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Nine Artists Move Beyond Limit With Ceramic Art

By Eniola Daniel
22 May 2023   |   6:55 pm
For the second time, Mathew Oyedele has curated Beyond Limit, an art show that seeks to address the underrepresentation of ceramics through exhibitions that promotes and appreciate the genre.

For the second time, Mathew Oyedele has curated Beyond Limit, an art show that seeks to address the underrepresentation of ceramics through exhibitions that promotes and appreciate the genre.

This year’s edition staged at Quintessence, Park Vie, Ikoyi, Lagos which features works of Olúbùnmi Atéré, Àkànní Kehinde, Chris Ekuafeh, Samuel Abidemi, Asuni Wasiu Olatunde, Adéòtí Azeez Afeez, Idemudia Mercy Itohan, Ato Arinze and Djakou Kassi Nathalie opened on May 6, 2023, and ended on May 20, 2023.

The show highlights and positions ceramics as a formidable genre that is active in contemporary conversations. The goal is to facilitate and amplify the general acceptance of the medium and its potential beyond conventional limitations.

The artists, selected for their varied approaches to the medium are responding in some way to their environment by considering the history, people, traditions or culture with an aim to produce a dynamic exhibition that revels in the diversity of the art form itself and the people who created it.

This exhibition presents the myriad ways in which contemporary clay artists are deploying the medium today.

“Whenever there is an exhibition, we see sculptures and paintings but hardly see ceramic, then I decided that it is time to bring ceramic artists together and launch an annual exhibition that put them out there so that we extend the table of conversation where ceramic as a genre of art is not left out.

“We did the first edition at Yabatech last year, this is the second show and we are going to continue.

Speaking on the reason for the theme of the show, he said: “The reason I titled it Beyond Limit is that when I did an open public call on Facebook and asked why we have more paintings and sculptures, people came up with different answers, including, that, ceramic is not more than pot and plate so, I saw that as a limit, and I said this medium does not have a limit; it goes beyond the limit they have placed on it.

On his hope for the genre, he said: “I hope that ceramic becomes accepted as a popular medium. So, this exhibition is to facilitate the promotion and acceptance of ceramics so that they do not see it as only pot and plate. This is a contemporary medium, which can be utilized for any adaption. So the aim is that we start seeing ceramic as a formidable genre of art.

On her part, Atéré, said: “I have been a ceramic artist for over two years; I started in 2021, and I had my debut exhibition in April 2022 at the first edition of Beyond Limit, I am glad to be participating in the second edition.

On her experience as a ceramic artist, she said: “There have been a lot of surprises, a lot of learning; it has expanded my mind and my experience. I am very grateful for this opportunity. And at the same time, I have a community to tap into, a growing community, I like the togetherness and the support we get, and so far, I could see the essence of the development in my work.

When asked if being a ceramic artist is lucrative and what society should know about ceramic art, she said: “It’s lucrative and I am looking forward to achieving a lot through this.

“I think it’s essential that people recognise ceramic as a form of art and they should see it beyond an object for fetish purposes.

“People always think of Calabash for rituals so, this show is an avenue for everyone to know that it is more than something we are used to. I’m really grateful for the opportunity to be part of the people who can enlighten the community on something they don’t really have much experience about.

Also, Afeez, said: “I have been doing this since 2018 but I started professionally after I graduated in 2019.

“I thought I was going to be a painter but when I got to a point, I felt clay is a medium that chose me, something I enjoy doing. After graduating I found a way of balancing my first love, which is drawing and the love I got after, which is clay, so, incorporating both, I came up with the idea of drawing on clay.

Speaking about the perception of the genre, he said: “I want the society to know that ceramic art is our first art form in Africa; before the advent of paintings and others, the only art form was ceramic. People have always had clay pots, and clay jars for storing; people should see that there is more to clay than pots and jars, there is an artistic aspect of it and there is an aesthetic aspect of it.

On how lucrative it is, the graduate of Industrial Design Ceramics from Yabatech, said: It is lucrative; I don’t see myself doing any other form of art aside from working with clay as industrial design ceramics.