Spotlight Wednesday | Muraina Oyelami
Chief Muraina Oyelami is a man of two worlds, popularly known as a master painter a great performing artist in music and theatre. He is a product of the famous Oshogbo Art Movement initiated by Professor Ulli Beier and his wife Georgina Beier. In 1964, he started his career as an artist. He studied technical theatre and specialized in theatre design at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, where he later taught traditional music from 1975 to 1987.The Oshogbo art movement was aim at bringing together young and creative individuals without formal art training and encourage them to paint from the heart. Following the success of the movement, Oshogbo today has become the centre of art movement in Nigeria with an ever-growing group of artists.
If we had gone to a university art school, we would not have been able to develop the inner eye so early. Making a painting is really like going into a strange place, like an unknown territory and then you have nothing but your own integrity to guide you…The importance of the art workshop to us was that it gave us a sense of our own identity.
Muraina Oyelami has exhibited his works and performed traditional and fusion music throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and USA. His works are a representation of his experiences, stories, folktales and landscapes. He was a founding member of the late Duro Ladipo Theatre Company performing as an actor and musician. He was in the first Commonwealth Arts Festival in the United Kingdom in 1965 and was among the group that toured the Berlin Festival of Art in 1964.
His varied and enormous list of credits include Guest of the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, Poland, Artist in Residence and Fellow of the National Black Theatre in Harlem, New York and Guest Professor in African Studies at the University of Bayreuth, Germany.
Date of Birth: 1940
Place of Birth: Iragbiji, Osun State, Nigeria
He has great list of credits to his name, some of which are Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Staatlichen Kunsthalle, Berlin; Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC and Institute of Contemporary Arts, London just to name a few.