that happen in my life and just hope there will be support to continue it this year.
This year my intend is to continue the projec at the Lagos state remind home for Juvenile Delinquency.
My intension is to see how this children could use photography as a way of expressing thier realities of life and means of empowering thier self for better future.
I soon start research on this by visit the Lagos state remind home. By the way, I will be off to Zambia from 20, March and Back 1st April. Maybe we could meet some of these days.
Best regards.


Am still researching on how to fabricate a device for my audio-visual concept. Not just the audio alone but has a censor that will detect the presence of human to get it switch on also looking at making the device to function on distance. The closer you are, it increases in volume and the further u walk away from the painting it diminish in volume. The audio is a representational sound of the visual. Hope to enlighten more on it in my next mail. Haven been around in my place of originality, thought we could meet up someday b4 going back to my new environment, its really hard for me to work out of studio and am working on a massive canvas trying to meet up with limited time I have to be at home. I thought I should give you a ring by tomorrow to hear from you. For now am occupied with a commission painting, the biggest have ever done so far and alongside researching what’s on my mind about my audio-visual concept.

Bridging Bridges.

Hello Titus,
How is the going? I am good and busy , busy.. preparing for my travels soon.
I want to apologies for my long silence.
Presently, I have two projects in mind. One of them is series on the female soccer where I intend to us this game which many africans are passionate as an intervention gender and Identity issue. I am keen to know how women fairing in the game often considered as ” Macho” thing. Intend to investigate how are females using this game to bridge the gender gap. What are the realities of life for them. The social, cultural and economical challenges of being a female footballers.
I intend to approach this project through archival research, interviews and portraits of the female football on and off the game. What do you think about this topic and advise or comments?

Oops, I have to leave for now. I will get back to you tomorrow regards the second project.
Please let me know what you think


I’ve been in an island of my own thought, mind setting my organs to comport my emotions psychologically and physically, so I can decipher and move ahead. Every fleeting moment each day I thought about what are my research, my mind flows towards documentation of my origin and my new environment. Sometimes I view life as its all about you… whatever the norms and doctrines, you owe yourself your happiness within or without. To some, life has not been so fair. There is always a way out… to comport the body, mind and soul. I’ll be looking at both side of the coin, researching on my experience between two cities.  There is no limitation to continuity; it’s a dynamic world where changes are inevitable. Art encompass all of life, whatever our gesture, we all want result and hope for a reactional changes it brings. Then our experience on our immediate society is what we be looking at. Having view life from different environmental factors, I wish to share it visually documenting happenstance and scenario that appear similar but either due to differences in technological or scientific advancement. As a visual artist, making a statement with colours on canvas, I could remember the influence of my new environment on my art (painting) revivified in diptych of which my concepts are mostly themes from my origin. I’ll still be looking at working on diptych and will be conceptually interrelating scene from both my origin and my new environment to portray in diptych but can could also stand out as a single piece. As am presently in my place of origin, have been scouting around for resource materials through photography, so when am back to my new environment I’ll conceptually merge both resource materials to portray what’s on my mind. So in essence I’ll be looking at depicting tales, showing differences and similarities which encompass my experience, social awareness and a means of evaluating the human condition between my two environments.

what do YOU want (really)

back to basics – (I) what do YOU want to say? (II) how is your desire going to inhabit the language (medium) you intend to use?

Research thoughts

Hi Andrew, how was your val, have been quit very busy in the studio that I have to be alone for myself this period in other to meet up with some paintings. I wish its 48hours for a day. Haven’t heard from for a while now, hope u are aware of our next stage, what are you going to research about, gotten anything you want to developing on? its been quit busy with me in the studio, and in my quit time whenever i refrain from painting, my mind do flip through on what to do. We are both artist on a different perspective view to art but it all encompass visualization. Its always on my mind about documenting my imidiate original environment, and migrating to a new environment has established an awareness in me about the differences and similarity in difference between my origin and my new place. And I guess the similarities and differences can be visualize into paintings with my own artistic intuition. What am also thinking of developing is what I will call an audiovisual encounter. It has to do my kind of painting and also capturing the sounds of the environment. I have to device a mechanism like a sound sensor that will be attached to the painting. A kind of getting people immerse in the visual and sounds of the environment. These could go along making statement about people’s feeling through sounds as depicted to what is going on in the painting. Politically, socially and economically, our society has fallen short of its status compare to what is obtainable in the era of scientific and technological dispensation. The voice of the people is no longer heard, authorities are self-centered and egocentric. In essence my research could be like an encounter with the people’s feelings in sounds and visuals. What do you think about it?

New phase

Hello Andrew, how has it been with you. Its another Research and Development phase which I would fuse psychologically as a continuation or retrospect on our dialogue referring to the quest ”What do I want” by the IAA team. To me it involve mental, physical and emotional gesture. I think its time to express what you really want your art to do… Anyway, for now my internet connection allows me to browse all night till the early hours of the morning and also weekends. so between intervals, I’ll be painting in the studio. talk to you later to in continuation to research and development.

Cheers, welcome to a new phase

iaa dialogue official end date 17 Jan. however…

some dialogues will continue

Re:What do ‘I’ want?

…Season and time revolves around the dynamic changes of life as a continuous process. These changing phenomenons as thought within my inner emotions and self intuition as it affect everyday life drives me to inspire goodness to humanity through my art. Human wants is insatiable so also is my creative prowess in quest for the truth. In my country of origin, I’ve come to an exposition of what has to be imbibing from my country of destination to build and sustain the art. From my immediate society to the larger, so much going on, if only there could be peace in the world. We interact in the environment (socially, politically and economically) by what we define. Whatever our definitions if only there is right in the soul, beauty in the person, harmony in the home, order in the nation then there will be peace in the world. I see my art as an advocate of peace, justice and human right in a way I’ll be able to document my society.

