“The exhibition offered a beacon of hope.” Darren Appiagyei in the Guardian
“a revelatory show” ****Evening Standard
“will leave you enriched” The Voice
Our 10th annual exhibition showcased the ceramic medium through artworks by three generations of Black women artists working in clay.
Body Vessel Clay spanned 70 years of ceramics, celebrating the medium in new and surprising ways. Beginning with the seminal Nigerian potter, Ladi Kwali, and examining her interaction with 1950s British Studio Pottery, this important exhibition brought together a rich history with experimental new works by Black women working with clay today.
Through Kwali and her female contemporaries, this new perspective on one of the world’s oldest artforms reinterpreted the line of Kwali’s influence and its resonance on a younger generation of international contemporary women artists working with clay in radical new ways. Artists celebrated in the exhibition included Magdalene Odundo DBE, who worked with Kwali, through Bisila Noha, looking both backwards and forwards, and into a striking contemporary display from Phoebe Collings-James, Shawanda Corbett, Chinasa Vivian Ezhuga, Jade Montserrat and Julia Phillips.
Body Vessel Clay was accompanied by a busy programme of talks, events, late night openings and craft workshops – check out What’s On to view a number of the recorded talks and see what is coming up later this year at Two Temple Place.
The exhibition was curated by independent curator, researcher and writer Dr Jareh Das.
Body Vessel Clay toured to York Art Gallery, 24 June-18 September 2022.
‘It is a brave and challenging selection.’
Corinne Julius, Ceramic Review
‘This beautifully paced show reflects how ceramic traditions continue. They might be liberated to take any form the artist can imagine, but they remain rooted in the body, its touch, its movement and its environment, just like those Nigerian pots that begin the show.’
Ben Luke, The Evening Standard
‘Kwali was not only leaning boldly into her own artistry, but also creating space for other women to tap into ceramic and clay traditions as a potent form of creativity and expression.’
Ferrin Gipson, FT
‘One of the best exhibitions I've ever seen. I'm a 76 year old Nigerian... so I was blown away in wonder at this superb exhibition... So glad to see women and African women celebrated.’
‘An extremely valuable and worthwhile exhibition highlighting the contribution of black female artists to the British Art canon. Long overdue.’
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