In this vivid, emotional and immersive installation, acclaimed novelist Ayòbámi Adébáyò tells the compelling story of twins separated by death. Follow the journey of the sacred ibeji artefact from its creation in Benin City, Nigeria, in 1895, to present-day Norwich in a story that spans continents, cultures and lifetimes.
Amongst the Yoruba of southwest Nigeria, twins are traditionally revered as gods. If a twin dies, the parents commission a sacred wooden sculpture of memorial— the ibeji. This figure is cared for as if it were a living twin. Guided by a live actor, Provenance unfolds over three simultaneous screens as we follow the 120-year journey of this sacred object from its creation in Benin in 1895, its capture during the 1897 British invasion, Nigerian independence in 1960, to present-day Norwich, revealing how a seemingly anonymous museum artefact – the ibeji – can hold the hopes and emotions of a family and even of a nation.
Experience Provenance within the magnificent grounds of Dragon Hall, or online from anywhere in the world.
BSL interpreted performances
A BSL interpreter will be present at the 2pm and 4pm performances on Saturday 29 May.
Special performance accompanied by screening of Ayòbámi Adébáyò event
Book your place for Provenance on Saturday 29 May at 6pm and you will have the opportunity to watch a screening of Ayòbámi Adébáyò’s conversation with Professor Jean McNeil within the grounds of Dragon Hall.
Discover the process behind Provenance at a free online event with Ayòbámi Adébáyò on Saturday 29 May. Register here for free.
Produced by Mutiny and University of East Anglia as part of Future and Form, in conjunction with the National Centre for Writing and the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. Funded by Arts Council England.
Entry for this event is strictly limited and entry has been staggered due to COVID social distancing precautions. We cannot permit late arrivals and there is no on the door entry without booking in advance. Read our visiting guidelines for Dragon Hall
About the artist
Ayòbámi Adébáyò is the author of the acclaimed novel Stay With Me (Canongate, 2017), shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and the Wellcome Book Prize and described as a ‘stunning’ debut novel by the New York Times. Ayòbámi is a graduate of UEA’s MA in Creative Writing. Image (c) Canongate
Mutiny is a new public art organisation inspired by the potential to bring new stories and experiences to audiences across the UK and Europe. Connecting the excitement of a live show, with the wonder of new mobile technologies, Mutiny is playful, diverse and always entertaining. They programme their own new work and help other people to develop ambitious new projects. Website
Image (c) Mutiny