Am happy to be part of this project… many thanks to the IAA Team

after midnight

Thank you!

Those of you who have expressed interest in communicating beyond today’s end date  can do so by either continuing the current dialogue, or by migrating to another ‘country’ and establishing a dialogue with a new artist/filmmaker. The IAA team will stay with you.

Thank you…everyone.



DSC02991(1).jpg DSC02993(1).jpg DSC02995(1).jpg DSC02999(1).jpg DSC03003(1).jpg DSC03006(1).jpg DSC03009(1).jpg DSC03017(1).jpg DSC03024(1).jpg DSC03028(1).jpg

the making of my portrait painting for the annual portrait exhibition, so you can have a feel of my painting process. Am also working on a commission work which could take me a longer time to finish. would see if i could still make a post by tomorrow morning regards to the question from IAA Team

life in Lagos

Hello Andrew, Quite some time now… my internet went off and have been quit busy with activities and enjoying the sunshine in Africa. It’s been really awful seeing the way things are going on in the society. The only consolation is within the individual, how you are able to comport yourself with the on going situation. After attending the society of Nigerian Artist monthly meeting, some other artist and I went out for a drink. In the course of our dining I told them about my initiative, what is obtainable in the UK           which I believe if we also imbibe so trend in our own society it will be a good progress for the art. In AS much as we are developing if we incorporate same practice as in the larger society it will define our art also.

I enjoyed the scenario where we had a drink. Am so fascinated by the crowd, everyone drinking and relaxing as if life is good but deep down in their minds and thoughts its not an easy life its just a way to free the mind body and soul from worries. Anyway enjoy some of the video I took while we discuss the way forward for the Society of Nigerian Artist, Lagos chapter. I was on my way home from the internet cafe went to browse, what I witness between a force man and a civilian, was heart touching. Our values and civil right has has no justification,  the society needs a proper sanitation in character and behaviour. I began to reason with the way life is in my new environment but if only we could be aware of what we are been  deprived of as a citizen of our beloved country.DSC02983.jpg DSC02982.jpg oh, what a shame,  I couldnt  post the video covering lagos weekend life, the pixel appears too large for yahoo mail. anyway the video was taken at the National Theater Iganmu Lagos. Its a place to visit

break in communication

Hi Andrew, how has it been with you, I have been off from Lagos state to my home town in Delta state. Sorry for the break in communication, my home internet got expired and will be back online  from tomorrow, so I have to use the cafe to see whats going on in the final day of our dialogue. Anyway hope you are alright. Got alot of info to share with with you but the internet facility am using now is a kind of outdated so i couldnt retrieve file from my laptop to share. Regards the question from the IAA Team… What is it that we really want? What do you want your art to do? In my own opinion, which I believe Art is a quest for the truth, either consciously or unconciously done. It encompass the immediate society the artist lives and the impact indiviually he has embrace the art and his society… sorry my time is up, will be back later tonight to continue.

What do ‘I’ want?

“All blueprints of what people should be like are at once denials of reality and attempts to create it anew. It is one of the peculiar characteristics of human wanting that it always involves being persuaded about what it is one should want. This persuasion, which takes many forms – from brainwashing to education, from seduction to conversation – is one way of describing the experience of growing up in any society.

The wanting without which human survival is impossible is symbolically organised; wanting is inextricable from what our societies tell us we should want. If our loves and hates, our likings and our curiosities, our passions and aversions ‘come under conceptual definition, manipulation and control’, then there is no natural state in which we can live, or to which we can return. Indeed, the whole notion of a natural state, or significant origin, is itself one of those culturally generated conceptual definitions.”

Whether in country of origin or in country of destination, one burning question seem to overlap – What is it that we really want? What do you really want your art or filmmaking to do?

msg from andrew

Thanks for the message Titus and I agree with you. The situation of the country is very frustrating. But we just have to carry on with life. I think the country is sick currently. Our leader have been on sick bed for the past 30 days abroad without handing over to anybody. Now we are in a state of confusion as many development projects have been kept halt due to the failure of our president to give ascent to them.
The biggest news has been Nigerian being black listed by US due to the stupid and lunatic act of Faruq, who attempted to bomb a plane going to the US. I cannot understand how a single person will make over 140 million people be black listed by the US. Nigerians like you may know love life. In spite of the the challenges facing us we still find way to carry on with life. Death or suicide will be one of the last things an average Nigerian will want to do. In my opinion Faraq is a influence of non- nigerian society. He spent a major part of his life abroad and in the UK where I supposed he go cut up with the islamic extremist. I think UK where is got influence should be be on this black list.
Anyway, as for me and many million Nigeria I think we love life and will have to press on with even though I leader are messing us up.
Tomorrow, I hope to catch up with a blind gay fellow who was rejected and thrown out of the house by his family because of his sexuality. I find this very terrible and it is a shame in this era homophobia cpould make people reject their blood. I hope o catch up wih this fellow for some chat and see hwo things will go for him.
I will keep you posted.
I have to run now and hope to hear from you soon.



