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Title

"They came armed with..."

1939


Artist

Donald Friend

Australia

06 Feb 1915 - 16 Aug 1989


About

During his time in London as a young artist, Donald Friend was inspired to visit West Africa and see first-hand the tribal art that was influencing contemporary European artists such as Picasso and Braque. Travelling to Nigeria in 1938, he lived for a time at Ikerre in Ekiti province where, provided with a large house and servants in the compound of the Ogoga (ruler), Friend pursued his interest in the culture of the local Yoruba people. He drew, painted, observed their customs and way of life and recorded his impressions in a detailed manuscript that he intended for publication – but which was eventually abandoned. This is one of a number of drawings that he created to accompany that text. They illustrate a range of subjects from Yoruba artefacts or early brass heads, to Benin bronzes and contemporary wood-carvings incorporated into buildings.


Details


Place where the work was made

Ikerre Nigeria


Date

1939


Media category

Drawing


Materials used

pencil, pen and ink, wash on cream laid paper


Dimensions

34.1 x 21.4 cm


Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r., pen and black ink "Donald. 39.".


Credit

Margaret Hannah Olley Art Trust 1992


Location

Not on display


Accession number

90.1992


Artist information

Donald Friend

Works in the collection

57


Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 1 publication

Bibliography


Anne Gray, Art and Australia (Vol. 39, No. 3), 'Donald Friend in Nigeria', pg. 428-435, Sydney, Mar 2002-May 2002, 432, 433. pg. 431 & 432 details influence and context of Friend's practice; pg. 435 describes the artist's Nigerian 'manuscript for which this drawing was intended as an illustration.