Go Back Earth for Art: Creative and Economic Prospects of Sculpture And Pottery in Nigeria
Earth has been a conventional material for three dimensional arts and has numerous qualities an artist needs for creative expression. It is readily available, and can be recycled. This makes it economical for sculptors who use it to create transient or permanent art forms that are specially valued for aesthetic satisfaction. In ceramics, earth as a medium is indispensable. It forms the basic materials of the ceramist who utilizes it to produce aesthetic and functional art forms. But in Nigeria, the potential gains of earth resource do not seem to have been adequately exploited in spite of its abundant deposits in the country. This paper looks at some prospects of clay (earth) as an art material, in reference to ceramic and sculptural explorations, which are targeted at creative and economic goals. It discusses remarkable developments in the Nigerian contemporary ceramics practice occasioned by research and modern technology and finds that the development is not sustainable enough. In spite of potters' explosive creativity and inventiveness, many studios and pottery industries collapse shortly after being set up. This problem is partly blamed on the economic crunch which frequently cripples both government and private projects, and on the inability of the potters to compete favourably with the high technology of the developed nations.