Hi Andrew, what’s new for the New Year. Am back to my studio, after been down with symptoms of malaria, am better now, ever since am in town have not really have a quite time for myself, now trying to have my quite time along my studio work. Activities happening around demoralise me a lot as I try to compare what’s happening over there and here. Even the our leaders that are expose to what is obtainable in the developed country still fail to carry out their duties to humanity as required. Life full of complaint is not an healthy life. How can you reason when psychologically you are not composed. From my discussion with people and random sampling about our society its really a frustrating world. Every one is just busy for nothing, a hopeless demonstrative hard work. This reminds me of the religious painting I did 20years ago about our country. It was use as an annual calendar for my church then. It’s a revelation but no one thought about it. Andrew, Only God can save this nation, the way things are going, if you think about it one might have hypertension. Good to be back to my B.Y.(back yard)Studio, large working space, and I love working on my birth suit expose to natural light. Am working on a large surface 210x150cm. it’s a surrealistic approach, it’s a landscape covered with green vegetations and flower but when observed carefully the vegetations has a representation of human figures. I did such kind of work way back 2001, then I was experimenting in different approaches and styles in other to find a way that could best defined me and my works. So as a result of that painting, I was commissioned to make another follow up which I’ve done the sketches and was approved. So will be transferring the sketch on the prepared canvas surface today. I’ll keep you posted. Anything going on with you? Anyway am looking forward for a photography tour as soon as am done with studio work.

Re: your new painting Titus!

The making of the painting was drawn from a picture containing the full (facial) portrait representation of a mother and a child I found when I was reading through a magazine. Both were dress up. The inspiration behind the painting was drawn from the resemblance of the young girl and the old mother and to capture the essence of both stages in life, I decide to paint them nude as a better symbolism. Artistically, I have represented it as an individual response to human’s wants and desire. The use of colours in patches of rectangular boxes as defined with colour symbolism to me represent life experience and everyday happenstance. The painting titled “How I Wish” taken from a representation of a particular time and season in life defines the ever wishing desire of the human’s mind. When we are young vibrant full of life we all desire, aspire and perspire to grow old. Also when we are old and reminisce the life we’ve spent in the past we wish we never grow old …life is good, to everything on the earth there is a time and a season.

your new painting Titus!?

the ladies in your painting, are they based on real-life characters?

Happy New year


To everything there is a time and a season

It is not time that flies, it is not time that dies

Its we that are flying and dying

“How I wish” becomes a variable or invariable dream

Reflecting the uncontentment and insatiable happenstance

Time changes but without decay

At this point in time and season, I wish you all the best colours life has in stock.


BLUE moon, New Ear

Hazem and all at IAA:

Cambridge BLUE moon, turning the last  pages of the 2009!

Issam Kourbaj

Issam Kourbaj

Issam Kourbaj

Issam Kourbaj

Wishing you many inspiring days in the coming year, and a very Happy New Ear (as my son. profoundly,  used to say!)


Russian Salad!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Throwing a handful of Russian salad over the net to you!

Taus Makhacheva

Let Us all end up face down in our own Russian salad tonight!

Happy new year/weaving/webs/net


When you feel everything is somehow connected and we are all joining a big net
life takes another meaning. This project is a big net that is full of significance also.
I love being part of this, and it is nice to read and get to know others process and thoughts.

I Wish you all a wonderful new year; truly great, full of adventures, joy, neverending curiosity for things to come, creativity, love and inner peace!

best wishes from Colombia


Happy New Year 2010 !

Best wishes for the coming new year !


Andro Semeiko

Transmitter_BASE2F, by Yu-Chen Wang and Andro Semeiko, 2009

Resource materials

DSC00001.jpg DSC00002.jpg DSC00003.jpg DSC00004.jpg DSC00005.jpg DSC00006.jpg DSC00007.jpg DSC00008.jpg DSC00009.jpg DSC00010.jpg DSC00011.jpg

Resource materials

Hello Andrew, how is life with you, I know the economical situation is not that easy in the country. Power supply is a big issue to be address if not the growth of the nation is ridiculous. Can’t imagine how much I spent on fuel to generate power, at the end of the month you pay for the consumption you didn’t use. Its really an experience for me yesterday, after a long walk around town, its still same Lagos when it comes to attitude, behaviour, lifestyle and these “I don’t care attitude” when things need attention to be corrected. After my search for concepts around, still have some fellow artist friends visited me, we went to a near by pub, have some beer and native meal “Nkwobi” you know what I mean. At the end of the day, I found myself on my cosy bed, sleeping in the dark all through the night. Woke up this morning to share my photos with you which I will later make out paintings from them. I do not aim to copy nature slavishly, when executing them in paintings rather I’ll express myself intuitively considering my artistic freedom without losing its element and principles. Enjoy and comment on my photographs

Same Lagos

The never changing city, same reflections to attitude and character. Lives are not paramount, activities happens like they don’t know. The reality of every happenstance is never to be realize till the future holds a vacuum. A vacuum that only ignorance takes it as sighting the top without working from beneath. What I see is beyond one step at a time the force and rush and hush but fail to come to the genesis of the whole matter. Life is on the average so also would be the length of age. Falling short of basic amenities, social rights and power failure without such growth is stand-by. Oh my beloved nation, giant of Africa, when shall these entire basis be of benefit to our people, the answer is… who cares? All man for himself.

