Saka Aremu was one of the earliest members of the New Sacred Art Movement. His works of art appear prominently in the Groves. Among these are 30 or more sculptures in Oju Omotoo, the Marketplace. His signature work of art is the sculpture of the Goddess Osun herself, by the water in front of the Main Osun Shrine.
The towering Chameleon gate protects the entrance to Ebu Iya Moopo, the Sacred Potter Field where Iya Moopo, the Goddess of Women’s Professions resides. This photo is taken from within the Sacred Potter Field looking towards the road that bisects the Sacred Groves.
The chameleon is celebrated in Yoruba creation mythology as the first creature to step onto the earth with its head and tail holding up the new moon and sun. The gate is designed so visitors must 'pass through' this primordial creature to arrive on the sacred ground on the other side, and to exit.
On either side of the gate are giant sculpted flowers. According to Susanne Wenger, “the forms on both sides represent, flower-like, the springtime of existence on Earth, beaten into self-expression under the impact of Chameleon’s descent.” The Chameleon Gate walls are Wenger’s own inspiration. Swirling waters, masquerades and other vibrant decoration also feature on the highly decorated walls which surround the Groves. Other sections were the inpiration of other members of the New Sacred Art Movement.
This gate had almost crumbled to the ground. The restoration by the New Sacred Art Movement took place in 2011 led by Sangodare Ajala. One of the earliest members of the Art Movement, Saka Aremu - now deceased - played an important role in this restoration, as did Adeyemi Oseni and Adebisi Nurudeen.