The main character of this building is derived from the city of Lagos. Lagos has a harsh, forceful, yet conflicted presence that leaves a mark on anyone who comes in contact with the city. There are many places in Lagos that are very clean, but unkempt. Some roads are smooth and well-maintained, while others are barely passable. The ultra-rich and the extremely poor coexist in Lagos. It is a city of extremes. As an interpretation of Lagos, the outer area is white. It is bright, pristine, and immaculate. While you explore the space, you will encounter dynamic colours and materials that have been used to evoke the feeling of being in a space that is Nigerian.
The drastic change from white to terra cotta mimics the characteristic recklessness of Lagos, but facilitates a transition into a different world. Abeokuta, a Yoruba city in Ogun state, is known for its many monumental rocks. Its name literally means “under the rock”. Nigeria is still influenced by its colonial past, and this is acknowledged in the minimalism of the space and the oneness of the colour of the floor, ceiling, and walls. However, Modé questions the need to replicate the typical white space that is used in galleries in the West. She believes that the white space creates distance, and prefers for art to be an intimate experience between the viewer and the work. To achieve this experience, she has created an environment that evokes the earthy feeling of Abeokuta. The terra cotta colour brings warmth to the space and the rough texture of the walls makes one feel they are in fact “under the rock”.
In its spontaneity, the indigo room is another reminder of Lagos. The room abruptly creates balance. Coming from a warm terra cotta environment into a cool blue zone brings calmness to the eye. The counterbalancing of cool and warm is Modé’s way of expressing the neutrality that is usually achieved using white walls.
The exit is through the store. We return to the ‘normal’ white space. Here you can reflect on your experience and purchase something to take with you. Available are: prints, accessories, and other items created from some of the original art displayed in the gallery space.