David Dale Herbert; one of the foremost masters of visual arts in Nigeria. Dale’s specialty is in illustration and graphic design, and he has won awards before university. After graduating from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1971 he had won gold and silver medals as well as a silver cup in international art contest organised by Humane Education Institute of Africa. He, in addition, bagged the First Class Star at the same institute for his contributions to contemporary art in Africa. Dale is also a recipient of Solldra Circle Award for painting for the year 2001. He died August 2019 at the military hospital in Yaba[i].
Dale who was born November 22, 1947 in Kano was married but divorced, and he raised a daughter. Before university, he had been to Guildford Grammar School, UK and St Gregory’s College, Lagos, 1953-66. Dale was appointed Senior Advertising Manager, City Group Organisation, Lagos, 1971-76; and Art Director, Akrel Advertising Limited, Lagos, 1976-84. He taught at the School of Architecture, University of Lagos, Akoka, Yaba; also participated at Nigerian National Contemporary Art Exhibition; as well as consulted in graphics to the African Architectural Technology Exhibition during FESTAC’77. As a hobby he collected stamps, coin, and spent time flower gardening[ii].
David Dale’s stained glass project at Our Saviour’s Chapel, Tafa Balewa Lagos was the graphic depiction of the biblical highlights of the earthly life of Jesus Christ, personifying his divine love. Interestingly, the depiction of Christ pulling Peter from a storm seethes with so much life and vigour that the violent effect of the sea is captured with green and blue pieces of glass put on top of plain glass, refined in the oven so that they could melt into one another. The art, a captivating design, also features Dale’s brilliant use of Easter lilies in the pictorial representation of the risen Christ between two kneeling praying figures. There are other pictures of the birth of Christ where he was surrounded by the three wise men who came to present gifts to the newborn baby (Jesus Christ). Other works include Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, His crucifixion and ascension. Indeed, all the works capture the history of the Christian faith. The big bold cross, which stares the worshippers in the face as they step into the small church with rich architectural design does not only add to the aesthetics of the building but also attenuate the spiritual essence of the cross[iii].
[i] PM News, August 6, 2019
[ii] Newswatch Who’s Who
[iii] TheNews, October 28, 2002