Friday 25 November 2011

Echekoba, Azuonye Art Exhibitions in London

Chike Azuonye and Mike Echekoba

All of this week I have been dreaming in colour. It is a pleasant and beautiful experience. My dreams have been fed by all the paintings I have been enjoying recently and will enjoy through this weekend..

On Monday, 21st of November, I attended the Winter Show - a group exhibition at the Commonwealth Club in London by the trio of commonwealth artists Michael Echekoba (Nigeria), Phyllis Dupuy (Canada), and Swadeka Ahsun (Mauritius).

red wine echekoba

Echekoba’s works capture images and sceneries that celebrate life in Nigeria and Europe. I particularly loved the picture of lovers strolling arm in arm, and the textured celebration of the red wine in the picture above. Quite a few of Echekoba’s pantings were about living life, about intimate moments frozen in beautiful colours. A beautiful collection this winter.

I did not have the opportunity of meeting Swadeka Ahsun, there were some really spooky paintings I wanted to discuss. That will wait for another time. Phyllis Dupuy is a great portraitist. According to her, she has been doing portraits for only about 4 years, but the photographic detail and atmosphere in those images were intriguing. I wonder what her portraits will look like in 10 years time.

portrait by Phyllis Dupuy

A bit of an exhibitionist myself, I could not resist a photo opportunity with the artist.

Nnorom Azuonye and Mike Echekoba

On November 26th and 27th, Chike Azuonye will hold a 2-day solo exhibition titled View Point – an exhibition of recent works at the WAC Gallery, 14 Baylis Road, Waterloo, SE1 7AA on Satuday 26th and Sunday 27th November 2011. The event will be on from 11:00am to 8:00pm on both days.


Here is a press release by Chike Azuonye:


Chike Azuonye announces new solo Art Exhibition

clip_image002London, 16th November 2011, painter and portraitist Chike Azuonye announced ‘View Point’ a new solo exhibition of new works to be held at the WAC Gallery, on the 26th and 27th of November 2011.

Azuonye is a Nigeria-born artist who has been active in the London art scene since the late 1980s. His works are remarkable for their depths of expression and thought. At first glance of Chike’s works, the viewer is presented with rich vibrant colours harmoniously orchestrated like music. Art to him is about celebration and immediacy: something to be enjoyed and appreciated. But on a closer look, Chike has always a message beyond the aesthetics; a narrative which delves into his African root, as well as his philosophical leaning and pursuits.

Chike acknowledges three prominent artists as having influenced his art today. These mentors are Gauguin, Modigliani and his university lecturer Prof Obiora Udechukwu, a lecturer at St Lawrence University in the United States of America. Chike, from his early years in the university, studied Gauguin and his palette and with the help of his lecturer, gained mastery in both theory and practical application of colour. The element of distortion in his work was inspired by Professor Udechukwu, especially, from his Biafra and Nigerian war-sketch diaries. Much later, Chike developed intense interest in Modigliani and his technique of elongation of the human form. Armed with these tools, Chike formally developed a style, which gives his work a unique and fresh appeal.

In the 80s, Chike, who is also a poet, had several exhibitions which he developed, based on themes and images from favourite poems. Later, those themes evolved into motifs that enabled him to explore his inner recesses and to produce outstanding surrealistic and mystical works.

In the 90s, there was sudden departure from his surrealistic approach to a more recognisable form. Chike started working on the numerous sketches of his Nigerian root, especially those motifs that provided him with a narrative about commerce, farming and cultural life of the people. Amongst his paintings were: the “Milk Maid,” a series on the “Market Women,” the “Drummers,” and the “Rites of Passage.”

From 2000, Chike began to explore abstract art and in the years to follows produced many abstract arts, notably, Mediation, Re-birth and Creation. During this period, Chike had numerous group shows and some solo shows.

View Point, his latest exhibition is a celebration of all these years, showcasing some of his themes, images and styles. Chike is eclectic in his work, and challenges himself with the mastery of various artistic media, such as Acrylic, Oil, Charcoal and watercolour.