Andrew, thought of these clouds my mind when I measure life between here and there.  From my random sampling, a lot of view tends towards migrating, seeing what is obtainable that can not be obtained. Anyway, we hope for the better as we try to play our part in our society as an artist. I’ve been running my generator in high cost just to be comfortable with life. In someway it’s even expensive living here than abroad. Haven’t started serious work yet, still waiting for my art materials I cargo down to arrive Today I’ll be working out to document my environment in photography, as u know my end product is transferring then on canvas. Actually my photograph serves as resource materials for my paintings. I’ve compose these mail but unable to connect to the internet after 2 hour waiting for connection. Anyway talk to u later in the evening so we could deliberate on my photos for the day. Cheers

art in the making contd.

IM01.jpgIM03.jpg IM04.JPG IM05.jpg IM06.jpg IM07.jpg IM08.jpg IM09.jpg IM10.jpg IM11.jpg IM12.jpg IM13.jpg IM14.jpg IM15.jpg IM16.jpg IM17.jpg IM18.jpg IM19.JPG IM20.jpg TA_Inquisitive Minds_ 90x60cm.jpg IM02.jpg

Just wanted you to have a feel of my art in the making. love to know how you go about photography cos it serves as a resource material to my final painting.

what makes art contemporary

Andrew, what makes art contemporary for you? +/or what is your understanding of contemporary art in Nigeria?

My art in the making contd.

A.O.M.T.U-16.jpg A.O.M.T.U-18.jpg A.O.M.T.U-19.jpg A.O.M.T.U-20.jpg A.O.M.T.U-21.jpg A.O.M.T.U-22.jpg as our mother told us_90x120cm(diptych).jpgA.O.M.T.U-17.jpg

My art in the making

Hi Andrew, compliment of the season. I have not gotten time for myself ever since I came home. Friends, family and visitors always come around to see and visit me. Can’t wait for the festive period to be over so I can get down fully back to the studio. My last week in London before I came to Nigeria has been so hectic, engaging in an art exhibition, making portrait painting for the RPS annual exhibition and I’ll be making another which I’ll post down to United kingdom. During my stay in Nigeria, I’ll be working on some commission paintings before going back to the United Kingdom. Back to my studio practice, when am into starting a painting, I fully give my body mind and soul to it. My art in the making is differ from the normal brush approach. I restrict myself to the use of palette knife all through my painting process after I’ve done the sketch with a brush as a guild line. It’s all about creating a unique texture with the palette knife to my impressionist paint with a tendency to realistic approach. Just like a computer screen refresh I paint from the top to the bottom, having a preview of colour subconsciously how I wanted the painting to look. So as I work through the painting process there is a psychological relationship between my work and I when the image which I’ve conceived subconsciously is appearing outwardly to me. I’ve been a painting knife artist since 1999 after my graduation from Art School. This evokes in me as nurture it then when I was still in secondary school. I do visit an artist studio, he is a sculptor and do paintings also. I do observe him paint with the knife and I go home to practice on my own. I knew a lot of artists use brush but I just want to distinguish my approach with the knife. Ever since it has been my tool for painting.

My painting process start by searching for concept, when found I immerse myself and got familiarize to the scene. Love to make some sketches and most time took photograph. So I could spend more time in detailing when am in the studio. Having found what I wanted to paint I took series of photo shots, having in mind that I could still add and remove activities in it considering the elements and principles of art. These are my art in the making, the various stages how I develop my working process.A.O.M.T.U-1.jpg A.O.M.T.U-2.jpg A.O.M.T.U-3.jpg A.O.M.T.U-4.jpg A.O.M.T.U-5.jpg A.O.M.T.U-6.jpg A.O.M.T.U-7.jpg A.O.M.T.U-8.jpg A.O.M.T.U-9.jpg A.O.M.T.U-10.jpg A.O.M.T.U-11.jpg A.O.M.T.U-11.jpg A.O.M.T.U-13.jpg A.O.M.T.U-15.jpg


Hello, for the xmas I ll be with me family at home having dinner. I was opportune to move around town in lagos today for shopping, it was really really busy and hectic. The only difficulty we facing is orderliness which I suggest if only we could re-embraced the WAI culture of the 80s. I guess it will reform the society.

You said u will be tavelling around Nigeria, thats  also in my agender for coming, so I could gather enough reference for my painting while am back to the UK. May be we could trip together. When are you coming to lagos so we could meet up and discuss. Am still on my sketches for a commission work ad still waitig for my art materials i cargo to Nigeria so as soo as I get it, Ill be back fully to the studio. need to complete some commission before going back to the Uk.

Back to your question, the phase contemporary could be define in two category- belonging to the same time and belonging to the present time. There has been a lot of transformation to art and has been categorically place into different ism, period, and classification. it seems a lot has been done and whatever is been done now might have a bit of similarity to what has been done in the past. So whatever you do now, your medium, form or technic might have a link to what has been done in the past or of what is existing presently.

Re. My world

Hi Andrew, I will say well done through the execution of “ My Eye My World’’. I thought a lot would have been done to humanity seeing the standard obtain in my new environment and between the intervals I’ve left home. To my surprise its still same old stories but anyway a little bit of improvement on refrastructures. Sometimes am cut up in deep thought what would be the hope of our future generation. We have to keep on expressing our self, hoping someday the future will be bright. The artist and the art is a sacrifice, the level of your sacrifice and commitment determine how real you want to define your art. Compromising your passion can not be evaluated with money. To me its an inner desire reaching a satisfaction to your mind, body and soul. Enjoying what you doing and doing it at your best to achieve a desire result. Whatever you looking for as an artist, to make money or to express yourself the most important thing is the individual, pass your message across and have a means also for your survival to keep the creative prowess flowing.

