Archives for posts with tag: Osupa blog

His paintings adorn the walls of art collectors and galleries all over the world. His work is admired by statesmen and enthusiasts far and wide. On a perfect  day in August, I found myself  in the company of Gbolade Omidiran- artist of great talent and extraordinary success. Read the rest of this entry »


Everyday there are worlds waiting to be found. If you are persistent and with a bit of luck, you may find a few exceptional ones. In a quiet corner of Ibadan, I found Tunde Odunlade.

Criss-crossing the sprawling city, It took a while to find  him, but we did. We were swept into the hands of an artist totally involved with the idea of ” art with a purpose in nation building”.

He welcomed us like old friends and we wandered into his world without walls.

Warm, witty, intelligent, creative and erudite, Odunlade is an exceptional artist and a charming host. An Ife prince, Odunlade moved from Ile-Ife to Ibadan in the 70’s.

With over 42 years as a successful textile and fiber art specialist, his style is engaging and diverse.  Floatographs. Bartiking, marbling caligraphy and Adire. Beading on textiles and beaded appliqués. But there is more.

Intricate and intriguing, Odunlade wants you to enjoy the beauty and creativity in his soul but not without thinking about yours.

We talked about “Oju Inu, agba oye” , Odunlade’s upcoming exhibition at University of Ibadan’s Institute of African Studies on the end of August 2017.

This exhibition takes as its premise the Yoruba proverb : “Oye lagba wo, iriri sagba ohun gbogbo” which means the elderly seeks first to understand while experience supersedes all things.

Hence, ” Oju inu, agba Oye” takes us on a journey. It examines the indigenous  knowledge of the Yoruba people passed down through the generations in proverbs, idioms, folklore and traditional skills such as Adire . This knowledge is enriching, the basis for the understanding and value of self.

With pieces like “Oya goddess of the wind” and “Oduduwa”, the examination of Yoruba mythology and heritage is inherent in many of the pieces.

When you consume Odunlade’s  art, you must engage with your social, and political consciousness- your place and purpose in society. Each piece evoked particular ideas.  The failure of the Nigerian state. Underdevelopment in Africa. The colonial legacy. Yoruba history and Heritage. Karma and consciousness.

Very quickly, I realised that I would have to keep up with the dexterity of Odunlade’s intellect and prolific creativity.

This  art has travelled the world. Odunlade  had shared his vision with audiences at  the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC, the  Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Jordan museum of Art and many more.

His work  resonates.

It draws attention by its range of techniques, its beauty and its embedded narratives. For a few hours, I was driven into a world of absolute synergy between artist and his art.

Beyond aesthetics, Odunlade wants you affected. This is not art for the fun of it. This is art that speaks to you about your intentions, motivations  and your everyday interactions with the world in which you live.

I am glad Tunde Odunlade invited me to his home and allowed me to travel with him into his visionary world.



We all know the feeling well.

Sometimes we simply need to get away; to find a place that allows us to forget  some of the realities of everyday living. A space to relax . Maybe one which reminds us that our faiths and beliefs, our primal connection to nature and divinity defines us as human beings  in a universal way. And for a few glorious hours, I was transported to such a place.  Osun Sacred Grove on the outskirts of Oshogbo town.


A dense forest teeming with exotic plants and wildlife.   Sanctuaries. Shrines. Palaces. Exquisite 20th-century sculptures.  A  journey back into an almost forgotten world and the most spectacular examples of sacred art.

It was heavenly beneath the leafy canopy. In midday temperatures close to 29 degrees celsius, I welcomed the green marquee and the coolness of the shade. However, beyond its spectacular natural beauty, this was a special place designated as a World Heritage Site in 2005.


Home to the goddess of fertility Osun, one of the pantheon of Yoruba gods, the sacred grove  is abundantly dotted with signatures  of Yoruba traditional mythology; shrines, sculptures and contemporary art in honour of Osun and other Yoruba  deities.


I was  impressed with this congregation of sacred sculptures  only an hour away from my town of ile-ife. Although it was over 40 years old, clearly, this was no forgotten monument out in the middle of nowhere. The grounds, antiquities, museum , sculptures and  structures looked extremely well-kept. As I took it all in,   I was proudly  appreciative of the effort it must take to keep this place maintained to the highest standards.


With warm smiles and an undeniable enthusiasm for sharing the goodness of Oshun, the Osun devotees spoke with passion. This was an active religious site where daily, weekly and monthly worship takes place. The more I listened to the stories of Osun and her powers to heal and provide hope for those who desire to be mothers, the more I instinctively understood  why this place drew  so many people from all over the world. They believed this to be a place of sacred worship, pilgrimage and transformation.

At a time when many  heritage sites across the world are disappearing, Osun grove remains a thriving, relevant religious and cultural space. It is also an important reminder that we have a history. It is richly textured with a traditional belief system which predates many Western cultures.

I had set out to learn something new about a world which I thought I knew pretty well.  As I left  Osun grove, I was extremely satisfied I had found my way there. Here I was, full of optimism and a  reinforced sense of my own identity and the roots I share with a wider community.

Everyday will bring you closer to telling  your story. It will inspire another.


Inspire and share Osupa 2017

Wake. Tend. Feed. Work. Leisure. Be thankful.

Inspire and share Osupa 2017

Rise because you can.
Rise because your feet are steady and strong. Rise for the many who cannot. Rise. Make today count.

Inspire and share Osupa 2017


We are physical. We are emotional. We are spiritual. We are beings of many parts. Embrace the fullness of who you are.


Inspire and share Osupa 2017

Understand this.  We are here to inspire each other.

Inspire and share Osupa 2017

If your heart is forgiving, your soul will be wise.


Inspire and share Osupa 2017

OSUPA – lightness & brightness

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