Despite the prolific and ingenious productivity of the printmakers in Nigeria, the significance of their creative endeavours has not been given adequate attention by scholars of contemporary Nigerian arts. Scholarship on the printmakers has been limited to catalogues of art exhibitions, skimpy art reviews in magazines, and a few sketches on their biographies. This study therefore probes into the evolution of printmaking in Nigeria. This is with a view to obtaining its developmental history and enabling a more nuanced and useful understanding of the ways in which printmaking contributes to contemporary art praxis in Nigeria. Relying on field investigation, data were collected through in-depth interviews of printmakers, art critics, art historians and gallery owners, using oral or interactive formats; and collection of visual media sources. This study justifies the need for a developmental history; it identifies and examines the key actors who pioneered printmaking in Nigeria. It further appraises printmaking in Nigeria through the lens of relevant literature; and examines workshops, training, and techniques of printmaking in Nigeria.
Evidence abounds of the synergy that exists between literature and visual arts in Africa. Illustrations are known to have given more meaning to books, while the text plays the role of the storyteller, the illustration acts out the story or scene on the pages of the book. Illustrations also make readership very easy and appealing to children and the uneducated people in our local communities. In recent times however, studies have shown a sharp decline in the inclusion of very good, insightful and inspiring illustrations into African literary text. When included, it is often poor and limited to the cover page of the book. This paper examines the merits derivable from the inclusion of visual arts into African literature as well as the reason for its decline with a view to suggesting how it can be used to reinvent African literature. It is expected that by so doing, publishers and authors will see the need and importance of using more illustrations in their books. This will, in turn, generate more interest in the culture of reading among the youths of the 21st century as well as the development of literature directed towards children and the unread.