Inner Light


Publisher: SMO Contemporary Art.

Inner Light is a retrospective exhibition of rare works by Prof Oseoloka Osadebe, a member of the famous Zaria Art Society, popularly called the Zaria Rebels, who are the founding fathers of contemporary art in Nigeria.

It is Oseloka Osadebe’s first retrospective exhibition of eighty-five paintings, sketches, drawings, posters, and one sculpture, a remarkable collection of works spanning over fifty years of artistic practice. Osadebe left Nigeria in the early 1960’s, and is the last rebel to come home, sharing works created over a lifetime of experimental practice.

The exhibition traces his artistic journey from growing up in the bustling city of Onitsha, Eastern Nigeria, in the 1930s and 1940s, to studying in Zaria, Northern Nigeria from 1958 to 1962 alongside other greats like Uche Okeke, Demas Nwoko, Yusuf Grillo, and Bruce Onobrakpeya, to eventually leaving Nigeria on a scholarship to pursue graduate studies in the United States followed by years teaching in America as a professor of theatre.

Osadebe’s eclectic body of work range from abstraction to realism, exploring broad themes of culture, self-actualization, spirituality and identity. His years of teaching theatre lend a unique perspective to his works.