Anyway in search for my concept I see myself as a photographer which end product expressed with painting on canvas. I hope to convey a strong sense of emotion with the ever changing mood and voice of my inner mind which constantly surprises and inspires me. I immerse myself in the environment observing the everyday happenstance. There is one word that qualify our people- “ contentment” without mindful of the benefit their life deserve socially, economically and politically. This deprivation or I would call it negligence has been from the unset now the slogan is “take it as you see it”. In this present technological dispensation, where our nation is outwardly know to be a giant of Africa yet inwardly we come short of the basic amenities to live. T he percentage  of those living  is  10% compare to those  existing.  we just have to keep passing the message  someday lives will be better  ad uniform for all.


Hey Bro,
Great to know you are back home. I hope you have good time here. I am fine and taking things slowly. Welcoming friends and families. What are your plans for christmas. For me, I intend to spend some time with my folks and make a short travel with my partner around Nigeria.
Before I wish you season greetings I want to get your opinion about a phases I am often buzz with when am in art forums or discuss. This Phase or words are “Contemporary Art” What makes a Art contemporary. Is it the Form, Medium, Time, The Artist etc…I often get worried with the application of this phase.
What your take. You still have back logs of answers to share with me ooo.
Anyway, take care and hope to hear from you.
Best regards

Am Back

Hello Andrew, its been a busy world for me ever since am preparing to visit Nigeria. Sorry for the break in communication, I guess you should know the expectation from family and friends after a long way from home. Presently am in the Lagos and would love we hook up someday before the dialogue ends. Anyway, Ive got my experience about my life and art to share with you for the last week before I left UK and the few days Ive been in Nigeria. Due to people visiting me am just trying to settle down and back to dialogue and my studio. so from tomorrow I,ll be fully down with my passion.

My World

How far?
Bros how is the going?
Quiet some time time. I hope all is well.
I am good only that life has been rather hectic … I have been spending my last week facilitating a photo workshop for some children titled My Eyes My World. Most of this children have escape thier families to seek refugees at the Notorious Kuramo beach. It is home for hoodlums, prostitutes etc.
For som of them even thought they are expose to various social vice they want to be there to carry on with the freedom from families they get there.
Many of these children live by the day with no hope of the future career.
The children were giving camera to document Kumaro where they live. I was keen to know how the world they live and perhaps intoduce to them photography as a way to capacity building.
At the end one of the children displayed great photography talent. He keep on telling he wants to be a photographer and he does not want to return to Kuramo. I felt so touched by this but sadly I dont have be means to provide him habour him. Do you have idea o any one or organisation that can help to take care of homeless children in Nigeria or around the world?
The works produced by the children was presented that the beach and it was quite fulfilling to see how people flocked around the works and engaging their self in various conversation concerning thier community and thinking what will be the way for may of children and inhabitants, engaging in social vices.
Just after this workshop. I had the chance hanging around some artist. There various issues talked about during this hanging out. But one that still sticked to my mind was the question of that mays a person a real artist. Is it an Artist making works for Money or the one making Art for the sake of it ?
I will like to know your take on this.
Thanks and hope to hear from you soon.

Re: art is a gesture

Hi Breda, nice definition, I quite agree with you that art is a gesture. Yes, the definition encompass all about art. Relating it to have impact on the society would be what I classified as individual tendency. That is to say the ”artist” as a person plays an important role to reach a climax in the development of his career to have a societal change. To this extent, the artist development passes through evaluating and assessment body of art to creat an impact. We are living in a world that art is define in everything we do. Thera are many artists, lot of gesture that has never or will not be noticed but to the artist he has expressed his feelings. In essence does the audience remarks  part of the artist creative prowess?

wedding party

Influence and Space

Space has somehow change the way I work relatively to size. I love to express myself in a large surface. My attitude to work has been working in an open space, having a feeling of natural light on my colours. Now am constrain to staying indoor due to the weather, space and mobilityresult toworking on diptych. I see it as an inner expression of life experience fusing ideas of when am at home and my new migrated environment. My paintings conceptualize more of my live at home and it drives me to your question on art to facilitate changes in the society. I see my art as a collective piece of mosaic, when fused together, the whole is greater than the individual. in essence the more narrowly you focus your ideas in art, its likelyyou will be successful and create a niche for changes, which I believes someway will impact on the society and inspires goodness to humanity. Take a view of some works I have done in diptych.Titus AgbaraTitus AgbaraTitus AgbaraTitus AgbaraTitus AgbaraTitus Agbara

Cheers Andrew, let me know your comment about these works. Am off for church service, will be back later at evening and show you the portaits am working on.

art is a gesture

art is a gesture, and people and their gestures can change the world, no?


Re: art for change

hi Andrew, how well are you going on your photo workshop. Art has played an important role to humanity and the society as a whole. The most important thing is that you have a message you are passing across. There are artist and whose works are subject to controversy. Jacques Lipchitz  in one of his work ”Prometheus strangling the Vulture II” 1944/1953 in justification to ‘can art change the society’ he says- ”if you desire to continue freely in your creative work, it will be necessary for you to enter the struggle and conquer the forces of darkness that are about to invade the world”. Also I’ve attached a link for you to read about the artist’s role in social change by MarkVallen.

Art for change

Bros, How far… greetinsg from Lagos. How are you doing?I hope all is kicking well with you.

I am fine and busy, busy anf crazy moments. Currently preparing for a photoworkshop for some children from the street. Iam mean to facilitate it. The essence of this project is to give the children to interpret the world through thier own vision and hopefully the result to translate into tools for communicating on right of children in Nigeria.  This project has brought to my attention the alarming rate of  children who has abadon thier homes to live thier street of the hectic city of Lagos. Venurable children. I just hope this work could bring attention of the society to this problem. 

