Nigeria, Cameroon go beyond functions at Lagos Exhibition
Nigerian artist, Ato Arinze, and his Cameroonian counterpart, Djakou Kassi Nathalie, will, from November 12 to 19, show their works in ceramics and potteries titled, Beyond Functions. Holding at Moorehouse Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos, the exhibition is organised by Alliance Francaise, Lagos, in conjunction with Moorehouse Hotel Ikoyi and Potters in Town.
Speaking on the show, Arinze, the co-founder and coordinator of one of the most popular art groups in Lagos – Artzero Group – said his thoughts, concept and feelings are influenced by nature and events.
The group for the past decade has served as platform for the promotion of the works of young and upcoming artists within and outside Lagos, with its flagship yearly exhibitions – Art On The Mainland and Art On Paper.
The shape and forms of each work, Arinze stated depends solely on his vision as inspired by activities around him and world news.
“I love trees, I like to listen to their silent voices, to reflect on their salient lessons and how we, as human can connect this teachings to our world. Time was when trees were everywhere, but today, we have lost them to concrete walls in the name of development and the environment is at a big loss for this reason. Hence, we must take the ‘Plant A Tree Campaign’ very serious,” he stated.
With over 20 years of studio practice, as a ceramics sculptor, Arinze’s love for the clay medium and perfection in handling the material has endeared him to art patrons. He has organised and facilitated many seminars and workshops on creativity, art business, pottery and sculpture.
Born 1966, the Onitsha-native in Anambra State has participated in different exhibitions both within and outside the country with his work well represented in private and public collections.
The I99I, Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) sculpture graduate in 2002 received the Solidra Award for Sculpture and Pottery. And in 2008 the Society of Nigerian Artists honoured him with the SNA Distinguished Artist Award.
Some of his works that would be displayed include, I Love Syria, Immigrants, Two Trees, Vessel With Motifs, Tree Of Life V, all of the works are of fired clay and are made this year.
Of 39 works that would be showcased, Djakou Kassi Nathalie has 16 and they include, Chaos, The Book, Warning Obesity, Erosion, Labyrinth and Ecosysteme, all of which are made this year.
Born in Cameroon in 1975, she has a degree in Ceramics.
In her statement for the Lagos showcase, she said, her passion for ceramics and creative art has been with her since childhood.
“I have used many materials like cement, copper, plaster, wood, iron and clay to mould different things. I use many techniques in my works, modeling, mould engraving, sculpture, glazing,” she stated.
She explained that her work is, especially based on clay and finished with different colour.
The art teacher, who in 1998 introduced materials technology programme to her students said she is inspired by nature, animals and the environment.
Whereas her themes are between modernity and tradition and all subjects are of interest to her.
In the same 1998 she co-directed the mosaics design at the shrine of the Yoko Church in Yaounde. In 1995, she received the special award for Young Talents, while in 2003; she participated in the Hurbert Friedrich Foundation workshop/symposium facilitated by the German artist Odo Rumpf in Yaounde.
She was appointed the manager of the ceramic workshop in 2005 at the Art Centre, Mbalmyo, where she worked for nine years.
In 2008 she participated in an exhibition with other women artists at the National Museum for CEMAC Summit (Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa).
Also, in 2011, she participated in the contest of Blackbird Suisse, while in 2012, she won first prize African Creativity in the International Exhibition of Handicrafts of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso (SIAO).
The same year she won the Excellence Diploma from Ministry of Craft, and in 2013 she was 2nd best Craftsman of the year, among many other awards. She is currently living and working in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
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