Twins had no formal art education. Rather it was his encounter with the German academic Ulli Beier and his artist wife Susanne Wenger in Osogbo that led him to art. In the 1960s Beier was working for the University of Ibadan extra-mural department. He set up a club in Osogbo modelled on the famous Mbari Club of Ibadan. Twins was initially attracted by the music scene in the club, but Beier and Wenger (and later Beier’s second wife, Georgina) believed in providing materials for art making. This allowed artists to find their own style and Twins rapidly shifted his talents toward fine art.
His work draws upon a combination of Yoruba mythology and culture and individual imagination, developed within a unique personal style that uses fine lines within outline blocks, seriation and stylization. His later work, such as this one, makes use of high relief panels, emphasizing the outline blocks of his subjects. He often makes use of the myths surrounding the town of Osogbo; here we see the hunter, who is the founding ancestor of the goddess Osun, carrying her calabash.
In the process of developing the John Randle Centre, its curators have researched some fascinating stories associated with Yoruba culture. Read on for some examples.