An exploration of painting aesthetics, signs, symbols, motifs and patterns of coastal Yoruba land of Nigeria

  • Abiodun Babatunde Kafaru

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

This research project is based on action production - a studio art practice involving painting and drawing. The different outcomes form the basis for identifying, investigating, analysing and documenting artistic tendencies found among the coastal Yoruba of Nigeria. The primary subject of research, namely, aesthetics, symbols, signs, patterns and motifs are drawn from Yoruba myths, folklore, legends and ‘woodcarvings’, some of which are similar to the abstract stylization found in modern European art. This study explores analytical cubism, avant-garde and Clive Bell’s theory of aesthetic emotion and interrogates the pictorial characteristics, patterns, motifs, signs and artistic styles found among the indigeneous population of the coastal Yoruba areas of Nigeria. The resulting studio practice focuses on experimentation with lines, patterns, and the geometric shapes that seem to dominate Yoruba artistic forms and crafts such as woodcarving and adire (textile design). The research also seeks to interrogate forms and information found in the data or artefacts as basis for contextual analysis. The nature and number of paintings that constitute the studio practice component of the research are informed and determined by the research questions, through experimenting with analytical cubism, avant-garde and Bell’s theory of aesthetic emotion, forms, materials, found objects and from work derived from the researcher’s interpretations of designs, patterns, signs and motifs. The research project is thus, located within the broader context of contemporary Yoruba, Nigerian, and African art practices.
Date of Award2014
LanguageEnglish
SupervisorCraig Staff (Supervisor) & Victor Ukaegbu (Supervisor)

Cite this

An exploration of painting aesthetics, signs, symbols, motifs and patterns of coastal Yoruba land of Nigeria
Kafaru, A. B. (Author). 2014

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis