Jonathan Anderson: ‘I’ve all the time liked the work of ceramicist Dame Magdalene Odundo’
I’ve been amassing ceramics for a very long time now and I’ve all the time liked the work of Dame Magdalene Odundo. I curated a present many, a few years in the past with The Hepworth Wakefield titled Disobedient Our bodies and I had a ebook that antiques supplier Anthony Slayter-Ralph had written about her. After we have been placing the present collectively, Anthony helped me, with Magdalene, to trace down items she’d produced within the Nineteen Eighties, items I had all the time struggled to seek out.
After we did the present, I included the vessel we’d sourced, in addition to a Yohji Yamamoto coat and a Lynda Benglis sculpture. Subsequently, I grew to become much more obsessive about Magdalene’s work, so I went on a mission to personal one in all her items for myself. After speaking to each her and Anthony I used to be in a position to supply this vessel, which appears like a physique. It has these tiny little ears, like wings.
It’s an object that I dwell with. It’s one thing that was form of a milestone for me to have the ability to get and it’s one thing that, for me, as a pal of Magdalene, represents extra than simply an object: it’s additionally about our relationship. She’s most likely one in all this nation’s best residing sculptors. There’s one thing in regards to the work that seems like a human determine.
I come dwelling at night time and see the silhouette and it by no means will get outdated. Objects are issues you will get bored of, however I’ve by no means been bored of this piece. It jogs my memory of curating Disobedient Our bodies; it jogs my memory of the degrees that creators can go to. That’s the factor about ceramics: the shape represents the creativeness that’s been occurring for hundreds of years, but it surely’s a type that may nonetheless be reinvented. It’s additionally that corporeal facet of the piece, which I like.
After I communicate to Magdalene she’s all the time like, “Oh, that piece jogs my memory of Naomi Campbell.” I despatched her a ebook a few yr in the past, a really early [Azzedine] Alaïa ebook, with Naomi in it. It’s good to have the ability to have a artistic dialogue with somebody you actually look as much as and, on the similar time, somebody who will all the time be an inspiration.
The piece is on a desk as you come into my home. It’s an inlay desk, with numerous woods, and it’s fairly camp. My grandfather gave it to me a few years in the past; it jogs my memory of my childhood. It’s obnoxious! It’s impressed by French baroque, I feel. My home is a cluttered mess, however the factor with Magdalene’s work is that only one piece will devour a complete room. It wants a lot area.
Magdalene did a collection of pots in America and the piece I personal is a part of that group. I feel she is going to go down in historical past as being as vital as [Alberto] Giacometti. Whenever you have a look at the affect she has had on so many individuals creatively, it’s simply unreal. I keep in mind after we have been doing Disobedient Our bodies folks actually rediscovered the work. They’ve this type of gravitas, the items. They’re black and terracotta in color. I’m very fortunate simply to have one in that collection.
I don’t pot and I by no means will. I prefer to be a voyeur.
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