She Put A Unique Spin On Traditional Craft, Google Celebrates Potter Ladi Kwali
Today Google dedicates its Doodle to commemorate the life and times of Ladi Kwali, a Nigerian schoolteacher, ceramicist, glassworker, and potter.
Ladi Kwali according to the history of Nigeria, Ladi Kwali’s works greatly influenced the perception of Nigeria to tourists and the likes by introducing to the international community the allure and taste of Nigerian art through her delicately embellished earthenware techniques.
16th March in 2017, an event that took place at the Skoto Gallery in New York displayed Ladi Kwali’s work to the awe of the public.
Ladi Dosei Kwali was born circa 1925 to a family of potters in Kwali, Abuja, Nigeria. Ladi Kwali followed in the family path of pottery and was tutored by her aunt in her young days, the intricate methods of coil and pinch used in the art of pottery.
Kwali evidently blossomed with her own unique art and style from invented daily containers enriched with animal iconography.
Somehow Ladi Kwali’s art laced the house of aristocrats who displayed her imaginative job as home adornments. Through this means, Ladi Kwali’s works were noticed in 1950 in a royal palace by Michael Cardew, the founder of Abuja’s first potter training facility.
Later in 1954, Kwali entered the Abuja Pottery Center, and in her time there, Kwali made significant milestones that are still celebrated in contemporary times. She became the leading Nigerian woman to have trained in developed pottery methods. She meshed her traditional art with these ingenious techniques to compose a mixed exhibition of earthenware designed with gods of animal forms depicted in her pottery.
“She fused her traditional style with these innovative methods to craft a hybrid collection of pottery stylized with zoomorphic illustration,” Google said about her.
“Kwali continued to break the mold into the 60s with exhibitions across Europe and the Americas, achieving international acclaim.”
As she grew in her career, she lectured in her local community, sharing secrets of her craft, and received a doctorate from Ahmadu Bello University in 1977 and the Nigerian National Order of Merit Award in 1980.
Kwali was honoured by the Nigerian government. Her face was used in the N20 note, becoming the first and only Nigerian currency to feature a woman.
To commemorate her influence in showing Nigeria to the world Kwali is poignantly recollected in the trade of Nigeria’s twenty Naira note, becoming the first Nigerian woman thus far to make it on Nigerian currency.
Ladi Kwali like many others set the tone and raised the bar on how Nigerian women can change their society for the good of all.