MAINTENANCE PRINCIPLES AND THE REPURPOSING OF ABANDONED BUILDINGS FOR ARTWORKS ARTISTS & ARTWORKS

By P.J Gwumapan, Co-Founder Dr. Ladi Kwali Foundation

The Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, NIQS, revealed the existence of 56,000 abandoned building projects in August 2021, estimating the cost at N12 trillion Naira. ~ Vanguard

It is disheartening to see how public organizations in Nigeria that are controlled by the government, even at the federal level, end up littered, unproductive, a waste, and abandoned. The maintenance culture in Nigeria’s public infrastructure is discouraging. Over the years, the Nigerian government has launched a number of commendable projects that make one proud to be a Nigerian. Most government infrastructure, having been built and designed to serve their immediate purpose of political eye service, ends up being abandoned, forgotten, and, at best, given very little attention over time, leading to poor maintenance and management and, eventually, deterioration and collapse. The deplorable state of once-laudable projects such as the National Stadium, Universities, hospitals, and refineries, among others, continue to pose a threat to Nigeria’s socio-economic and infrastructure advancement. Visual artists are increasingly finding inspiration in old and abandoned industrial buildings. They produce genuine works of art, a kind of idealized and undoubtedly more interesting vision of reality.

Abandoned buildings actually require beautification efforts if they are to be repurposed. This is crucial because abandoned buildings are known to have a negative impact on the environment and public activities in their vicinity. One first step that can be taken to reduce negative impact and prevent further damage to such buildings is to activate these spaces with a variety of temporary functions. Creative activities, with their imaginative and conceptual orientation, are great for making temporary use of dilapidated buildings. Artists are thought to be able to motivate society, including governments, to take action on this issue. Moreover, abandoned buildings can be seen as spatial exploration, which can be a creative source of ideas for the community.

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