Prof. Ben Enwonwu was born in 1921 to a family of traditional carves in Onitsha, Anambra State. He started his art training under an European called Kenneth Murray who he often called his “Art master”. He later went for art training in London where he specialized in Sculpture in 1946. He is a good Sculptor and painter. Ben was a consultant to the international secretariat of the 2nd World Black and African festival of Arts and Culture which took place in 1977 here in Nigeria. He later became a professor of Art at the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University. He died in 1994 after a meritorious service to Nigerian art life.
Ben Enwonwu has exhibited his numerous works both in Nigeria and overseas. Some of his works are Statute of Queen Elizabeth of Britain (Sculpture Casting), Risen Christ (wood carving) at the University of Ibadan, Sango (God of thunder and lightening) in front of NEPA Headquarters, Marina, Lagos, the life-size statue of the Late Alake of Abeokuta HRH Oba Ademola Gbadebo II (Bronze Casting) and Abstract bronze sculpture of Anyanwu (sun goddess) done on the entrance wall of the National Museum, Onikan, Lagos among others.
Ben Enwonwu stated that ” Art is not static, like culture. Art changes its form with the times. It is setting the clock back to expect that the art form of Africa today must resemble that of yesterday otherwise the former will not reflect the African image. African art has always, even long before Western influence, continued to evolve through change and adaptation to new circumstances. And in like manner, the African view of art has followed the trend of cultural change up to the modern times. “
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