From clay, Ozioma inspires Seed Yams


For someone from the eastern part of Nigeria, the installations will look familiar because yam barns are a common sight in many rural areas. While to a visitor the patterns created by the yams and the way they are displayed is both intimidated and engaging.

Onuzulike must have paid close attention to the techniques and patterns in which the real yams are tied in the barn as he repeats this in creating lines of ceramic yams and yam seedlings forged from the clay dug up in Nsukka-a popular university town in Eastern Nigeria.

Anyone looking at the long rows of yams hanging on the wall, or suspended on metal frames to create barns might think that they are real yams from a distance, but, on closer examination the glassy and hollow surface reveals the truth.

Yam plays a central role in the Igbo tradition, and it even has its own festival that is celebrated by descents of the Igbo society in Nigeria and in the diaspora.

Onuzulike takes the powerful crop and uses it to make statements that are social, political, economic and to an extent spiritual.