Saturday, January 30, 2010

Nigerian Art

My husband Mark and I took a much needed getaway to Denver, where we strolled downtown and visited the Denver Art Museum. We saw a beautiful patchwork painting called “Soliloquy: Life’s Fragile Fictions” (1997), by Nigerian artist Moyo Ogundipe. I was drawn to it because of its colors and intricate patterns. The artist’s explanation makes me think this is part of “animist” religious beliefs in Nigeria. “My art has been significantly influenced by the Egungun Festival in the Yoruba villages of my childhood in many ways. The Egungun Festival and its intricately carved masks of cubism is the invocation of supreme powers of the ancestors, the summoning of the known and unknown and unknowable powers of the universe for a communion of art and ritual. During this important festival, every day from morning till evening for about two weeks, these ancestral spirits emerge from the sacred groves at the outskirts of the town. Accompanied by a large retinue of drummers, and singers, the procession dances to the King’s courtyard in a total theatre of drama, acrobatics, poetry, mime and pantomime and black magic.” To view more of his beautiful artwork, visit

Meanwhile, Holly is blogging about her trip to Nigeria, at She’s a Physical Therapist who went with me on our first trip there in January 2008 when we fell in love with the people and their faith. She’s a good friend of Daniel’s so it’s perfect that she’s there now to comfort his family.

(Reprints taken from the maigida website; only the second one was at the museum.)

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