Thursday, November 1, 2012


Author:Bruce Onobrakpeya
First Copyright date 2012
Type of Book Hard Cover
General subject matter General Art
Price $15.00
Color Plates: 23 Colour
ISBN 978 - 2509 -49 - 03

By means of a series of serigraphs, Bruce Onobrakpeya recently revisited a number of his drawings and paintings produced about the mid 1960s. Particular attention was paid to the time now popularly known as the "Sunshine Period" of his artistic development. This period was characterized by a palette of colours that reflected the rich rays, and the radiance of the sunlight in the tropics. The time between 1964 and 1970, was before the Nigerian Civil War, and was also one that experienced a tremendous amount of change and transformation all over the African Continent, especially in the areas of social, economic and political upheavals.

All these art-pieces were executed using the serigraphy technique and date from 2002 to date, but however retain the name of the older drawings and paintings produced in the 1960s. As a series they collectively pay tribute and bear witness to the immensely fertile artistic and creative phase of Onobrakpeya's works in the 1960s,  that soon was to define the rest of his career. earth.

Bruce Onobrakpeya was born in 1932, the first child of twelve siblings in Agbarha-Otor, Delta State and raised in the Niger delta, both his parents are Urhobo. He left for Zaria in 1957 in order to study arts, after working as an art teacher at different schools for a short period. At the college he was taught about prominent European artists and art theories by British teachers during the day and discussed traditional African art with his fellow students as Uche Okeke, Demas Nwoko, Yusuf Grillo, Jimoh Akolo, Isiaka Osunde or Simon Okeke, who later became very famous, in the evenings. 

Bruce Onobrakpeya is also an important Nigerian artist  who represents best practices in documentation of his art and  creativity and innovation in studio practice.

In this book the artist himself has attempted to chronologically capture and give information on his art, source and inspiration for his works created between 1960 and 1970. This he effortlessly does with the ease of a seasoned teacher taking us by hand on an important epoch in Nigerian art. The small book  provides easy reading for even young children, but comes across  with forcefulness and the conviction of a witness to a phenomenal era of Nigeria's history.

Intended  beneficiaries will include  lovers of art who may be collectors  or close watchers of the visual arts. Scholars and school children interested in  epochs of Nigerian art are certain to gain insights on contemporary life of the post independence years of Nigeria.

The artist is also very qualified to give this first hand account and rendition  of life in strife ridden Nigeria as he also lived through the civil war years in  Lagos, the then capital city of Nigeria himself.

My all time favorite Serigraph of the 20 serigraphs featured in this book, is a colorful  work done in the  golden yellow tint of evening sunlight, titled Have You heard. It shows 3 women standing together in a gossip pool discussing the sudden news that the war had ended. Their faces show no emotions and appear to be like masks, perhaps hardened from the wear, tear and turmoil of their spirits, all through the war years. They just stand as witnesses to history. Perhaps in one of these faces, we may catch a portrait or glimpse of the artist Bruce, as he sees himself in the years between 1960 and 1970.

These serigraphs therefore must rightfully also be considered as some of Bruce Onobrakpeya's visual notes on The triumph of the Human Spirit which he freely celebrates in his eightieth year passage on earth.

We can expect more books like this from Bruce Onobrakpeya and historians who write on his work, who will work on other periods of his prodigious artistic career.

This is a must read book, and you can fully download all of the book here REVISIT OF THE SUNSHINE PERIOD

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