Emergence and Development of Outdoor Sculpture in Southwestern Nigerian
Keywords:Emergence, Outdoor sculpture, Provenance, Style, Theme
AbstractPublic outdoor sculpture in Southwest of Nigeria is prodigious. From its emergence as an art practice in 1934, its practice has passed through six phases of great importance. Yet the practice has not been studied in appreciable scholarly depth despite constant changes in taste necessitated by religious, socio-cultural, and political complexities of the Southwest. The study traces the emergence and the development of public outdoor sculpture in the zone. It examines the development of its forms, styles, themes, materials and techniques. It also investigates various attitudes associated with the productions, uses and maintenance of the sculptures among the various stake-holders at different levels. The study covers a period of one hundred and five years between 1900 and 2005; the period marked the beginning, high development level, proliferation and decline of outdoor sculpture practice in South-west of Nigeria. Data for study were derived from oral and bibliographical records and observation of the sculptures. In all, one hundred and sixty six sculptural works were identified, with larger concentrations of the works in Lagos and Osun States. The paper observes that sculptures were mainly expressed in realism. The medium mostly used is cement and is invariably rendered in additive techniques. Themes generally expressed centres on Yoruba heroes and heroines, socio-political and economic matters. The various attitudes of all the stakeholders concerning these sculptures indicate that there is the problem of poor control of standard, abuse and lack of maintenance. Significantly, the study resolved the chronological problem associated with the emergence of public outdoor sculpture in the Southwest zone of Nigeria.
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