Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Print-making in Nigeria

Plastocast relief by Bruce Onobrakpeya

Modern Nigerian print-making as an art form can be dated back to the school in Zaria in the late 1950s, though here the emphasis was on print-making as a commercial medium. However, among the graduates of this programme are two of the most prominent of Nigeria's print-makers: Bruce Onobrakpeya and Solomon Irein Wangboje. While Wangboje is renowned for his wood cuts and lino prints, Onobrakpeya is world famous for his elaborate works in metal foil reliefs, plasto-cast reliefs as well as other mixed media techniques.

 Both of these artists have developed innovative styles and techniques. They have equally continued to give birth to numerous new adherents working in various print-making techniques. Wangboje also directed the Ori Olokun Cultural Centre in Ile-Ife where print-making featured prominently; Ori Olokun has produced some successful artists, such as Segun Adeku. Wangboje was at the University of Benin, encouraging students to explore innovative printmaking techniques, though, on the whole, academic art programmes are still slow in teaching print-making as an art. 

David Dale, a protégé of Onobrakpeya, is one of the prominent and active print-makers in Nigeria. He was educated at the famous Ahmadu Bello University – Zaria; he was also taught art and print-making while a student at St. Gregory’s College, Lagos, where Bruce Onobrakpeya taught for about thirteen years and also headed the fine art department.

By: Morgan Nwanguma

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