MH Sarkis contacted me on instagram about her art exhibition which held at the Quintessence art shop and I thought why not? Unravel the art shop and see an exhibition at the same time. Sounded like a great deal to me.
MH Sarkis is a Lebanese artist who grew up in Lagos and has shown her work in different art galleries; from the royal college of arts in England to Breindenbach studios in Germany. For this particular exhibition, she concentrated on the human form. You can check out some of her work here or follow her on instagram.
Don’t know much about criticizing art, but to my untrained eyes, I think she did pretty well.
Now to the shop itself, Quintessence is an art gallery that has existed for 40 years. Starting from humble beginnings at Falomo in 1973 by a Swedish Lady Mrs Aino Oni-Okpaku (she married a Nigerian man), Quintessence aims to promote African arts & crafts by creating an enabling environment for them.
It is said to be the first private company to organise a Nigerian arts & crafts exhibition in Nigeria and they have organised a few abroad eg Sweden, England, Germany etc. Infact it proudly boasts that The Nike Art Gallery supplies them.
When I got there, I was welcomed with suya and juice. I don’t know if this was courtesy of the art exhibition going on, or if its normal practice but I loved it. Suya should be Nigeria’s national snack.
When I got to quintessence, The first thing I noticed was that it is small but packed. There was something in literally every nook and cranny. From books to sculptures, everything was there. I’m not sure if I liked that everything was everywhere but I suppose it works for them.
One can tell that the shop is truly about everything African, even down to the foot mats. The staff are friendly and they’re even sofas there where one can sit and just admire the various works around or read a book. There’s also a little coffee shop in the store so you can grab a quick bite to eat and make use of their wifi. Unfortunately I didn’t get to try it out but I’m sure the food is decent.
Sometimes, all you need on a good weekend is a place brimming with quirky objects that you can just chill in and have a good conversation and this is it.
So if you’re looking for a place that has an exclusive and wide range of authentic arts, crafts, textiles and furnishing, you should definitely visit them. This also works for people always looking for unique gifts to give to people from their travels or adventures.
Random but useful info
1. Parking is available.
2. They open Mon – Sat, 9.00am – 6pm
3. Kids are welcome. Of course they have to be careful not to break or damage anything.
4. This goes without saying, but there’s no time limit on how long you can stay.
5. Please don’t play or fiddle with artwork.
6. As an artist, you can definitely get in touch with them about showcasing your work or them selling it for you.
7. No payment required for entry.
Park View Estate Entrance, Off Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. Ikoyi , Lagos
Tel – +23418706371
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org