|Dakar Exhibition Poster|
Bruce Onobrakpeya and the Harmattan Workshop: Artistic Experimentation in the Niger Delta
The Harmattan Workshop is an annual event organized by the Bruce Onobrakpeya Foundation (BOF), a non profit, non governmental organization registered in Nigeria. It was established by Prof. Bruce Onobrakpeya, who celebrates his 80th birthday this year. He is a renowned Nigerian artist of international repute, who has featured at the Venice biennale, and shown in the Master Category in Dakar Biennale 2006.
The Harmattan Workshop is a forum where artists can inspire one another, as well as expand their aesthetic sensibilities, techniques and practices. The workshop is widely recognised as “one of the extremely few opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa for artists to come together annually”. It promotes creativity through the sharing of ideas…..a heady mix of experimentation, lectures and presentations. According to Christopher Reardon, a close watcher of global art trends, “During the event… artists hone their skills, learn about development in Contemporary African art and forge ties with peers in Nigeria and abroad”
The workshop started in 1998, appropriately in Agbarha-Otor, the village where Onobrakpeya grew up in the Delta of Nigeria, with 18 artists. Since then the annual workshops have recorded over 500 participating artists, and is credited with being one of the longest running non formal Workshops of its kind in Africa
The exhibition which takes place at the Kajinol Station in Dakar, Senegal from 10 - 24th May 2012, features some of the best examples of the experimental works resulting from the Harmattan Workshop, undertaken by a constellation of artistic stars. These include Sam Ovraiti, Duke Asidere and a host of other artists. Bruce Onobrakpeya will show an installation titled Jubilee Dance and several experimental works that have been closely associated with Onobrakpeya’s innovative career over 50 years. There will be a total of about 40 works on show in this exhibition.