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Download this complete Project material titled; Development Of Shere Village Forms In Painting: A Transformation From Realism To Minimalism with abstract, chapters 1-5, references, and questionnaire. Preview Abstract or chapter one below

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ABSTRACT

Some aspect of art which has gained importance as a means of expression by artists over time is
landscape painting. The presence of the natural and man-made features on Shere village informed
the researcher to explore the possibility of developing and expressing these forms in an artistic
language. Shere village landscape comprises of many natural and man-made land forms such as
hills, mountains, rocky mountains, valleys, gouges, shrubs, rocks, rivers, ponds, gullies, cliffs,
man-made dumps, lakes, the atmosphere, and of course the sky. The researcher was influenced
by this event in nature. The motifs and forms on the Shere village landscape provided an artistic
point of departure in painting. This study focuses on Minimalism as a means of expression. The
exploration of landforms generally has been undertaken by various artists in Nigeria and other
parts of the world. The researcher however, is not aware of any record of painting using forms
from Shere landscape. The theory adapted for this research was minimalism. Minimal art was
developed in the late 1950s and 1960s in the United States of America mainly as a reaction to
abstract expressionism. Minimalism defines a simplification of forms in artwork and design. The
review examined written literature and works done by artists on minimalist paintings especially
landscapes and how they were rendered by minimalist artists, such as Kandinsky, Matisse, Klee,
and Buhari. The review also validates the minimalist style by entrenching its philosophy.
Collection of data was done by the means of study drawings and sketches from selected sites.
Photographs were also used. These selected land forms and sites were developed and translated
into minimalist paintings from their realistic state. This study was categorized into three (3) major
stages; representational, developmental and abstract stages (i.e. minimalism). Twenty two (22)
works were executed in the course of this research, presented and analyzed; they can be viewed
in the plates provided. The findings reveal that there were unlimited forms to explore. In
addition, a variety of colours could be explored which created interest. As a major contribution
to knowledge the research serves as a document for posterity, a catalyst and source of inspiration
to Nigerian artists to engage in paintings of their rich indigenous environments.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page i
Declaration ii
Certification iii
Dedication iv
Acknowledgement v
Abstract vi
Table of Contents vii
List of Reviewed Plates ix
List of Figures x
List of Plates xi
CHAPTER ONE
1.0 Introduction 1
1.1 Background of the study 2
1.2 Statement of the problem 6
1.3 Objective of the study 6
1.4 Significance of the study 7
1.5 Scope of the study 7
1.6 Limitations 7
1.7 Delimitations 8
1.8 Theoretical Framework 8
viii
CHAPTER TWO
Review of Related works and Literature 9
2.1 Introduction 9
2.2 Minimalism 9
2.2.1 Artists and Minimalists’ Landscape Painting 10
CHAPTER THREE
Methodology 22
3.1 Introduction 22
3.2 The Data 22
3.3 Data Collection 22
3.3.1 Photographs 22
3.3.2 Sketches 27
3.4 Supports and Materials 32
3.5 Colour Usage 32
3.6 Method of Data Analysis 32
3.6.1 The Exploratory Stage 32
3.6.2 The Developmental Stage 33
3.6.3 The Abstraction Stage 33
CHAPTER FOUR
Analysis of works
4.1 Introduction 34
4.2 Catalogue of Works 34
CHAPTER FIVE
Summary Findings, Conclusion and Recommendation
ix
5.1 Summary 57
5.2 Findings 57
5.2 Conclusion 58
5.3 Recommendation 58
5.4 Contribution to Knowledge 59
Bibliography 60
LIST OF REVIEWED FIGURES
i. Numas Plateau, Upper Brandberg 11
ii. Cascad Shelter, Upper Brandberg 12
iii. Claude Monet, Impression Sun Rise 12
iv. Kandisky Wassily, The Blue Riders 13
v. Henry Matisse, Le Luxe ii 14
vi. Kandisky Wassily, Train in Murnau 14
vii. Kashmir Malevich, Morning in the Country after Rain 15
viii. Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Rising Moon 16
ix. Paul Klee, Landscape with Yellow Birds 17
x. Milton Avery, Swimmers and Sunbathers 18
xi. Jerry Buhari, Pounding 19
xii. Judy Love, Mello Sunset 20
xiii. Patricia Dubose Duncan, Six Hayrolls II 21
x
LIST OF FIGURES
FIGURE TITLE PAGE
xiv Photograph 23
xv Photograph 23
xvi Photograph 24
xvii Photograph 24
xviii Photograph 25
xix Photograph 25
xx Photograph 26
xxi Photograph 26
xxii Rocks 1 27
xxiii Rocks 11 27
xxiv Landscape 28
xxv. Elephant grass 28
xxvi Wild wind 29
xxvii Village scape 29
xxviii Erosion 30
xxix Study 30
xxx Geometrical shapes 31
xxxi Village scene 31
xi