As an Artist do you thing you can use your work to make changes  to the world?

Back to the studio

A long way from home in quest for the truth and in pursuit of my career, this is where I find myself in my little studio in Romford for now. One meter away from my bedroom in essence I utilise both space as studio. Space has a dominant tendency to influence my art-in-the-making. Unlike way back home,  now am constrain to another approach to my surface, now appears in diptych and triptych. Am back to the studio fully. I got attached to a job outside my studio practice, ever since I’ve not been a happy man, not devoting enough time for my passion, it has been a psychological battle between my-self and I taken it as a life process. I never fail to juxtapose colours even if its just an hour for that day. So happy now, am back to my paintings preparing for an exhibition tag Affordable Xmas Art Fair coming up on the 12th &13th of this month. Also will be finishing my portraiture for the up coming Royal Institute of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition. All these I’ll try to finish up before my vacation, hopefully will meet up with u soon.

Whats happening

Hi Andrew, how was your weekend, quite some time now, whats happening. Mine was splendid, meet up for a drink with IAA team and some participating artist, also had a good night out. I’ve indulge myself in shopping these period, just a little time to my work. You know whats its like to family and friends after a long period away, but have make it a point of duty to be working all night till I leave. There is this saying… ”what God has put together…” to me its ”what IAA has put together…” In essence, cant wait to meet up with you soon. I know things has changed a lot of things has happened while am away, you know how life is in Lagos or its still same old story, phew. Wondering, if I could adapt maybe after the first two weeks. Anyway, I’ll keep u posted as on my approach in painting as I work on the portraiture. Anything good just keep me posted. Cheers

Hello Titus,

How is the going? I hope all is fine with you.

I am good and having some quiet time in Ibadan after escping the madness of Lagos city.

But yesterday I enjoyed a photo show of  George Osodi, an Nigerian photographer of International reput. The show titled Drivers Dexterity was a series of various vehicle accident that he witness during a numerous travel in Nigeria. Most of this accidents leads to dead.

My life, art and motivation

Hi Andrew, good to know things are Ok back home. For my activities yesterday, I have to quit the teaching programme cos it wasnt to my favour at a long run. The Newton&Winsor Open Evening was fabuolous, having interact with their crew and various artists, I also have the opportunity to book a free VIP tour to the factory which I have to arrange a date for.

Ow! TGIF, its a busy morning with domestic work. I think its time to search for my missing rib, really not easy to find someone to compliment you. Hmm watching the fight between David Haye of England againt Valuev, while i scribe some thing on our dialogue. Guess I have to holla some friends if we are hanging out tonight… you know all work and no play makes … Yeah back to your question

Its been from childhood I see myself having the ability to draw and cherish it. In my primary level at school, during drawing class whenever my friends trace on my work to replicate theirs, its get me annoyed cos mine doesnt look original anymore.  When I was a scouter I move around going places, I do get carried away and drawn closer to anything Art. I love to revisit the place on my own and carry other friends along who have not been there.

As i advance to my secondary level , I got acquinted to practising artist, visit their artist to see their works. Personally I learn from observation. I dont talk much then cos I do stutter but grow out of it. I go back to my closet and see if I could replicate what I’ve observed, then comes out with my own method differs from what I’ve seen.

After my secondary level i began to read art magazines to see what artist around the world are doing. I’ve dream of becoming an international artist that someday people can also read about my art and life to share with the world, which I believe may in someway impact on society as a whole and inspired goodness in humanity.

I drawn inspiration from Monet an impressionist painter, I love his work. I started subscribing and taken part in the International Artist magazine bimonthly competition. It’s not easy to get in

In the case of my study to take a career as an artist, its not easy as familysentiment came in as i told you, but now am fulfilled in the pursuit of my passion. At school I party hard and study harder. I love the experience, sometime I reminisce friends I’ve missed. Being qualified as an artist, I began to practice my art full time since 2001 after my NYSC. With consistency its obvious am going to make a living on art and my presence has been an inspiration and motivation to other artist. But I have a dream not for my selfish interest, its all about liberating life through art.

I travel alot in search for my concept and by so doing interact with the people I met along the way. It drives me creatively, thinking of what to do to the visual world which am incubating an idea I refer to as ”audio-visual”

Migrating to the Uk, leaving home where you’ve spent half of a life-span, you’ll know there are challenges you ought to face in your new environment, this will stand as a taste of time for dreamto come through. Migrating could be economical, political or social reasons. Nigeria is a developing country and has all it takes to foster it development to the peak. Sometimes I wonder if am the only one hear to see how democratically things should be done. Life over there is OYO (on your own) people are living in contemptment to comport themselves, the line between the rich and the poor is widely drawn, opportunity in any form either good or bad becomes a watchword. Who cares … When I remember home sweet home, my heart beat trippled, my body covered with goose pimples, is there any solution, there’s going to be a revolution. Anyway, its all good there is no place like home, we got alot to do through our art. People migrate for reasons, looking for better things in life. I’ve never thought I’ll be here today taken part in this project. i just do what i can and leave the rest to God. Practicing in the Uk has never been easy, its like am starting all over again trying to find a bearing for my art. Life is a gradual process, nurture your dreams cos they can come true someday…

Andrew, more to talk about, hmmm…  but its time to go out, TGIF

Re: What makes a good art

Yo Bro Titus,

How is the going? I hope all is fine over there in Uk.

