Unique tribal art on show in Ripon gallery

Ripon’s David Stead Gallery is collaborating with local collector and dealer Peter Wallin for a unique exhibition of tribal art.

By Janet Harrison
Monday, 25th July 2022, 11:16 am

The show, being held until August 6, includes a collection of rare and fascinating ethnic masks, carved figures, bronzes and textiles, all chosen by and supplied by Peter.

Peter said: “I find tribal art absolutely fascinating and beautiful, although I can see it is not strictly everyone’s idea of beauty.

“To me it is astonishing and learning the history and traditions behind it has kept me addicted for the past 50 years.

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    “Working with David and his wife Beckie, I just wanted to share it and give people the chance to look and learn more about this fascinating art.”

    Most of the exhibits are from the mid 20th century and are traditional pieces of tribal art from ancient civilisations.

    All have been chosen by and supplied by Peter who - through his company IncredibleEarth.co.uk - has built up a collection of quality tribal art.

    The display includes Masks from the Congo, bronzes from Mali and Nigeria, glass trade beads from Ghana, along with carved figures from the Congo, Cameroon and Nigeria.

    Peter has been an ardent collector, setting up his unique educational artefacts business 35 years ago which meant he could combine his passion for tribal art while supplying schools and museums with a vast array of multicultural and ethnic objects.

    Museums supplied include the National Maritime Museum, the Horniman Museum, the Natural History Museum and the majority of the UK’s Museum Loans Services.

    The masks, statues and figures were often used as part of major ceremonies or to mark important events such as births and deaths or remembering ancestors, and promote wellbeing.

    They were often regarded as having supernatural powers to ward off evil and promote happiness and were regularly used as part of elaborate dances.

    Some of the rare items on display include an Amazonian Ticuna boy’s initiation costume made from bark fibre, A very large Songye Kifwebe dance mask from the Congo circa 1970s; an old Kuba mask from the Congo and Bamun chief’s necklace from Cameroon.