Major new exhibition by UCA Chancellor Magdalene Odundo

The Chancellor of the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) Magdalene Odundo OBE, has her work on show at an exhibition at the Norman Foster-designed Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts entitled, Magdalene Odundo: The Journey of Things.

 Chris Radburn, PA Wire,PA Images

'Magdalene Odundo: The Journey of Things’. The Sainsbury Centre. © Chris Radburn/PA Wire/PA Images

This major exhibition, which was designed British architect David Adjaye, brings together more than 50 of Odundo’s works, which will be shown alongside a large selection of objects chosen by Odundo from across the globe and spanning over 3,000 years, to reveal the rich and diverse range of objects and making traditions that have informed the development of her own work.

The exhibition situates Odundo’s work at the heart of a constellation of objects that she has drawn inspiration from British studio pottery by Hans Coper and Lucy Rie; ancient vessels from Greece and Egypt; historic ceramics from Africa, Asia and Central America; figurative sculpture and objects from across the African continent; Elizabethan costume and textiles; as well as contemporary works including Yinka Shonibare and El Anatsui. There will also be sculptures by modern artists including Auguste Rodin, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and Edgar Degas whose approaches to depicting forms have long been an inspiration for Odundo, and highlight the primary importance of the human body as a reference within her work.

Magdalene Odundo, untitled, 1986 © Magdalene Odundo

Magdalene Odundo, Untitled, 1986 © Magdalene Odundo

The Sainsbury Centre also showcases Transition II, Odundo’s largest work, which is made up of 1,001 individual suspended glass pieces. Presented in the context of Odundo’s ceramic practice, and redesigned site-specifically each time it is shown, Transition II is presented in a sweeping crescendo, suggesting flowing water or a murmuration of starlings. Odundo made this work during a residency at the National Glass Centre in 2014 in collaboration with glassblower James Maskrey.

 ‘Magdalene Odundo: The Journey of Things’. The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. © Andy Crouch

Magdalene Odundo, Transition II, National Glass Centre. Photo by Gilmar Ribeiro

UCA alumna Professor Odundo, was born in Kenya in 1950, and moved to the UK in 1971 to attend the West Surrey College of Art & Design – now UCA Farnham – with a first-class degree in 3D Design: Ceramics, Printmaking & Photography. After choosing ceramics as a preferred medium, Odundo travelled to Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria to study their ceramic traditions. Her desire to learn about vernacular crafts has brought her across the globe: to Europe, Africa, Asia and Central America. This journeying has led to her exploration of her own diasporic identity and the charged role that objects have played, and continue to play, in intercultural relationships today.

“More than 50 of the Kenyan-born British ceramicist's distinctive pots are brought together for her exhibition The Journey of Things, seen to great acclaim at the Hepworth Wakefield earlier this year,” Tristram Fane The Sunday Telegraph

The exhibition is on now until 15 December 2019.

For more information and tickets visit the Sainsbury’s Centre website.