April 20 – May 10, 2019
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 20, 4-8 PM
Freedom Park Lagos is pleased to present Beauty and The Machine, an exhibition of new installation works by Prof. Bruce Onobrakpeya.It is the first of a series of exhibition taking place this year to commemorate 60 years of the artist, Prof Bruce Onobrakpeya’s public presentation of his art through exhibitions.
Beauty And The Machine will feature -never been exhibited-line of works that make a bold statement on the value still present in materials that have been discarded, and deemed unusable. It is a presentation of artworks achieved from abandoned items, all of which have now been recycled and assembled to become components of artistic productions.
This installation art style is no stranger to the several techniques innovated and improvised upon in the age long practice of the artist, Prof. Bruce Onobrakpeya. It is a style borne out of his childhood fascination of the workings of machines which outcome-wise, he has successfully made a part of his artistic expressions. The exhibits are made up of car parts, fabric materials, metals, beads, wood, computer parts, iron rods, steel, aluminum, and plastic parts, with interesting designs and spaces that have been realizable for the artist to reshape to create captivating art forms.
Beauty And The Machine through its exhibits, aims to lend voice to the clamor on the importance of recycling as a means of environmental sanitation as the incorporation of these erstwhile worthless materials into embodying art, not only improves upon the aesthetics of our environment but is beneﬁcial to the revenue growth of our economy and most importantly, a propagation of The Art.
The exhibition holds a unique posit as his premier in Freedom Park, a heritage site and a cultural center that focalizes on the individual expression of imagination and creativity, with the latter being the very standpoint of Prof. Onobrakpeya’s practice. Little wonders why the Freedom Park stands as one of his favorite places to be in– a proponent of ideologies that supports his artistry.
Prof. Bruce Onobrakpeya was born August 30, 1932 in Agbarha-Otor, Delta State to Urhobo parents. He spent his formative years in Edo State, and went on to become an arts teacher in Western Boys High School and Ondo Boys High School. He continued his tertiary education in the Nigerian College of Arts, Sciences and Technology, now the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where he studied Fine Arts. As an undergraduate, he was one of the key members of the Zaria Art Society, a group of student-artists who came together to jointly repeal the “colonization” of their artistic identities; this was prevalent given the colonial presence and establishment in the country at the time.
He is an artist, art educator and culture advocate renowned for the versatility of his artistic practice that has birthed several techniques and styles including bronze lino relief, plastograph – an epoxy-base etching technique, and creating a set of ideograms, Ibiebe, that are symbolical to his artistic productions. His works stand out as the most researched, reviewed, critiqued and documented in Nigeria and arguably, the African continent. This is credited to his penchant for steadily archiving his works, and practice that has spanned over six-decades.
Amongst his recognitions are the UNESCO Living Human Treasure Award he was a recipient of in 2006, and the Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM) conferred on him in 2017.
Please join us at the opening reception for the artist on Saturday, April 20th, from 4-8PM.