The Junkyard Lagos: Nigeria’s Sustainable Artists’ Retreat

The Junkyard Lagos: Nigeria’s Sustainable Artists’ Retreat
Ling Tang / © Culture Trip
The Junkyard Lagos Headquarters is a first-of-its-kind eco artists’ retreat. Located on the east coast of Lagos where the cooling breeze of the sea, natural environment, serene atmosphere and evergreen mangrove landscape make it a unique location, it’s a source of inspiration for many – here’s why.

Nestled on the beachside close to Alpha and Lafiaji beaches in Lekki, the naturally formed peninsula east of Lagos, The Junkyard Lagos Headquarters is a new creative space spread across the area the size of a football field. Formally opened in November during the Lagos Biennial, the space was created by Dilomprizulike, the self-styled “Junkman From Africa”. A popular international artist, he’s best known for working with rubbish (including plastic bags), and turning it into beautiful pieces depicting African culture.

Ling Tang / © Culture Trip 

In this exotic tropical retreat, Dilomprizulike wants people to slow things down, take their shoes off, feel the temperature and texture of the earth, all the while exploring their creativity. He explains that connecting with the ground in this way allows “an interdisciplinary approach to art and its relationship with the natural world”. He also hopes the retreat will inspire “story-telling and poetry from which African art has become separated”. Throughout the year, there’s a programme featuring art across disciplines, focusing on nature, the environment and sustainability. The intention is to create art in a space dedicated to providing quiet time in one of Africa’s most populous and bustling cities.

The project stems from a 25-year vision committed to reviving the Nigerian art scene and the role of artists in helping nation-building. Dilomprizulike says he’s committed to “resuscitating artists and restoration of the Nigerian art scene”.

The Nigerian government does arguably little to support emerging artists, meaning that many people are left to find their own way in the art world. The Junkyard is their place, and is now in the process of developing a public programme to bring artists and Lekki locals together through public workshops, seminars, international exchange and exhibitions.

Ling Tang / © Culture Trip 

To get there, it takes just over an hour-and-a-half by car (traffic dependent) from Murtala Mohammad International Airport. Living quarters are in re-purposed and newly built buildings. There are also communal areas for breakfast and dinner nestled within the mangroves, again emphasising nature within a relaxed and informal environment.

And as the only creative space in Lagos that centres on exploring creativity, nature and environmental issues, it provides visitors with serenity away from a bustling city of more than 21 million people. Art, plants, and eco-buildings made from re-purposed materials are all used in this stunning space which hopes to reconnect people to nature while being mindful of climate and environmental issues.

There are also plans for a dedicated gallery offering affordably priced art made on-site by local and international artists. Art done by the man himself – Dilomprizulike – will also be on display.

The Junkyard Lagos Headquarters is located at Junkmania, Beach Side Road, between Alpha Beach and Lafiaji Via Orchid Hotel Road, Chevron area, Lekki. Opening hours are from 11am–5pm daily and booking a visit in advance is recommended.