NU MI Design House Promotes Creativity in Nigeria

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Founder, NU MI Design House; Tanwa Newbold, seated at the bedroom area of the NU MI Design House Luxury Exhibition

Mary Nnah

This year’s NU MI Design House luxury exhibition, which recently took place at LASWA Yard Ikoyi, Lagos, was more about promoting creativity in Nigeria.

For the Creative Director and Founder of NU MI Design House, Tanwa Newbold, she feels that the Nigeria music industry as well as the art industry is well known, while the interior designers, products designers and industrial designers are barely recognised.
For her the just concluded exhibition was all about promoting creativity in the interior design industry.

With some luxury designers and creative artists showcasing quality interior designs and touches of artworks that reflect Africanism, Newbold, stressed that the ideology was to promote creativity in Nigeria.

“The whole point of the exhibition is for people to know that there is so much talent and creativity in Nigerian indigenous interior designers, architects, artists, and curators. I want people to know that profound interior curators and designers exist in Nigeria with absolute finishing”, Newbold said.

So, industrial designers, interior designers, products designers, artists and architects were present at the exhibition which showcased a unique combination of leading Nigerian artist’s work alongside established and emerging Nigerian furniture and other product designers and a unique selection of NU MI founder Tanwa Newbold’s own work, including a stunning collaboration with artist Polly Alakija.

Artists like Lemi Ghariokwu, a Nigerian artist, who is best-known for designing cover artwork for Fela Kuti and other musical acts from Africa as well as the younger artists like John Madu, a multidisciplinary artist that woks with different medium and does different kinds of arts designs and who incidentally was exhibiting for the first time to the public in Nigeria, were also there to showcase their artwork.

Newbold who expressively collaborated with renowned artists Polly Alakija, along other product designers like Studio Lani, Tosin Oshinowo, Alaga collections, Funferekoroye, Kelechi Odu and Oguma Adegoke, Olumide Onadipe and a curated selection from the Nike Art Gallery, said, “For this year’s edition, we did like an art meet designs. So, the dining area, the bedroom area and the living room area has artworks including throw pillows that complement one another. And it really comes out well”.

Speaking on what informed the choice of exhibitors this year, she said, “One of the things I do with my exhibition is that I don’t want to have the same kind of space every year. The whole point is creativity, so I want interesting spaces every year. I want people to begin to wonder what it is going to look like each year.

“I want even the space to be creative, so the way I pick my exhibitors, I actually meet with them and talk to them because I want to connect. So, I spoke with every single exhibitors here today and the reason why I picked them is because I believe in what they are doing. I saw their works. I handpicked every artwork displayed at this exhibition today.

“And it is that passion that shows here today, because you cannot pretend about this kind of thing. It has to be authentic. If you pretend, it shows, so it is because every single person here has a relationship and that is why it is what it is”, she noted.
One of the exhibitors, Lauretta Odusolu, CEO, Laura Bentley Lifestyle, a home and décor interior design and lifestyle brand, creates lifestyle pieces that make offices and homes unique for various clients all over the world.

Odusolu who caters to people who desire their homes to truly reflect their personality and style, said, “The ideology is to incorporate you in your home, whether you are a lover of simplicity or sophistication”.

On the other hand, Ghariokwu Lemi whose speciality is in social-political conscious arts presented artworks that relate to furniture and environments. His six-piece collection was strikingly feminine in their features.

John Madu, a multi-disciplinary artist showcased an eclectic collection of artworks that included furniture making, illustration and fashion. Though appearing in his first exhibition in Nigeria this year as an artist, his works are sought-after overseas.