West Africa

Show Me The World Mister: Ayo Akingbade’s Film Exhibition at John Hansard Gallery 

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Show Me The World Mister, an exhibition by Ayo Akingbade which features the films The Fist and Faluyi, is on view at the John Hansard Gallery. Shot in Nigeria, both films explore her interest in history, placemaking, legacy, and power.

Ayo Akingbade is an artist, writer and director based in London. She works predominantly with film and installation addressing themes of power, urban space and stance. Akingbade engages with the fluid boundaries between the self and the other by gathering local and cultural experiences in intimate and playful interpretations. Her work has been shown at the Whitechapel Gallery, London; ICA, London and Towner Gallery, Eastbourne. Her recent screenings include; New Directors/New Films; MoMA and Directors’ Fortnight; Cannes Film Festival.

Faluyi, 2022.
Image courtesy of the artist

Her film, The Fist,  studies the first Guinness brewery established outside of the UK and Ireland, located on the outskirts of Lagos. Completed in 1962 after Nigeria’s independence from Britain, the brewery is a place where histories of industrialisation and labour collide. The film, which was shot with a 35mm camera, follows workers managing the assembly and packing lines, while drawing attention to the deep-rooted politics distilled within Guinness’ production. 

Faluyi, the second film, follows protagonist Ife on a journey through familial tradition and mysticism. The film, which was shot on 16mm film in the Idanre Hills, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Ondo State and the birthplace of Akingbade’s parents, explores the artist’s personal relationship with Nigeria. This touching story of love and loss, hope and celebration is set against panoramic views of hills and forests. 

Akingbade’s 2018 piece, A is for Artist, will also also be shown at John Hansard Gallery. The short film follows the narrative of a young woman who assembles photographs from her family archive to support the pursuit of being an artist. It was shot in London, which is a dramatic contrast to the setting of The Fist and Faluyi. The exhibition is accompanied by a series of prints that references the artist’s broad interest in portraiture and printmaking. 

 ‘Show Me The World Mister’, Akingbade’s first major solo institutional exhibition, opened at Chisenhale Gallery in November 2022 and is touring until 2024. The works will be shown at Spike Island, Bristol, and BALTIC, and the Centre for Contemporary Art. 

The exhibition ‘Show Me The World Mister’ opened on 3 June 2023 at the John Hansard Gallery, and it will be on view till 9 September 2023. 


Iyanuoluwa Adenle is a graduate of Linguistics and African Languages from Obafemi Awolowo University. She is a creative writer and art enthusiast with publications in several journals. She is a writer at Art News Africa.

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