Presented To

Department of Arts

Africa has been portrayed by many scholars as a culture with an insignificant representation of flowers; the proof is in the non representation of flowers in the visual art domain. The research examines the ‘floral gap’ as postulated by Mazrui (2004) and the general assumption that flowers are western not African. Jowit (2010), reports that ‘more than one out of four of all flowering species are under threat of extinction’. For this reason, there is a dire need for artists in Nigeria to respond to the environment and issues that pertain to it through artistic research. Five flowers have been selected; hibiscus, lily, zinnia, sunflower and rose; they are explored to create sculptures in relief and round forms to satisfy the canons of representational and abstract art. The approach of this study is studio-experiment, and culminates in a thesis describing the processes, materials and techniques applied in producing a body of work found in the catalogue. This study therefore, provides insight on the use of flowers in artistic inquiry in Nigeria, particularly in the field of sculpture. The purpose of this research is to promote a flower culture in Nigeria, making flowers a relevant subject matter in expressing thoughts and ideas in art. This was achieved through the following objectives: 1) select a group of flowers within ABU, Samaru campus for exploration in sculpture. 2) create representational flower sculptures composed into identifiable objects 3) explore parts of the flowers; its petals, sepals, pistils and stamens to create abstraction. Art is an important aspect of culture it has the power to influence society. Kleiner (2013) asserts that artists and architects can affect History by reinforcing or challenging cultural values and practices through the objects they create. By implication since the artist has been able to produce sculptures from the selected flowers, this research then serves as a platform for the promotion of a flower culture in Nigeria using art as a vehicle. It suggests to artists, government and other individuals the right attitude we ought to portray regarding flowers. Secondly a lot has been said about the non-representation of flowers in African art; however, little has been mentioned about flowers in contemporary sculpture in Nigeria. Therefore, this thesis will add to knowledge in the area of literature. Lastly, the researcher developed a chart showing the life cycle of a flower which is postulated on the basis of the Egyptian mythology of “life after death”. It could be applicable to other artistic research that have to do with nature elements like insects, animals, leaves and a host of others


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