Chris Ofili the 42 year old UK painter renowned for his works referencing his Nigerian heritage and use of elephant dung, has had his first experimental piece located with two others in a vault of a gallery in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. The piece was created in 1992 when Ofili traveled to Zimbabwe as a young 23 year old council funded artist to participate in an artists’ workshop, where he experimented in the use of elephant dung that has gone on to become his signature media. The Art Newspaper investigation uncovered these significant paintings from the now defunct workshop, in a branch vault of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe. The paintings are in need of urgent conservation works due to the materials used and the young Ofili’s (now a Turner Prize winner of international fame) lack of experience at the time.


Inspired by Martin Bailey image source African Success