B5 Vessel | By Bisila Noha
75% Draycott + 25% Baney Clay
H. 12.5 x dia. 7.5 cm
From the series 'Baney Clay: An Unearthed Identity'
Bisila collection for our exhibition ‘Gatherers’ (May 2020) is a unique and personal collection that explores her heritage around Equatorial Guinea. Named Baney Clay by Bisila after her father’s village in EG, the resulting vessels become ‘beautiful clay metaphors’ that mark an exploration and re-connection with her African roots:
'My aim with this body of work is to question the ‘norm’ in Art. On the one hand, Art from the South has historically been considered ‘primitive’ or ‘exotic’ and belittled. And on the other, when it comes to Pottery - a traditionally female craft -, the moment the wheel is invented and men take over, hand-built pots - those mostly made by women within their domestic compounds - are taken for granted and assigned no artistic value.'
'I strongly believe that progress will only come when we all unite: Women and Men, the feminine and the masculine, the North and the South.'
'And so, I have brought all these concepts together through clay: the Baney pieces are made with different mixtures of Draycott (Stoneware) or Porcelain and my Baney Clay, it being an allegory of the South and Women. While the smaller pieces are all wheel-thrown, the larger ones are made by mixing throwing and coiling.'
'The result of all this mixing is full of tensions and struggles, to the point of there being cracks. A perfect metaphor of how the North needs the South to be refined, to be palatable; or how Women have historically been taught to be kind, quiet and submissive to be accepted by Men. However, the mix is beautiful. So so be it.'
About the Artist
Bisila Noha is a Spanish-Equatorial Guinean ceramicist based in London. Born in Spain and after having lived in many different countries moved to London in 2013, looking for the place where she could give full rein to her creativity. It was here that she took up pottery and found a realm where she can bring all her passions together. Alongside making her work, she is involved in various projects that explore culture, history, traditions and the way we look at ceramics and art in general. She currently works from the Turning Earth studios in London.
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