Ngozi-Omeje Ezema Nigeria, b. 1979

Overview

Ngozi-Omeje Ezema is a ceramic artist based in Nsukka, Nigeria, who creates immersive installations with suspended pieces of terracotta.

Her work often forms the shape of animals and objects that take on metaphorical connotations and symbolic meanings. Ezema uses transparent nylon thread to hang ceramic fragments that collectively form a whole sculpture. She plays with the viewer’s perception and the audience’s participation with her installations.

Taking her personal experiences as a point of departure, her work addresses issues relating to identity, family and the female body. She often references the object of the vessel in various ways, taking inspiration from the forms and materials of the natural environment, among other found materials.

Biography

“Being limited in describing my world in its societal evolution through utilitarian wares like cups, plates and vases, I tilted towards more open-ended and discursive means - ceramic installation. The string gives life to my works, as if allowing challenges to be sources of strength. Using strings to produce my installation depicts this very life on balance, thereby reassessing the frailty of life.”

 

- Ngozi-Omeje Ezema

Ngozi-Omeje Ezema received her BA in Fine and Applied Arts from the University of Nigeria, Nssuka, and an MFA in ceramics from the same institution. She currently serves as a lecturer at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where she teaches ceramics.

Her first solo exhibition, Connecting Deep, was held at Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) Lagos in 2018. She also participated in the First International Biennale in Centra China and Le Pinceau De L’Integration in Senegal, during the Dakar Biennale in 2016. She was commissioned for a special project installation at Art X Lagos in 2016. In 2019, she won the High Excellence Award at the Cheongju International Craft Biennale in South Korea.

Ngozi-Omeje Ezema has participated in artist residencies with the Centre for Contemporary Art/ Trianglar Art Trust (Lagos), Goethe-Institut Nigeria (Nsukka), Sevshoon Art Centre (Seattle), Goethe Institute Ghana (Kumasi), and the Trianglar Art Trust (Jos).

Her project, Against All Odds, won the Outstanding Concept Award of Nigeria’s National Art Competition in 2015. In 2014, she was the winner of the Life in My City Art Foundation Prize.

Exhibitions