The Hepworth Wakefield launches major new exhibition

Olivia Colling from The Hepworth Wakefield with one of the objects from the new exhibition.
Olivia Colling from The Hepworth Wakefield with one of the objects from the new exhibition.

Visitors to The Hepworth gallery will be able to take in one of its first major exhibitions of the year from this weekend.

Magdalene Odundo is one of the world's most esteemed artists working in ceramics and this new show will bring together more than 50 of her works, including a vessel made in 1978 from Wakefield’s art collection, which was the first of her works to be purchased by a public institution.

Magdalene Odundo: The Journey of Things is at The Hepworth Wakefield.

Magdalene Odundo: The Journey of Things is at The Hepworth Wakefield.

These will be shown alongside a large selection of objects chosen by the artist from across the globe and spanning 3,000 years, to reveal the rich and diverse range of making traditions that have informed the development of her own work.

Born in Kenya in 1950, Magdalene moved to the UK in 1971 to attend art school. After choosing ceramics as her preferred medium, she travelled to Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria to study their ceramic traditions and subsequent travels across Europe, Africa, Asia and Central America have continued to inspire her art.

Designed by internationally acclaimed architect Farshid Moussavi OBE, the exhibition will put Magdalene's work at the heart of a constellation of objects that she has drawn inspiration from including British studio pottery by Hans Coper and Lucy Rie, ancient vessels from Greece and Egypt, historic ceramics from Africa, Asia and Central America and Elizabethan costume and textiles.

Simon Wallis, Director of The Hepworth Wakefield, said ‘Following on from our hugely successful Disobedient Bodies: JW Anderson Curates The Hepworth Wakefield in 2016, this

will be the second in a series of exhibitions inviting individuals from creative fields to work with us and our collection to explore new ways of looking at histories of art.

"It is a great honour to be working with Magdalene Odundo and Farshid Moussavi on this ambitious presentation which will draw on many of the most significant collections in the UK including those of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, The Fitzwilliam Museum and the Horniman Museum and Gardens.’

Magdalene Odundo said: ‘I am excited and looking forward to enabling visitors to experience my work within the context of the very many cultures, histories and works of art that I have had the privilege of studying and taken inspiration from over the last 40 years.

"I love Sir David Chipperfield’s beautifully designed building and for me, bringing this altogether in this setting is an amazing opportunity.’

The exhibition is organised in partnership with The Sainsbury Centre where it will be presented from later in the year.

Magdalene Odundo: The Journey of Things opens at the The Hepworth Wakefield on Saturday, February 16 and runs until June 2.