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

1.0 Introduction
Some aspect of art which has gained importance as a means of expression by artists over time is
landscape painting. Landscape painting is the representation of a panoramic view of the environment
depicting such forms as; trees, mountains, hills, rivers, sky, houses, cars, electricity poles and wires,
human figures among others.Aspects of landscape painting can be traced to prehistoric representations on
cave walls of Altamira as recognized by Gardner (1980). Funk and Wagnall (1995) define landscape as
“a stretch of country as seen from a single point.” They further stated that it is “a picture representing
natural scenery.”
Similarly, landscape painting according to the Encyclopedia of World Arts, volume ix (1964), is
“the type of pictorial representation in which natural scenery is the subject of or prevail over the action of
figures, this also describes the rendering of natural scenery, painting forms, and colour which makes up
the design elements of the landscape.” Landscape therefore, can again be defined as a form of art which
deals with the representation of a section of natural scenery or landforms.
Wikipedia informs us that “the word landscape is from the Dutch landscape, (the German
cognate is landschaft) meaning sheaft, patch of cultivated ground.” The word is said to have entered the
English vocabulary of the connoisseur in the late 11th century. Furthermore, Hornby (2000) sees
landscape as “everything you can see when you look across a large area of land, especially in the
country.”
2
Stylistic movements over time have represented landscapes in peculiar approaches. Among these
movements are Renaissance, Rococo, Baroque, Realism, Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, Surrealism,
Futurism, including Minimalism, which forms the basics of this research.
According to Encyclopedia Americana Volume 19 (1829), International Edition:
“minimalism describes movements in various forms of art and design, especially visual art and
music, where the work is stripped down to its most fundamental features and core self
expression.” Encyclopedia (Americana) further reiterated that the term “minimalist” is none
objective art that attempt to reduce artistic decision making to a few logical choice. It can also
refer to anything which is spare, stripped to its essentials, or providing only the outline of
structure independent of the particular art movement, and “minimalism” the tendency to reduce
to fundamentals. It is sometimes applied to groups or individuals practicing asceticism and the
reduction of physical possessions and needs to a minimum.” From the foregoing, minimalism
which started in 1960 in New York is a movement in the arts identified with development in
post-world War II Western Art, rooted in modernism and associated with post modernism. It is
simply the simplification of an idea or form for philosophical and aesthetical consumption. This
study focuses on Minimalism as a means of expression.
1.1 Background of the study
Remarkable contributions in various areas of art expression have been made by modern painters
leading to inventions, discoveries and, the development of modern science and technology. The
exploration of landforms generally has been undertaken by various artists in Nigeria and other parts of the
world. The researcher however, is not aware of any record of painting using forms from Shere landscape.
3
The researcher had undertaken field studies including the review of exhibitions in Nigeria, exhibition
catalogues, books, magazines, newspapers publications, but has not come across documented abstractions
relating to Shere village landscape forms. In addition, there are in exhaustive variations in the physical
environment within the geographical landscape of Shere village setting. It became pertinent therefore to
look into this artistically Shere landforms.
Shere Hills of Jos are about 1,700 meters above sea level. They are located on the Jos Plateau in
Jos East Local Government Area. The features of Jos Plateau include a flat area of almost about 8,000 sq.
km which is elevated to about 1,200 meters above sea level. The Hills is ranked the second highest feature
in Nigeria after Adamawa Mountains. Schoeneich and Mbonu (1991) submit that, “Shere Hills are said to
be built up of granite rock formation which solidified from liquid magma, the depth estimated at about…
10,000 meters below sea level”. This might have happened some 150 million years in the middle of the
Jurassic period. He further noted that, they were tectonically lifted above the ground surface and long
eroded by rivers and streams, leaving a beautiful and low landscape.
Schoeneich and Mbonu (1991) observe that geomopologically the landscape erosion formed over
millions of years ago. Dip valley with steep slopes called “V” shape are also visible features in the Shere
Hills rock formations. The main feature seen after further erosion presently may have been continually
transformed after the elevation of the plateau some 60 million years ago. It may have been that during the
period, the details of reliefs were modified both by dynamics of human and scientific exploration. The
people who inhabit the Shere village prefer to be called the Afizere. However, they are popularly known
4
as the Jarawa, which is a derogatory term. Their occupation includes farming, (both root and tree crops
such as cocoyam, cassava, yams ,both sweet and Irish potatoes, Acha, rice, millet, maize, guinea corn,
tamba and most of the vegetable crops), hunting, pottery, weaving, carving and blacksmithing and,
trading. The hills are said to provide avenue for relaxation and protection against external aggression on
the Afizere people. Tin and columbite mining within the surrounding of the hills which flourished with
the coming of the colonial rule around 1880 became part of their modern occupation. Furthermore, the
coming of British traders following the discoveries of metal sticks by the locals around 1884 in Ibi town
in Taraba state brought a larger invasion by the British soldiers. This generally paved way for the influx of
workers and metal seekers that culminated into larger exploratory excavation work. This continued to
cause further undulation of the terrain (Schoeneich and Mbonu 1991).
The lucrative tin mining activities or excavation on the Jos plateau in addition to the natural
