In fulfillment of a promise made to late wood carver, Lamidi Fakeye and also to maintain his revered position as front liner in the development of Nigeria and Africa Art, Omooba Yemisi Shyllon last week at Freedom Park, Lagos, presented the book, “Conversations With Lamidi Fakeye”
The book which Shyllon co-authored with Ohioma Pogoson drew an overwhelming crowd which was a mixture of both old and young, High Chiefs, the literati, students and book lovers from all over the country as well as few foreigners, especially loyalists of the reknowned wood carver, late Lamidi Fakeye.
With a hard cover and high quality color prints,”Conversations With Lamidi Fakeye” which was published by Quintessence and Revilo Company Ltd, discusses the career, work and untold story of Fakeye’s life and experience as an artist. It also features interview with the late iconic wood carver in addition to photographic images of about 48 artworks of the artist which are in the OYASAF collection.
Coming from the person of Yemisi ShylIon whom many only know as one of, if not the largest art collectors in the country, it was surprising to hear him correct the misconception by saying that, “ I have been writing. You saw what the book reviewer said.
I was the editor of the magazine in my University days and I am into many professions, I am a lawyer, an engineer, a chartered stock broker, I am a chartered marketer, I am an art auctioneer, a business administrator, and a consultant in finance and investments. So I am into many areas of life, but art is my passion and I reached an agreement with the late Lamidi Fakeye that I was going to do three things for him, because he was somebody I respect so much.”
Asked why he made such promise and what it was all about, Omooba Shyllon explained that, Lamidi Fakeye’s works are in various museums and private collections everywhere in the world, but as an art enthusiast and follower of the acclaimed wood carver, the time he met Fakeye, he was not well known in Nigeria, and so in 2005 he promised to do three things for the iconic wood carver.
“First, I want to be the largest collector of your work, which I ended up to be, secondly, I want to organize an exhibition for you in Lagos, I know his works have been exhibited by the British Council and other places, but it was a kind of subservient exhibition”, Shyllon noted, adding that in 2009, he organised a very befitting exhibition for him under the assistance of Mrs. Delewo Ogunsanya, who is the owner and founder of Mydrim Gallery.
Lastly, he promised to document Fakeye’s works through a research oriented book. The book which is presented as a conversation series, the art collector hinted, is expected to give other authors and researchers an in depth and personalised information about the late sculptor. It is interesting to know that one of the best photographers in Nigeria, Kelechi Amadi Obi, enjoyed the honour of taking the photographs of the works.