When mixed media master, David Dale, who survived stroke attack last year, returns to the public glare with a soiree, his art and life will be celebrated.
The art soiree, being organised by the three years old centre for art resource, Yusuf Grillo Pavilion, will feature an exhibition of Dale’s works at the pavilion’s annex, South West, Ikoyi, Lagos on Sunday, July 8, 2012.
Unveiling the Grillo Pavilion’s new medium and concept of promoting art, few days ago, the founder, Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi assured that “the soiree will be a first-of-its-kind, featuring the artist’s recently created works, and expected to attract a coterie of artists, collectors, critics and enthusiasts.” It will also be Dale’s next solo outing since his 2007 show titled Update, held at Quintessence, Falomo, Lagos.
Grillo Pavilion, named after one of Nigeria’s living masters, has held four editions of a yearly art fiesta at its headquarters, Kunbi Haven, Ikorodu since its establishment in 2009. So far, all the four artists celebrated such as Grillo, Bruce Onobrakpeya, Demas Nwoko and Prof Uche Okeke are of the former College of Arts, Science and Technology (now Ahmadu Bello University) Zaria.
Dale, a younger generation of the revered Zaria art school appears more passionate about the soiree as he disclosed that “I used to work for two hours a day, but recently, I have been working up to six hours, just to get works ready for this event.”
Out of over 30 works expected to be on display, 21, according to the organisers, were produced in 2012. Such works include five of original engraving, original foil, beads and stained-glass as well as three large foils.
Other works, the coordinator, Mike Omoighe said, would be sorted from donors who “hopefully will loan us the works.”
Dale, Omoighe stressed, deserves to be so honoured “as he was the artist who, in the 1970s, returned regular art exhibitions to the Nigerian art scene.”
Working in over 23 media, and still counting, Dale, 64, notes in his artist statement saying, “If a door slams shut, it means that God is pointing to an open door further down: to dry one’s eye and laugh at a fall and baffled, get up and begin again.”
He argued that success, as perceived by some people, is not responsible for being “vain, egotistic and self complacent,” rather “it makes them for most part, humble, tolerant and kind.”
For Dale, deriving satisfaction in his work is the ultimate success.
He added: “A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be. The man of virtue makes the difficulty to overcome his first business, and success only a subsequent consideration. There is more in life than increasing its speed. In each of us, there is another whom we do not know. He speaks to us in dreams and tells us how differently he sees us from the way we see ourselves.”
Dale’s ommissioned works include a stained-glass at Our Saviour’s Church in Onikan, Lagos; mosaic for St. Agnes Church, Maryland, Lagos; a mural for the MTN Building in Ibadan, Oyo State. His works adorn both private and public collections.
Born in 1947 to an English father and a Nigerian mother, Dale’s debut solo show was in 1972 at Gong Gallery, Lagos.