OCTOBER 2024 EXHIBITION: Waves of Change: From Aureol to Modern Britain

Curated by Assoc. Prof. Louisa Egbunike, Waves of Change: From Aureol to Modern Britain explores the artistic journey of Nigerian artists in the UK from the mid-20th century to today. Anchored by the symbolic MV Aureol, which brought many West Africans to Britain, the exhibition highlights the rich interplay of identity, migration, and cultural integration.

The exhibition examines how these artists navigate their dual heritage, addressing Britain’s troubled historical ties with Nigeria—namely slavery and colonialism —while also documenting their lives in Britain. Their works also engage with significant Nigerian events like the Nigeria-Biafra war and the challenges of military rule, alongside celebrating the country’s diverse cultures and landscapes.

Featuring a range of media, from painting and sculpture to mixed media and installations, these pieces reflect personal and collective experiences, offering insight into the artists’ lives as they negotiate their identities. Waves of Change underscores art’s role in social commentary and change. The exhibition invites reflection on the dialogues between past and present and across cultures.

Celebrating the resilience and creativity of Nigerian artists in the UK, Waves of Change: From Aureol to Modern Britain offers a unique perspective on the intersection of Nigerian and British cultures. It’s a testament to the enduring power of art to transcend boundaries and connect us all.

The exhibition will showcase artworks by NASUK members alongside paintings and prints by Uzo Egonu, who began his art career in the UK during the mid-1940s.