The Arts

October 31, 2022

Benin royal art exhibition @ Lagos Museum

Benin royal art exhibition @ Lagos Museum

By Osa Mbonu-Amadi

Between October and November 2019 in Benin, Dr. Princess Theresa Oghogho Iyase-Odozi had a successful solo art exhibition on Benin royal art titled “Uhunmwen Vbe Ehinmwen and Master of The Circled Cross in Benin Kingdom”. Now, the exhibition moves to the National Museum, Lagos on November 10, 2022, organised by Green House Art Empowerment Centre in collaboration with the Museum.   

The second leg of the travelling exhibition is focusing on Benin Iconography & Edo Batik, say the organisers, and consists of five main components: mixed-media paintings, art installations, Edo Batik textiles and wax prints, an empowerment workshop, and presentation of an art journal/brochure. The exhibition is open till November 17.

“A key objective of mounting the exhibition is to create awareness and publicise appropriations of the rich Benin icons found on artefacts dating as far back as the 16th Century which are now being deployed by the exhibiting artist in her endeavour to revive the waning culture of Edo Batik clothing. During the exhibition, a collection of Edo Batik textiles and wax prints designed and produced by the exhibiting artist will be on display,” the organisers say.

Dr. Iyase-Odozi is a professional visual artist, writer, curator, empowerment expert, community leader, philanthropist and Founder/CEO, Green House Art Empowerment Centre. She received her B.A. Degree in Creative Arts (Painting), M.A. and PhD (Visual Art Education), all from the Department of Creative Arts, University of Lagos.

Special guests expected at the opening ceremony include Prof. Bruce Onobrakpeya, Mrs. Nike Monica Okundaye, Omooba Yemisi Shyllon and Atedo Peterside.

Dr. Iyase-Odozi said she recognises and admires the wealth of Benin culture, which was reinforced by her beloved father, Iyase N’Udo of Udo, of blessed memory: “Thus, I developed the yearning to promote enlightenment about that culture and the history that sustains it, a quest that propelled my research into Benin art history. Since then, I have been completely absorbed in that endeavour which has been fulfilling in terms of the works I have produced and my personal experiencing over the years.

“The journey culminated in the exhibition on Benin Art and Iconography, the first leg of which was held in Benin City from 26th October to 30th November, 2019. That first outing was a huge success, judging not only by the large number of prominent personalities and foremost artists who graced the opening ceremony, despite the torrential rains on that day, but also the appreciable number of visitors who showed up on subsequent days of the exhibition,” she said.

She disclosed that the Lagos leg of the show was initially scheduled for November 2020 but had to be postponed indefinitely following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in late 2019.