Visual Art Paper 2 (Essay) May/June 2015

Question 3

  1. Write notes on Esie Stone figures under the following:

    1. Location
    2. Four characteristics


This question was very popular among the candidates and many of them performed remarkably. Few candidates however stated the characteristics of Benin and Nok art. These inappropriate responses earned such candidates low marks. Candidates should have given some of the following points:
(a)        Location

         Esie Stone figures are located in Esie town, near Offa in Kwara State, Nigeria.
(b)        Characteristics

-           they are all made in soapstone or steatite
-           the figures range from 20cm to 120cm.
-           they consist of figures of men and women mostly sitting on stools with the top connected with the base by a central pillar.

  • the seated figures are draped from the waist to the knees with skirt-like garment tied with sashes.

-           some of the figures are in nude and kneeling position
-           they are elaborately adorned with necklaces and bracelets.
-           many of the figures have facial marks/scarification.
-           most of them wear elaborate hair style
-           they manifest a variety of styles which indicates that they were works of several artists.
-           some of the figures are armed; the men carry swords and arrows and the women carry cutlasses.

  • there are broad styles; one stylized and the second is a naturalistic                 

treatment of forms.
-           the stylized works appear carved without any attempt of smoothening
and this resulted in angular shapes.
-           on the stylized figures, the ears are pushed back to the extent of not
being seen frontally.

  • the eyes of the stylized figures are represented with thick ridges running from side to side.

-           the stylized figures show much decoration with beads, necklaces and anklets.
-           the naturalistic figures show emphasis in natural representation of forms.
-           Some of the figures are in fragments