Uche Okeke was a modern Nigerian artist and a founding member of the Zaria Art Society at the Nigerian College of Art, Science and Technology (NCAST), now Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. He was well known for bringing the first members of the society together in 1958; initiating the ideology of “Natural Synthesis” upon which the foundation of the society was built; and was its pioneer secretary. Growing up as a child he was exposed to traditional Igbo folklore and culture by his mother, Monica Mgboye Okeke (aka Nee Okeke), which tremendously inspired his works as an artist.

In The Burning Bush, Uche Okeke uses the traditional art form of the Igbo people called Uli as a means of expressing the concept of the piece. The abstract outlook; linearity in rendering; dominance of the Uli lines (akala uli or akpala uli); directness in execution; and simplification are the visible characteristics that draws one’s attention to this painting. The motifs of Uli designs are known to be derived from natural forms including local plants and animals, celestial bodies and man-made objects. The dense burning bush is depicted with geometric Uli shapes and patterns in different shades of recurrent blue and black lines while the engulfing fire is shown in dark red. The Burning Bush was created during the Asele Period (1958-1966), a very significant period in the career of Uche Okeke as an artist.


  • Title: The Burning Bush
  • Creator: Uche Okeke
  • Creator Lifespan: 1933/2016
  • Creator Nationality: Nigerian
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Nimo
  • Creator Birth Place: Nimo
  • Date Created: 1962
  • Location Created: Nigeria
  • Physical Dimensions: 56 x 46cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Original Source: Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Art
  • Rights: Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Art, Pan-Atlantic University
  • Medium: Oil on Paper

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