Ngozi-Omeje Ezema’s Boundless Vases exhibition opens At kó from January- 11 February 2021.
The exhibition is the first of a three-part exhibition series, The New Nsukka School, which re-examines the conceptual and material practices that characterise the Art Department at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Ngozi-Omeje Ezema represents the new generation of contemporary Nigerian ceramists who infuse modernist sensibilities into an age-old traditional art form, radically challenging long-established notions that locate ceramics within the limiting frame of its utilitarian function. Boundless Vases features recent ceramic art installations that present the artist’s ongoing exploration of the leaf motif as an expressive visual element rich in affective metaphors. Taking her personal experiences as a point of departure, her work addresses issues relating to identity, family and the female body. She often references the object of the vessel in various ways, taking inspiration from the forms and materials of the natural environment.
In her works, the material properties of leaves are used as formal and narrative handles to address issues relating to womanhood. For the artist, the leaf motif represents a state of being; a transient element whose materiality symbolically dramatizes rites of passage and its associated conditions of liminality.
The leaf represents aspects of tenderness in women that is often taken for granted. The leaf is equally suggestive of the long suffering that women undergo in relationships. When you look at the colour of the leaves in my work, they give the impression that the leaves have dried, yet they still retain their beauty”, As Ezema explains.