Here things are Ok. The Musilim festivals are going on. Do we have public holiday. Am currently in Ibadan. The town where I living appartment is but I work most time from Lagos.

Am still expecting your answers to my last questions.

Also, am  still pondering over your comment on “what makes a good art”.

I find this a vary subjective or complicated question from the point of me as a Phoographer/ Artist. Like you said a piece or body work maybe be well accepted by some people while it may not be by some others.

 So what should an artist put into consideration? Is it to do a works to meet cetain people in mind? Or trying to do works to meet the everybody?

 I think in my the latter is almost unrealistic.

 As for me I try to do works that am  inspired with and  enjoy the freedom or experience from it.

Then,  looking for those that will accept it come next.

However, I know there is always  a place for any  form of art creation.

So, I think it is best to for any artist to be be true to his or her self  when engaging in art practises.

I have often find works created out of sincerity make more impacts.

 Well, that is that for now. I have too do sort  out some issues and will get back to you shortly.


Busy world

Hi Andrew, whats going on with you. Hmmm! my yesterday was just occupied by nothing, couldnt figure out what I actually accomplished for the day, but it just passed away. Couldnt dialogue, couldnt finish up with my sketch, sometimes I wish its 48hours a day. Time flies, but it is not time that flies its we that are flying. Before u know the day is over, sometime I feel I could be in my own island and leave all the worries behind. Anyway, its been a cluster of so many things to do and limited time to execute them, one just have to schedule his time.

Today I’ll be out to register for a teaching programme, afterwhich will be heading to the Winsor & Newton Open Evening. The evening will be an informal gathering of like minded artists. Along with other artists; their technicians, chemists and product managers who are responsible for developing new products will be on hand to answer any questions you may have and listen to your suggests and ideas.

Enjoy the rest of the day…

Night night

Man its late, I gotta go to bed, not too fulfilled with my studio work today so to be continue tomorrow. By the break of the day I’ll repond to ur question on my career, motivation and migration. Besides, when is the Calabar carnival coming up.

Sleep tight and good night brov.

What makes a good Art

There is these sayings ”beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”, likewise one man’s meat is another man’s poison. Categorically, its hard to define a bad painting. There is no bad art. Academicaly, an art is being judge by its principles and elements. The artist advance to a phase in life where he has freedom of expression and has knowledgeable acceptance to his theorem to carry his audience along.

That brings me to when I began to take part in art competition in Uk. My first attempt was the Royal Academy of Art Summer Exhibition in 2008, the painting I submitted was rejected. I took it to a gallery still it was turn down. this was the work I told u about having composition of kids in the store room titled INQUISITIVE MINDS. I wasnt happy cos I didnt get into the exhibition. Anyway, its not the end of life, more to come…  I submitted same work for the ROI Exhibition at the mall gallery, yupee!!! it was selected for the award,Winsor & Newton young artist finalist 2008. Thats the reason i started with the sayings in the begining.

You are whom you are, when you quest for the truth consciously or unconsciously done
Inquisitive Minds_90x 60cm..jpg

re: Untitled

Yeah, The idiagbon military was really a time when Nigerian where becoming  discipline. But the military that over threw them did not make this continue. For me , the fall of  Idiagbon regime has been one of the fall of Nigeria as the “Giant of Africa”.

Today, I am still struggling to have my PC. If this is not sorted out. I just have to leave it and go on with other stuff I need do. Like taking photos . etc.

Re: Mood

Thanks for the mail. In Lagos,  it is sunshine and harmmatarn. This is great for my spirit even though things seems not to be great technically. While I was try to edit some photo yesterday , my Mac  Book  Pro screen stopped to display. This affected my photo editing work  for yesterday.

Anyway, I still had the chance to hang around with some friends who are traveling to Brazil for the Xmas holiday.

I will be off  to Calabar for a commission to document the annual calabar carnival.

Hope it will be fine. I will try and post your some photos as soon as my computer is sorted out.


-Yeah Andrew, things have changed, unlike years back, now there is enlightenment and awareness about art generally but still there is much to be done in the art scene. the economical status of Nigeria is great and enormous, but the impact is not felt. There is what I called ” narrow stream of resources” that is not evenly disposed and checked. This  disposition result to migration both internal and external. The solution is…  whats our impact towards her tansformation

Now am here (UK)… in the equilibrium, checkmating between when I was there and while am here. its not the end but what legacy will u leave behind.

Good, we are artist, this has ever been my passion from birth. Refering to your message on Re:on Photography- u said the image to appeal and communicate to the viewer. Also you said about ”discipline”, that reminds me of the Idiagbon regime, then I was a scouter (Boys Scout), how I wish we (Nigerian) still operate in such strength as of then. Anyway, we have a lot of message to deliver through our practice.

