Africa is not generally associated with great art but Nigeria is associated with three major artistic traditions; the 2,000 year old Nok terracottas of the north, the Bronzes of Ife from the 12th to 15th centuries and the later Benin Bronzes. Richard lived in Nigeria in the 1960s, near Ife, and became familiar with the art of Ife and Benin and the role they played in society. The art, the technology (using the lost wax process) and the cultural relevance of the Bronzes will be illustrated and discussed in the lecture.
Dr Richard Thomas completed an MA in Canada in Development Studies, and a PhD from Trinity College, Dublin in History and Political Science. His career as an academic and as a political and institutional analyst in the field of International Development enabled him to travel widely in Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. He always sought to understand the arts and culture of the country or region he was living or working in since they illuminate the past and help to explain the present.