Magdalene Odundo Exhibition @ The Hepworth – Cameron Glynn

Monday 17th Feb – The Hepworth Gallery – Magdalene Odundo Exhibition

I walked into the first of the 5 [ish] different rooms that encompassed the newly pieced-together “The Journey Of Things” exhibition (created by Magdalene Odundo born 1950 in Kenya as a compilation of her work and different works by different artists that, in some way or another, resonated with her) and, in all honesty, felt quite overwhelmed.

As told by a piece of text displayed on the wall at the entrance of the exhibition, “The Journey Of Things surveys over 50 works by Odundo”, “shown…with over 100 objects selected by the artist, representing the many cultures and traditions from which she has studied and drawn inspiration” and quite clearly in there are a range of different objects and pieces, some of which i personally found confusing and/or underwhelming.

Walking into one of the larger rooms, the art appeared to be displayed on wooden boxes
made to look like stone or ceramic, further accentuating Odundo’s work with that particular
material. This room contained a lot of similar looking pottery/ceramic vases all painted either
a dark and dull brown, or a vibrant orange creating a stark contrast between the two colours.

All of the vessels are this colour, intriguing me as to whether this is a motif or if it means
anything in particular at all. No emotion suddenly rushed through me upon viewing this art
form, nothing ‘struck a chord’ or imbued me with some artistic inspiration. I have always felt
that modern art like this is hard to appreciate and harder still to understand with little context
present if any, compared to art forms such as photography that captures an entire story in a
single moment.

Ironically, directly next to this exhibit was a photography exhibit that many of our group
wandered off to within 15 minutes of entering.

Cameron Glynn


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