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The Coastal Serenade

by Iyanuoluwa Adenle
(Lagos, Nigeria)

In his new body of work, Kingsley Otu, a social documentary photographer, examines the lives and livelihoods of Tarkwa Bay Island, a fishing community in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital. The series is part of Unusual Room I, a virtual exhibition hosted by Holy Art from 28 August to 28 September 2023. The group exhibition features diverse works across sculpture, painting and photography. Otu’s five selected works Unusual Room include “Ocean's Harvest Arranged: A Fisherman's Market Gallery”, “Coastal Artistry: A Fisherman's Drying Symphony”, “Serenade of the Seas: A Fisherwoman's Timeless Art”, “Harvest of the Tides'' and “Sea’s Harvest”.

In “Harvest of the Tides”, a group of eight men and boys are captured in mid-graft, dragging a vast net onto the beach, after a round of fishing. Their postures are not in sync. Some are sitting on the floor while others are standing upright. But there is rhythm in their concerted effort for a good catch, that of shared toil and a shared goal.

In “Serenade of the Seas”, a middle aged woman is seen placing mackerels on a metal grill, over an unlit hearth.

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