Belief in the power of dead ancestors has been a longstanding inspiration in creating much of my art. I grew up on the coast of Kenya where ceremonial funeral wood sculptures called Vigango remain part of my collective memory.
In Gango series I–III (which I made in 2010) the ceramic vessels are my commemoration of the Gohu spirits of my ancestors. My vessels are abstracts of the wooden vigango sculptures made by the Mijikenda people from the Coastal Region of Kenya where I grew up and they form part of my own memorials to this now fading out tradition. Vigango are sacred artefacts, at once old and renewed for each new ceremony. Each one of these sculptures represents a Gohu (ancestor): the size of each kigango (singular) denotes the status of the Gohu. For each individual piece in my series of vessels, the embellishments in the form of nodules and lugs represent the ancestral sense of presence with their haunting eyes, giving the expression of the person and the society the person came from. My own work is created with the conceptual awareness and perception that I have gained from a cultural understanding of my identity through investigation and knowledge: in particular, knowledge attained through practice, which enables one to acquire an ability to make sense of a particular object/culture and understand nuances that can then be contextualized in one's own work. This is the complex process that fed into the production of the three ceramic vessels that make up Gango series I–III.
The work has been exhibited at Longhouse Reserve, East Hampton, NY (July – Oct. 2010), The Global Africa Project at Museum of Art and Design, NY (Nov. 2010 – May 2011) and Magdalene Odundo: at Pierre Marie Giraud Gallery, Brussels, (Sept–Oct 2013).
|Item Type:||Art/Design Item|
|Locations / Venues:||
|Projects or Series:||Gango|
|Uncontrolled Keywords or tags :||African art, ceramic vessels, ceramicist, potter|
|Schools:||School of Crafts & Design|
|Date Deposited:||01 Jul 2013 12:48|
|Last Modified:||10 Jul 2014 15:47|
Actions (login required)