Exhibition by: by Ngozi Omeje
‘Connecting Deep’ is the first solo exhibition by Ngozi Omeje– her largest to date, explores the elephant – a symbol of strength as well as gentleness – as a metaphor to articulate personal experiences specifically that of a departed yet key family member – her father.
Connecting Deep 2018 Exhibition Curatorial Statement
August 2018- December 2018
As the 10th year anniversary celebration programme continues, the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos is pleased to present an ambitious new installation work by acclaimed Nigerian artist Ngozi Omeje. This unique presentation entitled Connecting Deep, – her largest to date and her first solo exhibition, explores the elephant – a symbol of strength as well as gentleness – as a metaphor to articulate personal experiences specifically that of a departed yet key family member – her father.
Ceramic artist Ngozi Omeje has over the years shifted her practice from utilitarian ceramics using the potter’s wheel to using techniques of pinching, tying, wrapping and hanging to manipulate and experiment with clay. This shift in technique opened up vistas and limitless artistic freedom of expression. Her current works are configured with globular clay units, clay rings, strings and savaged flip flops from and around Nsukka. These, she uses to accentuate her place in her immediate socio-cultural context, creating the paradox of hope and despair.
Her current body of works is a profound reflection on an often ignored reality of human existence: the frailty of life. Using terracotta pieces suspended with strings, she entraps our consciousness on a sober path of rediscovery. In this exhibition, the artist creates a single installation piece that engages the audience as co-creators. However, she invites her audience to participate not in building up of the work, but in a performative tearing down – a coup de grace.
Ngozi-Omeje Ezema graduated from the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 2005, where she also obtained a Masters of Fine Arts degree in ceramics. Among other international projects, she was a resident artist in Sevshoon Art Centre, Seattle, USA, 2010 where she created the ‘Think Tea, Think cup’ art piece as a permanent installation at the centre. She has been selected for Saatchi START Art Fair 2018 and is also involved in the ongoing 60th Faenza Biennale Prize in Italy, 2018. Her Ceramic installation ‘Imagine Jonah II’ was part of the First International Biennale in Central China and ‘In My Garden there are Many Colours II’ –First West African Art Fair (ART X), Lagos, 2016. She also participated in “Le Pinceau De L’Integration” in Senegal, during the Dakar Biennale, 2016. Ngozi Omeje currently lives and works in Nsukka where she is also a lecturer of ceramics at the University of Nigeria.
Curator: Bisi Silva
Associate Curator: Iheanyi Onwuegbucha