Friday 23 September 2011

David Dale

Vintage Dale, an Update
(First published April 22-28, 2007)
When one sets out to view works of a popular artist, the medium, most often, is usually predictable.
Acid etched mirror stained glass, by David Dale
Not so with a David Dale art exhibition. In less than two months of proving his worth as one of the most revered artists at the show, Living Masters, held in Lagos recently, the mixed media artist once again keeps the art scene guessing if there will ever be a drought to his bank of ideas.
 At the Quintessence Gallery, Falomo, Ikoyi, Lagos, the impressive turn out of guests during the opening of the artist’s solo exhibition, Update, was a signature from the public to the artist.
Bead is perhaps one medium in which he has firmly established his skills. But in this show, Dale, who is also known in the stained glass genre adds colour and class to that old painting technique in a modified medium known as acid etched mirror stained glass.
  Multiplicity Makes for Strenghth is a piece of nine hands placed one after the other to form a ring round a moon-like beam. How else could one have appreciated the beauty of this work if not in the fingers nail highlighted by the acid. Perhaps the strength of the work is further noticed in the glow highlight of the encircled beam.
All for birds in the works, Peace, Peace Arriving I, Peace Arriving II, and Home is Nest. The artist’s apparent passion for birds continues as he takes one on a flight to as far as South America in another work, Tropical Rain Forest {Brazil).
  One suspects that Dale must have some passion for birds. "Yes," he responds. Birds are amazing lot to watch, he says, disclosing that in his compound, he devotes time to observe them. That observation further takes him to South America. "Over there, the environment makes for habitation of beautiful birds."
And what can one expect from the exhibit called Mirage? The work offers creatures of opposite speeches; ducks and fishes in flight under the same habitation.
  The only human figural piece of the show, Homeward Bound captured at sun set, an arrival from the forest or farm, of a lad with what looked like a bunch of fire woods. Again, the acid makes a strong impact here as the medium that highlights the image, shooting it out from the bold sun set ring.
David Dale
A diversion from the glass were the two works of oil on boards: Migrating Birds, Dale's continue passion for birds and Human Endavours, an abstraction in motifs.
For every show, he brings forth something new. In Update, the artist is more mobile. From the birds he captures in flight, arrival or take off, to the horses, a wave in action, an angel from another realm, an orchard from above and retiring home from the farm, Dale’s thought keeps one in motion.
 A veteran of about 70 exhibitions since July 1967 when he made his debut in Lagos, Dale was the graphic consultant, African Architectural Technology Exhibition for FESTAC ’77 and also taught Visual Communication for thirteen years, at the Department of Architecture, University of Lagos.
  Dale studied art at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria.

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