Body Vessel Clay is the 10th annual art exhibition at the Two Temple Place. It showcases the ceramic medium through artworks by three generations of Black women artists working in clay. It spans 70 years of ceramics and celebrates the medium in new and surprising ways. The exhibition is curated by independent curator, researcher and writer Dr Jareh Das.
Review by Nicole Hollingworth, the Friends trustee:
An exceptional exhibition of work by Black Women Potters. Beginning in 1950 with the seminal Nigerian potter Ladi Kwali, this collection illustrates the evolution of her work. Originally producing vessels in her native Gwari tradition where functional pots were made largely by women, Ladi Kwali was later exposed to the methods and practices used in British Studio pottery by Michael Cardew. Here we see how her work interacted with these practices and was transformed from purely functional domestic objects for everyday use to a highly collectible art form which is now held in many public collections.
Going on to examine the work of a variety of potters/artists who were influenced by her, like Magdalene Odundo and Bisila Noha amongst others, this exhibition shows how ceramics have been disrupted and reimagined by Black Women over the past seventy years. Far from being solely about vessels much of the work shown here incorporates a sense of an African heritage in the use of symbols and sgraffito inscriptions. Furthermore clay is even used as performance art as is evident in the film by Jade Montserrat, an artist and writer based in Yorkshire. Through their work these women connect with history to examine ways in which clay can be used as a material through which questions of gender, race and politics can be addressed and challenged.
This is an exhibition not to be missed ! A collection of beautiful pots and thought provoking creations are on display at what must be one of the most stunning buildings in London, completed in 1895 by the Gothic revival architect, John Loughborough Pearson for William Waldorf Astor, 1st Viscount Astor, an American-British attorney, politician, businessman and philanthropist.
Venue : Two Temple Place, London WC2R 3BD (closest station: Temple)
Entrance is free of charge. Opening times: Monday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday 10 – 4.30pm; Sunday 11 – 4.30pm and Wednesday until 9pm! Every Monday from 2.30pm – 4.30pm there is a limiting number visitors to the exhibition in order to create a less overwhelming environment. To manage visitor numbers during these periods visitors are asked to book a free ticket.
Link to more information on the venue and this exhibition www.two temple place.org and below photographs taken by Nicole of ceramics by Ladi Kwali, Magdalene Odundo and Bisila Noha.