,Installation view, terracotta, Animal Horn, paper, beads, inlaid Brass and copper, Variable size; display of 1000 heads, 2009-2010, © Peju Layiwola
Benin is my first solo exhibition in Nigeria. It references the British expedition to Benin where thousands of works of art were looted from the palace of His royal Highness, Oba Ovoranmwen in 1897. This exhibition adds its voice to the debate on Benin contested patrimony and discusses issues about identity, copyright, and ownership of Benin looted objects. Benin represents the venue of the attack, 1897, the date and ‘.com’ like the domain name .commercial, alludes to commerce as the main reason Benin was sacked. .com also refers to the commodification of Benin objects which now attracts huge amounts at international auctions without recourse to the royal family of Benin. This exhibition was shown in two university campuses; Universities of Lagos and Ibadan in 2010. It has a 216 page catalogue with articles from several distinguished African and Africanist scholars amongst whom are Kwame Opoku, Sylvester Ogbechie, Freida High, and Folarin Shyllon. The foreword is written by His royal Majesty, Omo N,Oba N,Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Erediauwa of Benin Art and the Restitution Question
8 April-30 May, 2010
University of Lagos Main Auditorium Gallery.
University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria

20 August-10 October, 2010
Museum, Institute of African Studies,
University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.


Chequered History, Epoxy and mirrors,4 by 8ft, 2009.

Photo credit: Peju Layiwola

Presentation, Opening ceremony, Art and the Restitution Question, 2010.

Photo credit: Jude Anogwih

Opening exhibition, 2009, Lagos


Working on a piece, Ibadan, 2009.

Photo credit: Jude Anogwih

Opening ceremony, Art and the Restitution Question, 2010.

Photo credit: Jude Anogwih


Close up of Commemorative fabric designed by Elizabeth Olowu, 2009.

Photo credit: Jude Anogwih

Face Off, Terracotta and bronze. Peju Layiwola and Igun Brasscasters, Ine N’Igun palace, Igun Street, Benin City, 2014.

Photo credit: Jude Anogwih/em>