By Tajudeen Sowole
Support for famous stained glass artist, David Dale, who is currently facing health challenges, continued with the recent fundraising lottery sales organised by Quintessence Gallery, Park View Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos. Over three years ago, Dale suffered stroke, but survived 12 days of coma. Since then quite a number of financial support initiatives, aimed at assisting his further treatment abroad, have been held, particularly by art patrons at auctions and exhibitions.
At Quintessence Gallery, the Chief Mrs. Aina Oni-Okpaku-led Lottery for David Dale got the support of Mrs. Elisabeth Seriki, the gallery stated shortly after the event. "All our friends in the art also supported the cause to enable us support Dale's rehabilitation medical bills."
Dale is seeking further medical attention in the U.K. or Germany, or South Africa, a source said, adding, "He had suffered from the effects of the chemicals in his working tools."
Recall that at a few auctions ago, Nigeria's number one auction house Arthouse Contemporary dedicated its charity lots to raise funds for Dale in Lagos. Among the early supports for Dale came from one of Africa's leading collectors, Prince Yemisi Shyllon who, according to sources, picked the initial medical bills of the prolific artist. Later, another collector, Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi organised Dale Soiree, a private viewing of the ailing artist's select works.
At the Quintessence charity raffle for Dale, the artist recalled how the Oni-Okpaku-led gallery "was the first to send money to me over three and half years ago." The gallery, he stressed, with a slur in his voice, "has continued to support me ever since."
Dale was born to an English father and a Nigerian mother. He studied Fine Art and Arts History at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria in 1971, specializing in Illustration and Graphic Design. He has worked consistently in 23 different media during his four decades old career. Among his regular medium are oil, beads, glass bead works, water colour, gouache, stained glass media in three different styles - wrought iron, etchings, mosaic, and lino prints,
Quintessence noted, "If he is not in his studio, he spends a lot of his time in his garden. He talks to his plants and they listen to him. He is also a humanist, and has offered scholarships to many Nigerians."
Dale' works have featured in 58 exhibitions world wide such as U.S., U.K., Canada, former USSR, Germany, Spain, France, Holland, Sweden, Brazil, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
Quintessence recalled showing Dale's works eight years ago, noting, "We were privileged to have exhibited his works in 2007."
Dale's commissioned works in stained glass can be found at Our Saviour’s Church, Onikan; Mosaic at St. Agnes Catholic Church, Maryland; murals at MTN building Ibadan, Oyo State; State House Marina, Lagos; Shell headquarters, Nigerian and Stock Exchange, Lagos.
During the Gbadamosi-oragnaised Soiree, a 40-year-old relationship between the collector and the artist was exposed. Held at a new venue, Grillo Pavilion Annexe, Ikoyi, Lagos, the 30 works of Dale on display stressed consistency and loyalty between the artist and Gbadamosi. Gbadamosi recalled how he first encountered Dale’s work during a soiree in 1971/72, when he saw a piece titled, ‘Tiger in the Cornfield’. He described the work as the toast of Dale’s works,”noting that it symbolised early icon of his oeuvre.”