Roadside Art: 9 Spectacular Sculptures in Lagos

Explore the beauty of Africa's largest city through a collaboration between Terra Kulture and the Lagos State Government.

Community (2018) by BAP ProductionsOriginal Source: Terra Kulture

No. 1: 'Community' by Abolore Sobayo

Located at IleZik Agege expressway Ikeja in Lagos, the artist has created the sculpture to showcase the beauty of Lagos. It celebrates that Lagos at 50 is a united state, standing together, proud, with roots deeply embedded in the rivers of accord that the boats sail on. This sculpture represents the unity of community in Lagos, because it is in the shelter of each other that people live, survive and grow.

The world may be a global village, but Lagos is a community. Coming together is a beginning, but a community working together is the real success and Lagos is the pace-setter state for communal success. Many who do not understand Lagos or have yet to experience Lagos see it as simply another state, but true Lagosians know that Lagos is first a community, a communal city on water.

The core occupation of the first settlers of Lagos was fishing and this informed the use of canoes to represent each Local Government within Lagos State. Community is made up of fifty seven (57) canoes, depicting the twenty (20) LGs and thirty seven (37) LCDAs with their maps carefully designed on individual canoes.

The beauty of Lagos is in its level of accommodation of people from the many cultures and backgrounds, hence, the intentional clustered arrangement of canoes. The upright positioning of the canoes was inspired by the skyline of Lagos as a city and a successful metropolis. Asides being an art installation, it also acts as archival material documenting the map of Lagos.

Liberation (2018) by BAP ProductionsOriginal Source: Terra Kulture

No. 2: 'Liberation' by Abolore Sobayo

Located at Allen Roundabout Ikeja in Lagos, the sculpture depicts the iconic pose of Afrobeat icon Fela Kuti. The sculpture salutes every Lagosian who has at one time or the other, fought for liberation. The sculpture is a celebration of Lagos and recognises the struggle of its citizens. The artist chose to leave the statue headless for people to identify with the positivity in the message of Fela’s music. 

Freedom is never given or offered, it is always won through hard work. When that freedom is won, some like to term it independence, but we in Lagos choose to term it 'Liberation'. This striking pose of the iconic Fela Anikulapo-Kuti who once walked these very streets of Lagos is a physical representation of the true essence of a legend who led a struggle for the emancipation of his people.

From Ebute (2018) by BAP ProductionsOriginal Source: Terra Kulture

No. 3: 'From Ebute' by Ade Odunfa

Located at the Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way in Lagos, this 30 feet tall installation of our indigenous life size wooden canoes is made in fibre glass. It depicts Lagos State water ways, life style, the cultures and coastline traditions.

Lagos is an open canvas for the creative minds, and the canoes will always be there in our heart to keep bringing in the creative ones.

Waka - The Big Foot (2018) by BAP ProductionsOriginal Source: Terra Kulture

No. 4: 'Waka - the Big Foot' by Hamza Atta

Located at Ojodu Berger in Lagos, the message behind the 'Big Foot' sculpture is to tell youth to put their best foot forward and to remind them that every journey starts with a first step.

Virtues of Life (2018) by BAP ProductionsOriginal Source: Terra Kulture

No. 5: 'Virtues of Life' by Segun Aiyesan

Located at Marwa Lekki in Lagos, the sculpture 'Virtues of Life' aims to define the values that separate us from the instinct driven animal life, and constitute the qualities that make us true gods of the earth.

Through the gods we find fulfilment, meaning and self-actualisation.With this, we are able to forge unity, peace and empathy, as we journey towards the place of divine destiny.

Nerve Centre (2018) by BAP ProductionsOriginal Source: Terra Kulture

No. 6: 'Nerve Centre' by By Gerald Chukwuma

Located at Maryland Bustop in Lagos, the sculpture of fifty figures depict the vast population in Lagos state. It also embraces and accommodates the largest and most diverse socio-cultural populace in Nigeria. The human figures are placed at the top of the entire monument because the leadership of Lagos puts the people first.

The five concrete abstract columns sits on five concrete square slabs. Fifty fiberglass figures stand in tens on each of the columns. Each of the concrete pillars represents ten years of the official existence of Lagos all together making up fifty.

The solid concrete base signifies the solid leadership in Lagos state. These bases support the pillars and the people on them as the government of Lagos state supports the state and its people.

MegaPipe (2018) by BAP ProductionsOriginal Source: Terra Kulture

No. 7: 'MegaPipe' by Tayo Olayode and Terfa Adingi

Located at Marina CMS in Lagos, the 'MegaPipe' was commissioned by the Lagos state government in celebration of its 50th year anniversary in 2017. Installed on the tail end of Marina, it is an interesting mash-up of art and engineering, providing serenity within the busy central business district of Lagos.

Among all the places and parks in Lagos, Nigeria, the 'MegaPipe park' is fascinating. It features a thirty feet gigantic acoustic structure made of galvanized stainless steel and metal sheets. The most interesting thing about the structure is that there is an added functional instrument, which sounds when a sturdy flow of breeze passes through the pipes, producing a variety of harmonious melodies best enjoyed when situated under the core of the structure.

Youth Empowerment (2018) by BAP ProductionsOriginal Source: Terra Kulture

No. 8: 'Youth Empowerment' by Umeh Bede

Located at Sabo Yaba in Lagos, the sculpture is composed of books arranged in a disjointed pyramid with figures sitting or standing on them. The idea was to create awareness to the public about the benefits of education and how it will eradicate social voices from society. 

The name of the sculpture speaks to the process where young people are encouraged to take charge of their lives. The artist Umeh Bede wanted to encourage them to address their current situation and take action in order to improve their access to resources and transform their consciousness through their beliefs, values, and attitudes.

Youth empowerment can be achieved through participation in youth empowerment programs and ultimately aims to improve quality of life.

EkoTree (2018) by BAP ProductionsOriginal Source: Terra Kulture

No. 9: 'The Eko Tree' by Tayo Olayode and Terfa Agindi

Located at Lagos House Governor's office Alausa Ikeja in Lagos, the sculpture was created to promote art and culture in the state. The artist was traditionally trained as a painter, and this is his first sculpture. 

Olayode, the artist said the work took him three months and two weeks to complete; with the help of 40 people. “People think this thing was done by me alone. I conceived the idea, I supervise it but those that worked with me are those who should really take the credit because I had a fantastic team.”

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