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Celebrating Ladi Kwali: In the Spirit of Women’s History Month


In the Spirit of Women’s History Month, we celebrate Ladi Kwali featured on Google’s Doodle for today, the 16th of March, 2022.

Ladi Kwali, Nigerian Potter and Artisan.
Image Courtsey Punch Newspapers. Ladi Kwali, Nigerian Potter and Artisan.

Ladi Kwali (b.1925– 12 August 1984) was a Nigerian potter, ceramist and educator. She was born in the village of Kwali in the Gwari region of Northern Nigeria. From her cultural tradition, where women were primarily responsible for pottery, Ladi Kwali's ceramics became "art objects".

She made earthenware vessels which were noted for their beauty of form and decoration, and was recognized regionally as a gifted and eminent potter.

In April 1954, Ladi Kwali joined the Abuja Pottery as the first female potter which was also an avenue for her to improve on her craft.

Ladi Kwali, Pot, c. 1957, Glazed Stoneware. © Victoria and Albert Museum.

In March 2017, an exhibition of Ladi Kwali’s work at the Skoto Gallery in New York opened.

Her works are held in collections all over the world, in spaces such as the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, USA, Victoria and Albert Museum, and Aberystwyth University Ceramics Gallery, UK.

Her picture appears at the back of the Nigerian N20 Naira bill and is the first and only woman featured on the Nigerian currency.

A major street in Abuja is also named after her - Ladi Kwali Road, among several other achievements and awards.

Google’s doodle honors Kwali's exhibition at the Skoto Gallery in New York, which took place on March 16, 2017.

Google Doodle in Honour of Ladi Kwali, 16th March, 2022.

 Ladi Kwali Demonstrating at Winchcombe in 1962. Image Courtesy Winchcombe Potter, Don Jones and Ceramike
Ladi Kwali Demonstrating at Winchcombe in 1962. Courtesy Winchcombe potter Don Jones & Ceramike

Green glazed Tea pot, stoneware by Ladi Kwali. Image Courtesy Artnet

Forme Femine Art (FFA) is a catalyst for artists in the African art ecosystem, showcasing artistic expressions with Afro Femininity and female agency as thematic focus.

FFA represents talented artists, portraying the feminine in order to create a multilayered visual commentary on the relationship between art and society in the African context. Shows are designed to offer the finest reflections on the diversity of thought and style that the subject of afro-femininity can offer; with intent to reflect cultural heritage, and engage dialogue across seas.


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