Body Vessel Clay and Louise Bourgeois

Updated: Mar 1

Body Vessel Clay at Two Temple Place

This exhibition was very inspiring. Ladi Kwali's work was absolutely incredible and the detail she created on her ceramics was beautiful. I found her educational background very interesting also, learning from her aunt and becoming one of the greatest Gwari potters, with the king of Abuja collecting her pots. Michael Cardew (British studio potter) invited her to join the pottery training centre in Abuja, of which she became the star and the centre became known for combining Gwari traditional techniques with Western throwing and glazing.

I love her mark making, she used interesting tools (such as a porcupine quill) to create her patterns - could be something to explore myself? Making my own tools.

Ive followed Magdalene Odundo's work for just over a year after attending a talk she did ran by the Crafts Council in lockdown late 2020. I love the bulbous shapes she creates in her forms with asymmetrical elements often spouting from the rounder bases. Although in my own work I prefer a more textured surface, I cant help but admire the beautiful shine she creates burnishing her works.

Louise Bourgeois at Haywood Gallery

Her work is very self reflective which really interests me. After a discussion with Oscar, he suggested that could be a way to inspire my maximalist surfaces, reflecting inwardly on myself and creating illustrative responses. Although Bourgeois works in textiles rather than ceramics and is definitely more of a fine artist than craftsperson, I found this exhibition exciting due to her theme of womanhood. Particularly, in the latter part of the exhibition her reflection on becoming a mother and the impact pregnancy had on her and her son very interesting. I haven't found many other artists who explore such intimate personal topics in such graphic and revealing ways, with other explorations often being more vague for what I assume is privacy reasons. Not sugar coating her experience with pregnancy, her work instead shows how difficult it was and how it changes not only her body but her mindset too.

Her exploration of sex and sexuality also intrigued me, again a typically taboo topic, creating twisted figures with steel heels bent over in suggestive positions. I have a great interest in feminism and the portrayal of women in modern day media, so her topics felt relevant and very engaging.

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