Lucy Azubuike

Lucy Azubuike
Lucy Azubuike, Wear and Tear Series, 2011

Taken from the Wear & Tear series Lucy Azubuike’s collages are inspired by her observations of the changing colours and compositions of advertising hoardings in Nigeria. “Posters pasted in every nook and cranny of our roads and streets often metamorphose into something else through the blend of wear and tear by humans and the effect of weather. The resultant effect is often a magnificent painting, caricature, or abstract form of colour and imagery.”1

In the Wear & Tear series Azubiuke uses found posters, pages from magazines and paint. Mirroring the processes the posters undergo, her works are left in turn to bake in the sun, and soak in the rain. Interested in employing and revealing the creative potential of chance occurrences, Azubuike was a student of El Anatsui’s. She continues his assertion that “it’s possible to get colour from around you”,2 but she chooses for her palette the material evidence of increasing commercialisation, the cheap and prevalent images of advertising.

Manipulating these materials and subjecting them to processes of chance, Azubuike’s collages evoke rich and varied visual associations, camouflage, peeling skin, a blazing sun. As Azubuike asks, “its not just a matter of seeing these things, but asking where do these images lead you to?”3

1Lucy Azubuike in an email to the author 11 April 2012
2El Anatsui as quoted in Asi, David Krut Publishing in association with October Gallery, 2006
3Lucy Azubuike in an email to the author 11 April 2012


Born in 1972 in Nigeria. She now lives and works in Atlanta, USA. She studied at the University of Nigeria obtaining a BA in Fine and Applied Arts in 1999. She subsequently studied photographer under Professor El Anatsui.

Recent shows include 32nd International Expo, New York, USA 2010;  Like A Virgin at the Center for Contemporary Art (CCA), Lagos, Nigeria 2009; Lagos-Paris photography project, France 2009; Invisible Boaders at Rencontres Africaines de la Photographie Bamako, Mali 2009; Multipist project in South Africa 2008/9.

Works in show

Wear and Tear Series, 2011
Paper, gouache on canvas
Photo courtesy of the artist


Martin Barlow, curator of the exhibition Moving Into Space at the National Football Museum talks about the exhibition.

Barthélémy Toguo, Lucy Azubuike and Nnenna Okore, three of the exhibited artists, talk about their work and their interest in using materials which reflect the lifestyle and experience of the people of West Africa.

Twitter (#wefaceforward)

Creative Tourist


Street life, dazzling dress, social commentary and a riot of sensuous colour interweave in a rich assembly of West African art, writes Charles Gore in the Times Higher Education

Nine countries show off their talent as five city venues link up for a summer celebration. Helen Nugent in the Guardian