For more information visit:

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Saturday 12 November 2011

Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry and Short Story Competitions Past winners

This page lists winners of the first three places in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry & Short Story competitions since July 2009. You too could become the next Sentinel poetry or short story champion. Your name will be on this wall, and your work in the Sentinel Champions magazine with pride of place in hundreds of personal and corporate libraries across the world. There is just this little thing you need to do: ENTER THE CURRENT SENTINEL LITERARY QUARTERLY POETRY & SHORT STORY COMPETITIONS. CLOSING DATE: 20-12-11
Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry and Short Story Competitions Past winners

Saturday 8 October 2011

Excel for Charity - writing competitions in aid of the world's charities

Excel for Charity - International Writing Competitions Series in aid of charities. Current competitions: 1. The TRYangle Project Poetry (Judge: Gabriel Griffin) & Short Story (Judge: Kate Horsley) Competitions on DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. Closing 10-10-11 2. Stepping Stones Nigeria Poetry (Judge: Susanna Roxman) & Short Story (Judge: Toni Kan) Competitions on CHILDHOOD. Closing 31-10-11 and 3. Swale Life International Poetry Competition. Open theme. Closing 10-11-11
Excel for Charity - writing competitions in aid of the world's charities

Saturday 1 October 2011

Sentinel Annual Poetry Competition 2011, judge - Roger Elkin

Sentinel Annual Poetry Competition 2011 | Closing Date: 15-Oct-11
For previously unpublished poems in English language up to 50 lines long, on any subject, in any style. Poems entered may not be under consideration for publication, or accepted for publication elsewhere. Prizes: £500 (First), £250 (Second), £125 (Third), 5 x £25 (Highly Commended). Publication in Sentinel Champions magazine #9, February 2012 in print and eBook formats. Judge: Roger Elkin, author of 'No Laughing Matter' and 'Fixing Things'. Results will be announced on 30-Nov-2011 at
Entry Fee: £5 per poem (You may enter as many poems as you wish)

Contact: Send poems with Cover Note or Entry Form with Cheque/Postal Order in GP£ only payable to SENTINEL POETRY MOVEMENT, Address: Unit 136, 113-115 George Lane, London E18 1AB, United Kingdom.
Enter online or download Entry Form at:

Sentinel Annual Poetry Competition 2011, judge - Roger Elkin

Monday 19 September 2011

Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition.

Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition. | Closing date: Midnight 20th Sept, 2011. | Judge: Todd Swift | Prizes: £150 (1st), £75 (2nd), £50 (3rd), £10 x 3 (High Commendation) + first publication in Sentinel Champions. | Fees: £3 (1), £12 (5). Enter online now

Tuesday 30 August 2011

Sentinel Champions #7 publication update

Sentinel Champions #7 was due for publication on 25th of August, but has been delayed. The magazine will be ready on the 9th of September. Apologies to subscribers, contributors and other interested parties.

Nnorom Azuonye
Managing Editor

Wednesday 24 August 2011

Sentinel Annual Poetry Competition 2011

SENTINEL ANNUAL POETRY COMPETITION 2011. JUDGE: ROGER ELKIN. £1000.00 Prize Fund. Enter online or by post. Win!.

Monday 25 July 2011

Amy Winehouse goes too soon.

On Saturday morning, 23rd of July 2011, I stood over the tub in my bathroom, leaning over precariously towards the outside, cleaning the bathroom window. As a musical no-hoper, window-cleaning times or bath times often grant me a chance to sing freely, and on that day, I sang Valerie.

Half-way into my fairly decent rendition of that song, my wife who was in the kitchen joined me, and we sang the house to real great joy as we attended to our different chores. Then I wondered aloud, “Isn’t it strange how that song is not all over the place anymore?”

A few hours later, I was on the phone to my friend Afam Akeh and we were discussing the business of African Poetry. All of a sudden, he said, “Dianyi, you know Amy Winehouse is dead?”

I was momentarily lost for words. Then I asked simply, “When?” and he told me it was breaking news on TV right that moment.

