Of Beads and Beaded Artistry: A Paradigmatic Study of the Beadworks of David Herbert Dale
AbstractBeads have played important roles as personal adornment, in the paraphernalia of royalty of African kings, in commerce, religious activities, and traditional medicines among others. Previous studies on beads have focused mainly on its use in antiquity, while scholarships on how visual artists have engaged beads in creating works of art in contemporary times are scanty. This study therefore focuses on the beadworks of David Dale with a view to examining how the artist has ingeniously engaged beads as a means of creative expression. Data for the study were derived from field investigation through oral interviews with David Dale and art connoisseurs. Secondary data were sourced from relevant literature. Forms and stylistic inclinations were used to aid in-depth understanding of the content of the beadworks. Data collected were treated with the descriptive approach of art historical study. The findings of the study revealed that Dale’s beadworks are highly naturalistic, with perfect composition and great varieties of subject matter that focus on the contemporary cosmopolitan genre. The study concludes that beads which have been one of the most significant aspects of sub-Saharan material culture for ages have been ingeniously explored by Dale in creating enthralling works of art.
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