N IS FOR NIGERIA, S IS FOR SENEGAL and U IS FOR UNITED KINGDOM
Ranti Bam’s ceramic sculptures are some of the most beautiful I’ve seen. She is a young sculptor who was born in Lagos, raised in London, and currently lives between her two hometowns and Dakar. Her works are a similar delightful patchwork of contemporary forms and designs influenced by the classical works from the African continent, as well as Bam’s own affinity for travel and metaphor. But what’s most appealing in them are their organic shapes, which make them truly unique and unlike anything else. Vases that look like they’re made of mud cloth, or corrugated iron, or both, joints that remind one of patches, and colorful designs that evoke something of their own for each viewer. Is there something Swedish among the Nigerian ornament? Maybe Japanese? Or that of Italian terra cotta? The true sign of a brilliant artist is when the references are many but none are exact: that means that something distinctly new has been created.
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