Karl Ohiri (b.1983, London) is a British-Nigerian artist living and working in London. His practice focuses on the Human Condition and merges two inseparable strands of his existence.

The Self:

On-going autobiographical narratives that explore the politics of the self. The works challenge the boundaries between the public and the private - inviting the viewer to experience the in-between personal spaces that shape his practice, thoughts, and sense of self.

The Other

On-going societal narratives based on observations, current affairs and collective histories. The works encompass a vast range of emotions that reflect the human experience, responding to themes related to identity, social issues, representation and popular culture.

Many of his works start as proposals, where the proposal is used as a tool to take creative initiative and facilitate dialogues with the public through art and interventions. Drawing on his studies in visual culture, appropriation and recontextualisation are used conceptually within his art incorporating the use of photography, video, text and everyday objects.

Alongside his artistic practice he is the instigator and guardian of the Lagos Studio Archives. The archive is one of the largest in Europe documenting Lagos studio photography from the 1970s to post millennium. The archive aims to broaden the visual and cultural representations of Nigerian vernacular photography through the salvaged archives of a generation of photographers that discarded their negatives due to a shift from analogue to digital photography.

Ohiri's works have been showcased internationally in venues and exhibitions that include the Venice Biennial, Reattu Museum, Southbank Centre, The Courtauld Gallery, Tate Britain and the National Portrait Gallery London. His works are held in the public collections of the Arts Council England, Welcome Collection and The Rencontres d' Arles.


2020 - Unquiet Moments, curated by the Courtauld Institute of Art inconjunction with Somerset House, London

2020 - Go On Being So, group show, Newlyn Gallery and The Exchange, Cornwall, UK

2019 - Lagos Biennial, How to Build a Lagoon with Just a Bottle of Wine?, Lagos, Nigeria

2019 - Home & Away, group show, to coincide with Les Rencontres d'Arles 50th edition, Galerie Huit, France

2019 - Personal Structures - Identities - in the context of the 58th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy

2019 - ForeverNow, participating artist, Format International Photography Festival, Derby, UK

2018 - Time Has Gone, group show, LagosPhoto Festival, Lagos, Nigeria

2018 - There Not There, group show, Courtauld Gallery, London, UK

2018 - Stepchange, group show, City of London University, UK

2017 - Rencontres a Reattu, curated by Andy Neyrotti, Les Rencontres d’Arles, Reattu Museum, France

2017 - DisPLACEment, Public Installation, Frequency Festival of Digital Culture, Lincoln, UK

2017 - My Granddad’s Car Part II, Alchemy Festival, Southbank Centre, London, UK

2017 - Rip It Up, co-curated by Bisi Silva, 2nd Changjiang Video & Photography Biennale, China

2017 - Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, London, UK

2017 - My Granddad’s Car Part II, Stephen Lawrence Gallery, London, UK

2016 - My Granddad's Car II, New Art Exchange, Nottingham, UK

2016 - Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK

2016 - Tear My Bra, group show, curated by Azu Nwagbogu, Les Rencontres d’Arles, Arles, France

2016 - Sweet Mother, Solo Show, curated by Ohiri + Kassinen, Omenka Gallery, Lagos, Nigeria

2016 - Tender, Chennai Photo Biennial, India

2015 - Smile Orange, group show, curated by Morgan Quaintance, Cubitt Gallery, London, UK

2015 - Uncertain States, group show, annual exhibition, London, UK

2015 - Just Another Photo Festival, New Delhi, India

2015 - I was there, but I didn’t see You, group show, Doomed Gallery, London, UK

2015 - PhotoJunctions, group show, Thought Pyramid Art Centre, Abuja, Nigeria

2015 - Sunscreen, curated by Candice Jacobs, East Midlands Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennial, Italy

2015 - Evidence, Format International Photography Festival, Derby, UK

2015 - Portrait Salon, Embassy Tea Gallery, London

2014 - Viennacontemporary, Art Fair, Vienna, Austria

2014 - Uncertain States, group show, annual exhibition, Bank Gallery, London, UK

2014 - Sample, group show, curated by Hansi Momodu Gordon, Coronet Street, London UK

2014 - Brighton Photo Biennial, Brighton, UK

2014 - FNB Joburg Art Fair, Johannesburg, South Africa

2014 - Staging Reality, Documenting Fiction, LagosPhoto Festival, Lagos, Nigeria

2014 - Three Lions: A Portrait of Benjamin Odeje, The New Art Exchange, Nottingham, UK

