The first solo exhibition by Ngozi Omeje “Connecting Deep” will open at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos this September. A large installation work – her largest till date – explores the elephant as a symbol of strength and gentleness, and a metaphorical representation of experiences with her late father.
Known mainly as a ceramic artist, Omeje’s practice has shifted from creating the utilitarian ceramic using the potter’s wheel to a rather experimental technique of pinching, tying, wrapping and hanging to manipulate clay to any desired form with calculated precisions. This approach has yielded for Omeje, a limitless artistic freedom of expression, where clay rings, globular clay units, strings and salvaged flip-flops are also embedded in her recent works. She does this artfully, in the hope to accentuate her experiences within a socio-cultural context.
In Connecting Deep, the artist creates a single installation piece using terracotta pieces suspended with strings to engage the audience as co-creators. However, her invitation to the audience to participate is not in building 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 also 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 exhibited at the First International Biennale in Central China, and In My Garden there are Many Colours II was exhibited at the debut edition of the first West African Art Fair – ART X, Lagos, in 2016. She also participated in “Le Pinceau De L’Integration” in Senegal, during the Dakar Biennale, 2016. Omeje currently lives and work in Nsukka where she is also a lecturer of ceramics at the University of Nigeria.
“Connecting Deep” will open on September 8, 2018, at 3 pm. Venue: Centre for Contemporary Art, 9 McEwen Street, Off Herbert Macaulay Way, Sabo, Yaba, Lagos.
The exhibition closes on November 9 2018. CCA is open Monday – Friday, 10 am – 6 pm.