Magdalene Odundo, Chancellor of the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) and renowned ceramicist, has been made a dame in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours.
After graduating from the West Surrey College of Arts (a founder college of UCA), the Kenyan-born artist combined teaching and further study with a ceramic art practice which has seen her work collected in museums worldwide. In 2001 UCA appointed her Professor of Ceramics, a post she held until her retirement in 2016.
In 2008 she was awarded the OBE for services to the arts, along with the African Art Recognition Award by Detroit Art Institute’s Friends of African and African-American Art. She was made Chancellor of UCA in 2018.
UCA Vice-Chancellor Professor Bashir Makhoul said: “Dame Magdalene is one of the world’s greatest contemporary potters and a continual source of inspiration to UCA’s staff and students. We are delighted that her contribution to the arts has been recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours.”
Dame Magdalene has been a leading ceramicist for many years and her work is now part of permanent collections at nearly 50 international museums including The British Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC. Last year saw a major exhibition of her work at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts entitled, ‘Magdalene Odundo: The Journey of Things’.