Hogan Lovells, Lagos Court of Arbitration, host Prof. Bruce Onobrakpeya’s “Harmattan workshop”

Lagos, Nigeria, 20 September 2016: Global law firm Hogan Lovells hosted an art exhibition last week Thursday to showcase the artwork of one of Africa’s most respected artists, Professor Bruce Onobrakpeya, in association with the Lagos Court of Arbitration (LCA).

Onobrakpeya pioneered the famous modern art movement, Zaria Rebels, alongside Yusuf Grillo, Demas Nwoko and Uche Okeke.  He is also a master at creating art techniques, which showcases Nigeria’s rich culture and heritage. 

The exhibition, themed “Harmattan Workshop” was held at the Lagos Court of Arbitration following a press briefing with Hogan Lovells Africa team including their head of Africa, Andrew Skipper, the President of the Lagos Court of Arbitration, Yemi Candide-Johnson, Professor Bruce Onobrakpeya, and the curator of the exhibition, Sandra Obiago.  

Hogan Lovells, having been active in Africa for decades and a keen supporter of African art and culture, sponsored the exhibition which runs until Dec 15 2016. 

Commenting on the global firm’s interest in Nigerian Art, Head of the Africa practice Hogan Lovells and Board member of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Andrew Skipper said: “Hogan Lovells has great respect for Africa and the Art of Africa. We support African culture for its uniqueness, beauty, and transformational quality. Professor Bruce is an inspiring artist and teacher whose works we are in awe of and who is changing the lives of the disempowered people across Nigeria who he trains.”

Skipper further noted: “Nigeria is one of the key markets we operate in and when you understand the culture of people it is easier to do business with them.”

The Harmattan workshop was birthed in 1988 by Onobrakpeya when he decided to launch an informal training initiative for artists. 

According to Onobrakpeya, “The Harmattan workshop is an alternative source of art education. The artists have the freedom to express themselves without being bogged down by academic settings or expectations and are actually able to develop themselves. People in the rural areas also get access to learning that they would not normally have, and we are discovering people who are able to use their art to tell stories.”

During the press conference, there were several discussions about the potential importance of Art to the Nigerian economy as an alternative source of income, as well as the need for more corporate entities to invest in Art and Culture by supporting informal education centers and developing art in Nigeria.

The President of the Lagos Court of Arbitration, Yemi Candide-Johnson expressed the Lagos Court of Arbitration’s willingness to continue supporting Art & Culture in Nigeria, noting that the LCA opens its doors to art lovers to showcase art work, while challenging other corporates to do same. 

Commending Hogan Lovells sponsorship of the initiative, he said “Sponsorships like this shouldn’t be a one time initiative. It is important to find sponsors who are in it for the long term and Hogan Lovells is filling a huge vacuum in this regard by lending their support to this initiative.” 

Skipper reiterated Hogan Lovells commitment to investing in Nigeria despite the current economic challenges, “Hogan Lovells has a global view. We look at things in the long term and we know that Africa will be strong so it is critical for us to be here. Nigeria is a country where you simply cannot Not be in, and we are here for the long term”. 

The Harmattan workshop exhibition showcased 34 important artworks, highlighting Onobrakpeya’s artistic career spanning over 50 years, along with over 200 paintings, sculptures, ceramics and mixed media work created by 124 Nigerian and International artists who have attended the Harmattan workshops in Agbarah-Ottor, Delta State since 1998. 

PR Contact:

Rachael Droog


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