From Tailor to Outstanding Sculptor: Buraimoh Gbadamosi

'His work’s powerful impact is by the means of perfect proportions.'

Buraimoh GbadamosiAdunni Olorisha Trust / Adunni Osun Foundation

Buraimoh Gbadamosi, 1925 - 2014

Buraimoh was one of Susanne Wenger's oldest friends, her neighbour and as she called him, her soul-mate.

Susanne Wenger’s House: New Sacred Art at the main entrance (1965/1980) by Rabiu Abesu, Adebisi Akanji, Buraimoh GbadamosiOriginal Source: Adunni Olorisha Trust/ Osun Foundation

First carved works were doors for the house

Susanne Wenger first encouraged him by commissioning wooden doors for her house.
To allow him to work for her, she paid for his 'firee', pidgeon English for freedom, from his position as a carpenter’s apprentice.

Ilédì Oǹtótóo: Wood Sculpture by Buraimoh Gbadamosi (early 1970s) by Buraimoh GbadamosiOriginal Source: Adunni Olorisha Trust/ Osun Foundation

Carved totems guard the inner sanctum

He soon moved on to carving magnificent poles with bulging eyes which guard the inner sanctum of many shrines in the Sacred Ọ̀ṣun Òṣogbo Groves.

Buraimoh GbadamosiAdunni Olorisha Trust / Adunni Osun Foundation

Stone carving became his preferred medium

Stone carving became his preferred medium. His stone figures are both powerful and charming.
'When smiling with them, we feel profoundly reassured” (Susanne Wenger)

Buraimoh GbadamosiAdunni Olorisha Trust / Adunni Osun Foundation

The unique stone sculptures became his trademark

Buraimoh carved these 'Kiliwi' (a descriptive expression coined by Susanne Wenger) in all shapes and sizes. They are said to represent benevolent earth spirits and are often given the attributes of some of the Yorùbá deities.

Walls, Gate and Stairs leading to Ojúbọ ÒṣogboAdunni Olorisha Trust / Adunni Osun Foundation

Iconic stone sculptures

This sculpture marks the spot where another gigantic tree used to stand close to the entrance to the main Ọ̀ṣun shrine.

Buraimoh GbadamosiAdunni Olorisha Trust / Adunni Osun Foundation

The inspiration

'My mind, heart and soul are the secret of the inspiration to produce my work.'  (Buraimoh Gbadamosi)

Buraimoh Gbadamosi's stone sculptures are part of many private collectionsAdunni Olorisha Trust / Adunni Osun Foundation

Kiliwi are in many private gardens

Despite their rather heavy weight, Buraimoh Gbadamosi's loveable stone carvings can be found in many private collections all over the world.

Buraimoh GbadamosiAdunni Olorisha Trust / Adunni Osun Foundation

Lifelong friends

Buraimoh and Susanne remained lifelong friends and soul-mates.

Buraimoh Gbadamosi in his workshop with his son (2000)Adunni Olorisha Trust / Adunni Osun Foundation

The legacy lives on

Mentored by their father, Buraimoh Gbadamosi’s six sons continue in his footsteps. 

Buraimoh Gbadamosi: Seen Through a Framing Wall (2008) by Helmut WienerroitherOriginal Source: Adunni Olorisha Trust/ Osun Foundation

Credits: Story

PHOTOGRAPHY
Adolphus Opara
AOT/F Collection
CyArk
Gert Chesi
Helmuth Wienerroither
Wolfgang Denk

Find out more about the AOT/F’s work by visiting our website  www.aot-aof.org

Your donations will support our continuing efforts to maintain and restore the works of art in the Sacred Ọ̀ṣun Òṣogbo Groves. Thank you.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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