Benin iconography exhibition opens October 26

ALL is set for ‘Uhunmwenwheehinmwen’, a solo travelling exhibition on Benin iconography and semiotics by Princess Theresa Oghogho Iyase-Odozi of Green House Art Empowerment Centre, in collaboration with Crowne Art Gallery.

The show will open on October 26 at The Hexagon, Crowne Art Gallery, GRA, Benin City, Edo State with the Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Diaspora Affairs, Osaze Osemwengie-Ero, and Enogie of Evbubanosa/Abudu, Professor Gregory I. Akenzua as special guests of honour.

The exhibition, a follow-up to the interactive session held in June in Lagos, was initiated by Princess Iyase-Odozi and focuses on Benin art, iconography and semiotics. It consists of five main components: mixed-media paintings, art installations, textiles, an empowerment workshop and publication of an art journal. The travelling exhibition will run for four weeks before moving to Lagos and later to Abuja in 2020.

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According to the artist, one of the main objectives of the exhibition is to honour the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Ewuare II in appreciation of his efforts to revitalise Benin cultural heritage and project it to the world at large.

“We are also inspired by His Majesty’s plan to establish an academy for art, culture and tourism to be named the Benin Royal Academy of Performing Arts. Consequently, we would like to use the opportunity offered by this exhibition to honour him on the occasion of his 2019 birthday celebrations.

“Another key objective of 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 is now being deployed by the exhibiting artist in her endeavour to revive the waning culture of Edo batik clothing,” she said.

During the exhibition, the artist will present some of her findings in visual art appropriations in the creation of her Edo batik clothing line and reveal the myths surrounding the popular Ebe Ewere leaves used during the Benin Igue Festival.

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