Back to my studio, I’ve finally decide to start a portrait of an old man I met at Hallstead in Essex where I went for a birthday party. I want to submit it for the Royal Society of Portrait Artist Annual Exhibition coming up next year at the Mall gallery London. So, till i hear from u…

Re: I’ll be Back

How was the meeting with your friend? I wish you the best with the exhibition. Am sorry internet challenges makes it difficult to keep constantly in touch through the internet. It is even difficult to give you a time to reach me on internet. As I am often on the road. I am trying to get a kind of mobile internet. Maybe this could help me regulating times to be online. For now , please bear with my delay or my slow internet communication frequency.
Please can you let me know how and when you started your art career> Can you let me know what motivate your migration from Naija (Nigeria) to Jand ( United Kingdom?

on A long way from Home

Sure I would like to share it with you. Perhaps sharing some works I have tried to create in that … Oops I have to run now cos the opener of this PC needs to use it as my own go broken. I suspect, due to erratic electricity supply top my computer. I will try and fix it tomorrow and will start talking well with you.
Cheers, Andrew

on Photography

A good photography is quite a big question and subjective. For me I think a good photography is for the image to appeal and communicate to the viewer. I think this make take the eye, sense of imagination and discipline.
How are about you. What make a good art painter?

on Smiling

Man, you are lucky to have that opportunity. Anyway, am happy that this will not be the case for my coming generation as my life as an artist has change the perception of my folks towards art. Now and often some members of my families and friends tell me that they want to be a photographer. Andrew


Hello Andrew, hope you’re alright? Thank God for another day. Though its not a bright weather and its tends to affect me psychologically, even when I reminisce during rainy season in Nigeria am not that comfortable with my activities then, not to talk of the winter, I have to work on my mood as it reflect the environment. I woke up this morning, thought about our chat for yesterday, really enjoyed the dialogue and was excited how realistic the purpose of the dialogue has come to play, with all enthusiasm waiting to get acquinted. The day wasn’t going as planned couple with a lot of things on my mind to do cos I really wanted to start a portrait painting but the image to use hasnt been re-sent by the client. I have to indulge in domestic work, which took must of my time in the morning. Yeah, its suppose to be done during the weekend but we had a family visitors in our house for the weekend. It was lively, to have a full house, three kids and a grandma, you know what kids are like… during playing they might be distructive but its a learning process. I love kids and I learn alot from them. That brings me to a painting I did ”INQUISITIVE MINDS”, was as a result of my interaction with the kids when I first pay them a visit. The composition was taken from their store room. I find it quite interesting cos it also a play ground for the kids. I’ll  attach it later up here so u can see it

Anyway, love to know about ur practice as a photographer. Enjoy the rest of the day

I’ll be back

Hello Andrew, have been steering on my screen, having some nibble, scribling reply to some messages, while I waiting for your respond. It would be interesting having regulate and frequent feed back from time to time. How is it like in Nigeria with the internet, I could remember when I was in Nigeria, seldomly do I surf the net, now it has been part of me, as a means of information and out-reach. For now am back again happy to be in my studio fully after a busy and hustling life which is out from my passion. I would prefer u let me know when you normally available online so we can have a stretch-continous conversation which could be much more interesed and fulfilling as we go along to get acquinted to our self activities and inspirations. Anyway, for now am out to visit a friend to pick up some paintings from him for a two day exhibition coming up next month in North London. I’ll be online when am back. Cheers brov… keep the good works

Long way from home

Good to know of your trip to Bamako, nice weather am missing especially towards the end of the year when its winter here in UK. Funny enough the sun is up after the rain, its unpredictable, what am scared about is the cold during winter. My first experience was …phew! God is great, so many differences in diferent location in time and seasons. Anyway, to me its been a long way from home, and am happy to find a like mind (a photographer) to share with cos I find interest in expressing myself from where I came. Your current practice from the country culture, natural heritage and portraits of urban life and social issues would be of inspiration to me and I would like from time to time to view ur images on photography


Feel free to ask anything you want to know, so i can lucidly explain.  I guess we have same artistic flair for photography, cos when I was in Nigeria, I love travelling in search for concept and composition for my paintings. I do make sketches and also have good shots I transformed into my painting  on canvas but havnt taken it an extra-lenght to photography. What does it requires for a good photography


Andrewwww! Esieboooooo!! where are uuuuuuuuu!!!, i can see you smiling, still holding up to the sculptural piece, get your hands on the keyboard… am waiting lol. am just having my breakfast in my mini studio, where Breda and I have a chart when she visited me in 2008. Anyway, am about to send this to you before i click on the IAA site and saw your message, good you’ve left the scultural piece lol…
Hmmm, good to know u have an interest for painting, likewise I expereience that family presure of becoming an artist (Painter), then there wasnt any enlightenment about the art and not a profession that can sustain or generate income for a family. Then we had a family friend that was doing well as an artist (Painter) so my dad was convinced that one can raise a family as a Painter.


Apart from the brief intro of my self.
Am happy to tell you that it is sunshine here!!! Even though things could rather erratic in terms infrastructure. The weather is a good source energy, warmest and inspiration. Basically now business , trying to catch up with back log of assignment due to my trip abroad to participate in the African Photography Encounter in Bamako.

in Lagos

Titus How are you? I am fine in Lagos and kicking well with things? Firstly on this dialogue, I would like you to introduction of you and your practice?

I was born in Lagos September 6, 1978. From my childhood I have loved arts. I expressed this passion through drawings, sketched with the dream of becoming a painter etc. This dream was halted as my family to study to becoming a business professional. After escaping my family and living independent, I was able to go back to my art through photography.

I began taking photographs in 2009 after getting my first camera as a gift. At this time I was keen about things documenting things around y country culture and natural heritage. Currently I have been drawn toward portraits of urban life and social issues such sexuality etc.

Hello from Romford

Hello everyone, greetings from Titus in Romford… OMG, very excited to be part of this project,  a start on a rainy day which is a justification of a fruitfull exploration of creative talent to be harvested in due time. Much appreciation to IAA crew. And to Andrew Esiebo, waiting to hear from you after a long way from home…


Welcome to imagine art after! Andrew, Titus, where are you now? What are you up to?