features on the landscape brought about with them the appearance of dumps, gorges, as well as artificial
streams and lakes which were created from washing the tin and columbite (mineral ore). Shere village
and its surrounding is highly endowed with beautiful vegetated Rocky Mountains. This includes: shrubs,
rocks, hills, plains, ridges, mountains, lakes, rivers, and valleys. Some of the rocks are balanced as if
tactfully arranged by man, one stone on another, creating artistic arrangement in the landscape thereby
giving a general outlook of one of these most outstanding features in the Nigerian landscape.
The presence of the natural and man-made features on Shere village has informed the researcher
to explore the possibility of developing and expressing these forms in an artistic language. Landscape
5
painting in Nigeria since the 19th century is influenced by the European way of presenting landscape as
Okeke (1980) posits in Gushem (1990). “Landscape in Nigeria at the beginning of the 19th century was
adulterated by the European cheap representation of British landscape art, in line with the contemporary
freedom of expression and by painters”Gushem (1990).
Wikipedia notes that, “early in the 15th century, landscape painting was established as an art genre
in Europe, as setting of human activities.” This means that not until around the 17th century when
landscape gained a place as an independent form of pictorial art, it was considered inferior to figure
painting. Constable (1883) holds a view against “painting landscape that meant only to enhance the
beauty of the figure.” He further notes that, “under no circumstance should nature undergo correction”.
He however accounts for and justifies the diversity of styles in landscape painting by stating that just as in
nature, where no two hours are the same, neither were there ever two leaves alike since the creation of the
world, therefore, each valid work is distinct from every other.
The Encyclopedia.com views that the concept of early landscape painting in the West grew very
slowly, where nature was traditionally viewed as consisting of isolated objects, long before it was
appreciated as a scene or environment. Landscape as an independent art was a late development in the
West. Many scenes from the Hellenistic pictorial painting of antiquity to the religious works of the 16th
century A.D continued showing expansive landscape backgrounds, but they were usually subordinated
within a narrative context.
6
The landforms of Shere village from which this study gained its inspiration exist with natural and
man-made features. It is remarkably outstanding from within its surrounding. The painting possibilities
inherent in Shere hills have stimulated the researcher to undertake this study.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
It appearsmost available landscape paintings in Nigeria are realistic in style or rendition; attempts
at other styles such as minimalism, in landscape painting are few, as observed by this researcher. An
artistic transformation of degraded Shere landscape as a result of unfriendly human activities on this
landscape by imbibing the minimalist approach offers a fresh perspective and inspiration to the
representation of landscapes. This will bring to limelight man’s unfriendly act (mining) to the
environment by means of exhibiting the products of the research.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The major objective of this researcher is to use a minimalist painting approach to depict Shere
village landscape forms and its immediate environment. To achieve this therefore the specific objectives
are to,
1. develop minimalist painting possibility of transforming forms from a study of the Shere Hill
landscape from realism to a simplified state;
2. explore the aesthetics of Shere Hills landscape in painting medium ;
7
3. create awareness in society through exhibition of the paintings, on the need to respect nature and
cultivate it rather than destroy it; and
4. record this research work so that man will realize the importance of conserving his
environment for future generations.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The significance of this research is centred around the destructive activities of man on his
environment and can therefore be viewed in the following way:
1. The study will act as a record of the grandeur and beauty of the Shere village land formations and
its immediate environment for posterity.
2 The adaptation of the minimalist approach has a two-way significance in that since man’s
activities are ravaging the environment, and therefore minimalising the land forms, a minimalist
painting approach is found most suitable to depict it.
3 Using a minimalist approach adds new impetus to existing knowledge in Nigerian painting which
has a close affinity to traditional Nigerian art where simplification of forms is the norm.
1.5 Scope of the Study
This research is limited to the study of Shere village of Jos Plateau State and its immediate
environment. It is concerned with the exploration and development of landscape forms as inspired by the
Shere village landscape.
8
1.6 Limitations
The Shere village topography consist of difficult terrain including deep mine pits, rocky high
grounds, water logged ground and sharp outcrops and dangerous reptiles, all this constitute difficulties
that the researcher encountered in the course of the research.
1.7 Delimitations
A major problem encountered was with the selection of sites considering the numerous
sceneries, forms and motifs which could be used however; some suitable sites were cellected based
on their shapes, physical appearance, motifs and aesthetics of the scenery for the purpose of
handling this study.
1.8 Theoretical Framework
The theory adapted for this research is minimalism. Minimal art was developed in the late
1950s and 1960s in the United States of America mainly as a reaction to abstract expressionism.
Minimalism defines a simplification of forms in artwork and design. Minimalist artworks
“consist of geometric shapes or other simple forms” favouring use of basic colours arranged in
an impersonal manner (Encarta Encyclopedia 2009).
It is these basic principles that have endeared this researcher to the minimalist approach;
since in the landscapes emanating from this study are simplifications derived from the reality of
the land forms which have already been distorted by natural phenomena and human activities.

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