Having studied Fine Art at University in the Ondo State, Nigeria, Tola Wewe’s work is deeply influenced by the Yoruba culture and in particular its folklore and myths which he re-interprets to create the most intriguing visual rhythms.
Tola Wewe founded the Ona movement in 1989 with fellow scholars, critics and artists in Nigeria with the aim of pursuing artistic excellence through the contemporary reinterpretation of their collective heritage.
In 2010, Wewe and a fellow Ona artist started experimenting with new materials and new techniques creating a series of scored terracotta reliefs on wood panels, recalling centuries-old bronze plaques from Benin. Some of these terracotta panels were presented in “The Return of Our Mother”, an exhibition set up to celebrate the return of Wewe’s mother who had been “stolen from her house” and for whom a ransom was demanded. Beyond her personal ordeal, Wewe wishes to address the political climate which allows such violent crimes to take place.
His art has been widely exhibited across Europe and the United States, and is in the collection of the Denver Art Museum, USA.