2014 - Truth, Facts, Fiction, Lies, PhotoIreland Festival, Dublin, Ireland

2013 - FNB Joburg Art Fair, Johannesburg, South Africa

2013 - The Mega City and the Non-City, LagosPhoto Festival, Lagos, Nigeria

2013 - How to Mend a Broken Heart, Solo Show, Agency Gallery, London, UK

2013 - Beyond Rational Thought, group show, Agency Gallery, London, UK

2013 - My Granddad’s Car, RecylART, Brussels, Belgium

2012 - Family Matters: The Family in British Art, Tate Britain, London

2012 - My Granddad's Car, Culture Cloud, New Art Exchange, Nottingham, UK

2012 - My Granddad's Car, Public Installation, Heathrow Terminal 5, London, UK

2011 - Hybrid Lives, (Touring) Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, London, UK

2011 - Hybrid Lives: Locating The Self and The Other, Stephen Lawrence Gallery, London, UK


2020 - Unquiet Moments, Ohiri & Chandra in conversation, Courtauld Institute of Art / Somerset House, London

2019 - Contributing to a paper by Valentine Umansky, Black Portraiture[s] V, University of NYC, USA

2019 - Guest Artist (Presenting Work in Progress) Praksis Development Forum (PDF) Oslo, Norway

2019 - Visiting Artist, London College of Communication, University of the Arts London

2018 - Visiting Artist, University for the Creative Arts, Rochester, UK

2018 - Art & the Archive, Panel Discussion, Led by Professor Abosede George, LagosPhoto, Nigeria

2018 - Artist talk, in conversation with Harrieliveart, for the students of Kokola Art School, Finland

2017 - My Granddad's Car, in conversation with Raquel Villar-Perez, SOAS University, London, UK

2017 - My Granddad's Car, in conversation with David Waterworth, Stephen Lawrence Gallery, London, UK

2017 - Visiting Artist, University of Greenwich, London, UK

2016 - My Granddad's Car, in conversation with Skinder Hundal, New Art Exchange, Nottingham, UK

2016 - Sweet Mother - Artist Talk, Omenka Gallery, Lagos, Nigeria

2015 - Studio Visit, Resonance FM, Guest Artist in Conversation with Morgan Quaintance

2015 - Decolonizing Trauma Studies, artist talk, My Granddad's Car, University of Northampton, UK

2014 - #No Filter – Uncertain States, artist talk, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK

2014 - Fictionalising the Self, artist talk, Lagos Photo Festival, Lagos, Nigeria

2013 - Artist Talk, Uncertain States, Ziferblat, London, UK

2011 - Hybrid Lives: Curator Talk & Tour, Stephen Lawrence Gallery, London, UK


2020 - Autograph ABP Artist commissions responding to the wider Covid19 crisis

2019 - Developing Your Creative Practice - Arts Council England : Curatorial Research

2018 - New Art Exchange, Africa/UK Transforming Art Ecologies, Project Development

2017 - Greenwich University Portrait Commission, celebrating outstanding alumni

2016 - Arts Council England Project Grant - My Granddad's Car II (Touring Exhibition)

2015 - Artist in Development Fund - Arts Council England / British Council - Sweet Mother

2011 - Arts Council England Project Grant - My Granddad's Car I

2011 - Stephen Lawrence Gallery - Exhibition Commission : Hybrid Lives


2019 - Personal Structures - Identites, European Cultural Centre, ISBN 978-90-829434

2018 - Blood & Wire, Sculptor Vox - Volume 2, ISBN 2515-7329

2016 - Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, ISBN 978-1-85514795-9

2015 - Africa Under The Prism, Hatje Cantz, ISBN 978-3-7757-4088-3

2015 - A-Z of Leadership, INIVA, London, UK, ISBN 978-1-899846-58-0

2014 - Photoworks Annual 21, ISBN 978-1-903796-50-4

2014 - De Arte, University of South Africa, ISNN 0004-3389

2013 - FNB Joburg ArtFair, ISBN 978-1-4314-0924-2


Arts Council England Collection

Founded in 1946 to acquire works on behalf of the nation the collection operates as a 'museum without walls'. It serves as the largest loan collection of modern and contemporary British art in the world, and includes important examples by all the UK's most prominent artists.

The Rencontres d’Arles Collection

The photography collections of 'Les Rencontres d'Arles' comprises of photographic works from all over the world created by leading practitioners of photography. Every year new works are collected, preserved and shared with the public through curated exhibitions.

University of Greenwich

A commissioned portrait of the artist photographed by Diane Patrice hangs permanently at the University of Greenwich. The portrait forms part of an annual collection that celebrates outstanding Alumni. Inductees include scientists, writers, musicians and sports personalities.

Welcome Collection

A public museum and library founded by Sir Henry Solomon Welcome. The museum showcases artefacts from around the world that explore the connections between science, medicine and art. The collection contains more than 250,000 works in a variety of media dating from the 14th century to present day.









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