Karl Ohiri (b.1983, London) is a British-Nigerian artist currently working between London and Lagos. His practice focuses on the Human Condition and explores the social functions of art by merging two inseparable strands of one(s) exsistence.

The Self:

On-going autobiographical narratives based on family, identity and heritage. Personal experiences form the starting point for the work, where the politics of the self is used as a way to challenge the boundaries between the private and the public - inviting his audience to explore the in-between personal spaces that shape his practice, thoughts, and sense of self.

The Other

On-going dialogue based on societal 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, cultural heritage, social issues and popular culture.

Many of his projects start as written proposals, where the proposal is used as a tool to take creative initiative and collaborate with art spaces and institutions. Drawing on his studies in visual culture; semiotics, appropriation and recontextualisation are used conceptually within his art, incorporating the use of photography, video, text and everyday objects.

His 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 Collection.

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


2007 - 2008 - MA Photography and Urban Cultures, Goldsmiths University, London

2004 - 2007 - BA (Hons) First Class - Media Culture & Communication, Greenwich University, London


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

2019 - Instagram Takeover for Photoworks, Brighton, UK

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

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

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

2019 - DYCP Grant - Arts Council England for the curatorial research project Lagos Studio Archives

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

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


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

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

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 - 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

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 - Artist Portrait, on display part of Greenwich Portraits, celebrating outstanding alumni, Greenwich, UK

2017 - Visiting Artist, University of Greenwich, 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 - Instagram Takeover for 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

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

2016 - Sweet Mother - Artist as Curator talk, Omenka Gallery, Lagos, Nigeria

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

2016 - Artist in Development Fund - Arts Council England Grant - Sweet Mother exhibition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2011 – Arts Council England Grant - My Granddad’s Car I


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


Arts Council England Collection

Founded in 1946 to acquire works on behlaf of the nation the collection operates as a 'museum withouout 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 Recontres 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.

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 prints, drawings, paintings and works in other media dating from the 14th century to the present.

University of Greenwich

A portrait of the artist photographed by Diane Patrice hangs permanently at the University of Greenwich. Inducted for his contribution to the Arts the portrait forms part of an annual collection that celebrates outstanding Alumni. Notable figures include scientists, writers, musicians and sports personalities.









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