Left: Dr. Akande speaks on one of the works exhibited. Middle: A student volunteer takes time out to enjoy the works. Right: Associate Professor Kayode Adebayo, Ag. HOD of the Department of Architecture cuts the tape to officially open the exhibition.
The photographic work of ‘Deyemi Akande, the 2016 recipient of the H. Allen Brooks Travelling Fellowship, was featured in the exhibition This is My Father’s House, hosted by the Department of Architecture, University of Lagos, Nigeria, February 9–10. The exhibition featured 123 photographs selected from the corpus generated during his fellowship travels to the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy. The photos captured the beauty of ornamentation on Western European cathedrals from the Medieval, Gothic and Renaissance periods, including Notre Dame Paris, Reims Cathedral, Sagrada Familia, St. Peter’s Basilica, Salisbury Cathedral, Dresden Cathedral, and Berlin Cathedral, among others.
Dr. Akande was kind enough to share photos from the exhibition’s opening with SAH, and his reflections on the event follow.
Left: Dr. Akande with some of the student volunteers. Right: Dr. Akande takes guests through the display.
Left: Some of Dr. Akande's Master in Environmental Design students. Middle: Dr. Akande with Dr. Olumide to the left and Dr. Oduma-Olugu to the right, all of the Department of Architecture, Unilag. Right: Works on display.
Left: Doing what he loves, Dr. Akande speaks on one of the works exhibitied. Middle: Dr. Sogbesan discussing one of the works. Right: Dr. Akande with the @sah1365 throw pillow.
It was a very well attended event, in spite of the news that reached us only two days earlier that the President of the Federal republic of Nigeria was visiting Lagos and most major roads would be cordoned off for security reasons, making vehicular movements extremely difficult, if not altogether impossible. Both days saw a huge crowd from the university community and private practice. Students and former students of the department also used the event as a reunion of sorts. The weather was great, the music was good, the chops and drinks were excellent—everyone generally had fun as they got an informal lecture on the basics of ornamentation on cathedrals in Western Europe.
The University media team was present as well as the Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Prof. Mike Adebamowo, together with many senior academic and non-academic staff members. Members of the clergy were also in attendance. A short introduction and welcome address were given by a faculty member, Dr. Johnson, and the Head of Department of Architecture, Dr. Adebayo, gave a very spirited speech about me and the brilliance of presenting materials from my research in a medium that is easily digestible.
The event was heartily welcomed by the university community as exhibitions like this are extremely rare amongst departments outside the Faculty of Arts. Representatives of three other universities were present and they have expressed the desire to discuss the possibility of touring the works to their respective universities.
In all, it was a very successful outing and the Society of Architectural Historians was well projected as several people asked how I was able to pay for all the travels. I had no hesitation in telling them about the H. Allen Brooks Fellowship and SAH. It was important to dispel the notion that the Society of Architectural Historians was an American-only society. This was very easily achieved, and I hope that this exhibition will bring better visibility to SAH in this part of the globe.