The South London Gallery (SLG) has sat on the Peckham Road for more than 125 years. Watching on as a rare constant in this ever-changing capital, in an area that has witnessed significant shifts as the metropolis has expanded beyond its borders. During its lengthy lifespan, the historic gallery has stood pride of place for generations as thousands of migrants have moved to South London’s beloved diverse district, including the first wave of Nigerians who settled in Peckham in the 1970s and 1980s. Since then, the area has become home to one of the largest Nigerian diaspora communities in the UK – often dubbed ‘Little Lagos’.

For its latest opening, the SLG has joined forces with Nigerian visual artist Folakunle Oshun, founder of Lagos Biennial, to bring us ‘Lagos, Peckham, Repeat’. Spanning across the site, the exhibition delves into the links between the two modern cities, bringing together the work of 13 contemporary Nigerian and British-Nigerian artists. Leaving no sense neglected, the immersive exhibition transports audiences away from a rainy day in London with the sights, sounds and flavours of sunny Lagos.

Even before entering the building Folakunle invites visitors with a mesmerising soundscape by artist Emeka Ogboh. Featuring field recordings of busy Nigerian streets and ‘verbal mapping’, a melodic technique used by Danfo bus conductors to announce their routes, the audio rendition guides the audience from the streets of Peckham into the main gallery area.

It’s here that visitors can indulge in British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare’s striking photography series, ‘Diary of a Victorian Dandy’. Renowned for his use of brightly coloured Ankara fabric, the series acts as an intersectional exploration of the English social order, bringing a sharp, modern eye to his inspiration of William Hogarth's 18th-century satirical caricatures. Meanwhile, Emeka’s modest craft beer installation, ‘No Food for Lazy Man’, made from crates of golden ale fermented in local London-based brewery Orbit, offers further immersion through the palate – available to try out for yourself in the gallery’s cafe.

Amongst the multitude of sights, sounds, and tastes in the exhibition, Victor Ehikhamenor’s colossal sculpture is a particular sensory standout. Always in the corner of your eye, the chapel-like structure stands tall and imposing at the back of the gallery. Step closer and you’ll find its textured white surface is a mass of plastic rosary beads and crosses, or go behind to discover an altar of intricately carved wooden ibeji (twin) statues. All elements come together to open up a compelling dialogue between Western religion and Nigerian spirituality.

To experience the 16 pieces displayed in ‘Peckham, Lagos, Repeat: Pilgrimage to the Lakes’, visit the South London Gallery before 29 October or find out more at

By Mimi Francis