Thursday, September 29, 2011

Niger Delta Arts and Culture Centre

Niger Delta Arts and Culture Centre at Agbarha Otor : Home of the Annual Harmattan Workshop Series

The  building  is a large one, about 30meters x 30 meters, on 3 floors which rises above the top of the surrounding oil palm trees. It was designed by the master builder and architect Demas Nwoko, a long time friend of Bruce Onobrakpeya.
Contained inside are several galleries and workshop spaces which form  a backdrop to the artistic activities both inside and outside.
The building is a rare jewel to behold and has had visitors, visit from the West Coast of Africa as far as Ghana.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Eghwere: Reflecting on Man the Hunter

Eghwere by Bruce Onobrakpeya 2010, Mixed Media and installation 1.6m X 3m Picture taken courtesy of Dele Jegede

Eghwere is the Urhobo muse for successful hunting. It is used by Bruce Onobrakpeya as a metaphor for reflecting on man’s quest and struggle for survival. His efforts in different fields of endeavor is likened to those of  hunters equipped with bows, arrows, cutlasses and guns with which they hunt down game for food and his other requirements.

Similarly the pen, compass, camera, computer, microscope etc  though modern implements, also become tools in man's hands for achieving set goals that will help him to survive and improve his life.

Adapting the traditional shrine composition, the above concept have led to the creation of installations which show man as an achiever and crowned for his efforts with success. He is seen dressed, as a masquerade that has been embellished with many trophies, and is located in an imaginary forest dotted with standing pillars that double as  trees and animals

Like the traditional shrine, these installation changes with time . Some of the objects within  one background may be renewed with fresh colours or even replaced . Whereas the traditional shrine tends to remain fixed in one setting, the new experiments by Bruce are nomadic  in the sense that they may often be moved from one exhibition site  to the other, and for sheer compositional excitement,  the objects in different installations are nearly always interchangeable to form other groups.