I was very very sad, and when he said that her death was really not that unexpected, a sentiment that even Amy’s own mother expressed later, I excused myself to go turn on the TV.

After I had heard the news for myself, I said to my wife, using the title of my late mentor and friend Esiaba Irobi’s poem, “Do you know, it is indeed a ceramic life? Amy Winehouse is dead.”

Together we wondered what had killed her. Of course, like everyone else, we immediately suspected her demise could not be unrelated to drugs or alcohol. I also wondered if she may have topped herself. I was extremely sorry and felt disloyal to even think that, but I did. It is so very painful to learn of such a waste of beauty and talent. Maybe waste is not the right word, she, afterall left us with two wonderful albums to enjoy until we also go. She did something with her talent. What is however quite cruel is that like that other musical genius Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse managed to almost completely overshadow her genius with weirdness and allusions to drugs, alcohol and self-destruction. I couldn’t help thinking about the words of Edward Furlong, the young John Connor in Terminator 2, that says "Lots of money and lots of free coke will turn anyone into a cokehead."

Perhaps, something good that might come out of the untimely death of Amy Winehouse is that one, even if it is only one young person, in or out of the world of celebrity and entertainment, will shun drugs and reap the fullness of long life.

Goodnight Amy, I will always be a fan of yours. Goodnight.

Nnorom Azuonye

Thursday 21 July 2011

Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry & Short Story Competitions (October 2011)

Todd Swift 1
Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (October 2011)
For poems on any subject in any style up to 40 lines long.
Closing Date: 20-September 2011
Judge: Todd Swift
Prizes: £150, £75, £50, £10 x 3.
Fees: £3 per poem. £12 for 5 poems.
Enter competition here >>

Sentinel Literary Quarterly Short Story Competition (October 2011)
For stories on any subject in any style up to 1500 words long.
Closing Date: 20-September 2011
Judge: Adnan Mahmutovic
Prizes: £150, £75, £50, £10 x 3.
Fees: £5 per story. £9 for 2 stories, and £12 for 3 stories.
Enter competition here >>

Tuesday 18 January 2011

Excel for Charity International Writing Competition Series

The world is better and much is being achieved for an overall better society because of the many men and women who are giving their time and money to support specific needy areas of our lives.

Some seek to heal the wounds of racism and social segregation, some seek to find solutions to debilitating conditions such as diabetes, lupus, cancer and mental illness, some seek solutions against child abuse, animal abuse, or abuse of the elderly, and others seek to empower less privileged people or communities by providing education, helping with fees and building schools.

Whatever the cause a charity addresses, all charities have something in common - THEY NEED MONEY TO KEEP DOING THEIR WORK. At Excel for Charity, we seek to raise the writers' mite to help the charities.

The argument is simple:

Writers would write anyway, that's what they do - write.

Writers enter thousands of competitions every year, and they pay to enter these competitions.

When a writer enters an Excel for Charity competition, one third of his or her entry fee goes to the charity the competition supports. The writer also stands a chance of winning one of three cash prizes and the associated literary glory.

Sometimes, the literary glory is all the writer wants. A good example is our last competition; the Build Africa competition. All three winners Gabriel Griffin-Hall, Jeni Williams and Margaret Eddershaw donated their winnings totalling £260.00 to Build Africa (

If you like what we do at Excel for Charity, you too can help by (a) Entering one of our competitions.

(b) Endowing a Prize for a charity you normally support.

To see our Wall of Honour celebrating winners of past Excel for Charity competitions, to see how you can contribute to what we are doing at Excel for Charity or to take part in our current competition, go to

Thursday 6 January 2011


Afflictions dance,
make carnival before me
in parks, trams and coaches

dilated, waning gems peer
out of faces young,some old
they reach out to me

my heart says 'lay hands upon
their heads.' He will heal them
through me for His own sake

Sadly, always afraid He might not
I sheath my hands in the pockets
of my Thomasian pants

I betray my faith
I betray myself
I betray my God.

- Nnorom Azuonye