Contemporary African Art Exhibition Series


 “Depending on one’s location and awareness, Nigeria is either exalted or damned. This location is both geographic and societal. Despite any situation however, we have a great sense of communion. Coming together to share in happiness or sadness is a way of life that is taken for granted. My work mimics this communion.

I employ objects which have been discarded such as pages of magazines, fabric off-cuts, straws and bottle-tops. In the case of the pages of magazines, I roll them up into capsules, a technique I learnt in Uganda. There could be different layers of interpretation to these capsules but suffice it to state that, like drug capsules, these word capsules could heal or destroy depending on their administration. The fabric off-cuts which I pick up from the dumps of tailors represent pieces of choices we make which are a part of us. I use the discarded objects to “heal” a defaced support, representing our country.

The non-representational nature of my work allows the viewer to engage closely with the medium, thereby bringing a fresh and most likely, respectful attention to a once discarded object. My titles are sometimes inspired by African musicians, particularly songs sung by them which transport me to dreamland.”

Jacob Jari was born April 19, 1960 in Kabwir, Plateau State, Nigeria. He was trained at the Department of Fine Arts, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and holds master's degrees in Art History and Painting. He has since been teaching at his alma mater. Jacob has participated in many exhibitions and workshops at home and abroad. His current interest in art relates to reclaiming rejects and empowering them.


Nigeria Visual Arts World Tour, Palace of Arts, Cairo, Egypt   2010
Artists Without Borders, Triangle Arts Trust Exhibition, Kuona Trust Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya   2009
Naija, an Exhibition of Contemporary Nigerian Art, Dakar, Senegal   2009
Berlin Carnival Cultures, Exhibition by National Gallery of Art, Nigeria in Berlin, Germany   2008
Accident and Design: Gani Odutokun and His Influence, Brunei Gallery, London, England   2000
Group Exhibition, National Museum, Nairobi, Kenya   2000
Seven Stories about Modern Art in Africa, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London   1995
Contemporary Nigerian Art, World Intellectual Property Organization Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland   1995


Braziers International Artists Workshop, Braziers Park, Oxfordshire, England, UK   2007
Art Residency, Phoenix Arts Studios, Brighton, England   2007
Aftershave International Artists Workshop, Maraba Pottery, Maraban-Jos, Kaduna, Nigeria   2003
Khoj International Artists Workshop, Mysore, India   2002
Wasanii International Artists Workshop, Naivasha, Kenya   2000
Aftershave International Artists Workshop, MOTNA, Jos, Nigeria   1999
The Shave International Artists Workshop, Nettlecombe, Somerset, UK   1997


Sabbatical Appointment, Department of Fine Arts, University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri   2010
Professor, Department of Fine Arts, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria   2008-date
Co-curator, Accident and Design: Gani Odutokun and His Influence, Brunei Gallery, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London   2000
Lecturer, Department of Fine Arts, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria   1989-date
Coordinator, Aftershave International Artists Workshop:   1998-2010


Triangle Arts Trust African/Middle East Conference, Nairobi, Kenya   2009
Knowledge through Practice: An African Experience, Knowledge through Practice Ph.D. Seminar Series, University of Brighton, England   2007
The Africa-Europe Group for Interdisciplinary Studies Conference on Reconfiguring The Contemporary: Dialogues in African Art, University of London, England   2005
Communications Network for African Artists, Johannesburg, South Africa   2003
The West African Seminar Series, Department of Anthropology, University of London, England   2003
Communications Network for African Artists, Nairobi, Kenya   2000
The International Views of the Place of the Artist conference, Gasworks Studios, UK   1997