MODERNIZATION OF CREATIVE HERITAGE ONA IN MODERN NIGERIAN ART
Ona art emerged as a result of series of experiments in media, philosophy and Yorừba aesthetics carried out by five Ife ex-graduates in 1989. The art style, which was formerly launched at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan on the 29th of March, 1989, became the toast of many upcoming artists, especially in the southwestern part of Nigeria. Modern Nigerian artists such as Moyo Okediji, Kunle Filani, Tola Wewe, Bolaji Campbell, Segun Ajiboye and Stephen Folaranmi among others revisited and adapted the use of indigenous motifs as elements of decoration in their art works. They are renowned for their visitation and adaptation of Ona as a style in modern Nigerian art. Without doubt, since the introduction of Ona like many other modern art style it has influenced several artists and the art horizon of Nigeria. Many modern Nigerian artists including non-Yoruba speaker today fall back on their indigenous culture where they sourced motifs that are used as embellishment in Ona art. Thus, the researcher believes that Ona art should be defined as the application of indigenous motifs from any culture to enhance the aesthetic qualities of the work of art. Ona artists are numerous but due to the nature of this study, only nine Ona artists were selected and studied. The study has examined the artists’ use of indigenous motifs, ideologies, and media against their cultural background. It also studied the types of themes used by the selected Ona artists who include: social, political, religious and cultural. The rstudy, therefore, examines how Ona art styles and practices have affected their creative intellect and conceptual inspiration.
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