Hailing from Lagos, Nigerian painter Tega Akpokona is the latest in a series of visual artists to join the Open Palm Residency. Tega graduated with a bachelor’s degree in painting from the University of Benin in 2011 and had his first solo exhibition five years later in 2016 in Lagos.The artist’s Cayman studio is airy and light-filled, with canvases of varying sizes duct taped on every wall. Born in Benin City, Akpokona’s atmospheric oil paintings examine the human experience as forged by cultural identity. In his work, the artist centres the Black figure, showing fictional characters in paintings that fuse the contemporary with nostalgia. “As Africans, we are now questioning our identity and beginning to find ourselves. Crystallised out of past influences, this is now embodied in how we look, how we dress and how we are,” he explains. Whilst at Palm Heights he created a body of work that expands on narratives of identity, politics of the body, and the dialogue surrounding the Black experience, as well as site-specific collaborations that are in the works.