Elizabeth Olowu: Profile

Elizabeth Olowu is a sculptress based in Benin. She is a pioneering student of the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Benin. She began her carrier as a sculptress earning a BA and MFA from the University of Benin. She is renowned as the first woman bronze caster in Benin, albeit Nigeria. She is a daughter of Oba Akenzua II (1933-1978), who in many ways encouraged her into exploring areas of the art regarded as taboo to women's participation in Benin. Olowu had carried out major sculpture projects in Benin. Her cement and bronze statuary featured prominently in the 1980s. Her most recent engagement as costumier explores the rich traditional and contemporary regalia of kings, chiefs and courtiers of Benin.

Elizabeth Olowu- Project


Using the project as a contact, journeying becomes a tangent for inventing and reinstituting memories to the evolution of a society, where bronze casting was primarily patriarchal. Elizabeth Olowu, re-enacts her art tutorials under Late Chief Osa of Igun in the 1970s. Also, as one who has remained embedded in Edo Culture, the costuming for the project, recital of praise songs becomes a project to speak into the constancy of a people's philosophy through traditional fashion.