Best Ochigbo


Art as a Mirror of the Idoma Environment


The substitution through sound, picture and gestural language gives the capacity to feel, envisage and to believe, becoming sensitive to different kinds of knowing, rationality, beauty, faith and morality. This is the ways through which art mirrors the Idoma environment. The values of the Idoma people are determined by the consciousness of their culture through art. Idoma, modes of feeling and belief of the Idoma are indirectly translated through art in their surrounding world. The paper explores the environment in which the Idoma people live through their activities, and investigates the ways elements of the environment are interpreted. The thrust of this paper shall be the discussion of a particular aspect of the arts that reveals the rich and diverse ways art in a given environment can shape the social, philosophical, and secular realms of the Idoma. There are very pertinent questions to be asked to guide the discussion. These include: How does art mirror the environment? How does environmental factors influence art? The role of the Idoma iconogenitors as activists, organizers, creative collaborators, cosmologists and cultural leaders are discussed in order to appreciate the role of the Idoma artist in the society.


Best Ochigbo, born on 4 th August, 1958, is a senior lecturer at the Department of Fine and Industrial Arts, University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria. He lectures painting at the University. He has held several group art exhibitions and two solo exhibitions to his credit. He has published several scholarly researched articles in Journals and book chapters. He has attended international conferences of art historians, and a member of the “Art Historical Association of Nigeria (AHAN). He has supervised a number of postgraduate students, and served as external examiner to postgraduate and undergraduate students as well as examined Doctoral candidates at his University. He has been Head, Department of Fine and Industrial Arts, University of Uyo. He has contributed to national discourse on art, and attended several art workshops locally, Octigbo holds the Bachelor of Arts (B. A) Hons, Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A) in painting from the Ahmedu Bello University, Zaria; Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Mass Communication from the University of Uyo, Uyo. He is a member of Nigerian Society of Education through Art (NSEA), Nogh-Nogh Art movement, Media and aesthefic Association (MAM); Master society of Nigeria Artists (SNA). Ochigbo is a mixed media abstract expressionist with research on multi-media art through the pyro-techniques.