This study takes a look at the public sculpture enterprise in Lagos, Nigeria. It examines its background and the philosophical framework guiding the practice. Because a huge amount of resources, both financial and otherwise, go into the production and installation of public sculpture, it becomes important to appraise the ‘success’ of these works, particular as many are seen to have fallen short of expected impact. This study adopted qualitative research methods and it relied mainly on secondary data, though extensive physical observation of the discussed sculptural pieces was also carried out. This paper presents an inventory of major sculptural installation in Lagos Metropolis since 1945 when the first public sculpture is believed to have been installed. The study assesses the corpus of Lagos’ public sculpture, testing them against three variables of size, location and subject content. The results show that an underlining tension exists between expected impact of public sculpture and a reality of irreverence from the people in Lagos. It was found that this gap stems from early subliminal doctrines of traditional Yoruba religion and the consequent confusion of the purpose of public sculpture. This study concludes that to mitigate on this gap, feasibility tests focused on size, location and meaning of proposed sculpture must be rigorously carried out in order to increase the ‘success’ and acceptance rates of public sculpture projects.
Public Sculptures in Lagos Metropolis; a Brief History and Critique, Urban and Regional Planning.
Vol. 5, No. 3,
2020, pp. 88-96.
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