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Echoes of the Kalabari: Sculpture by Sokari Douglas Camp

Catalogue relating to an exhibition, 1988
Published by: National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution
Year published: 1988
Number of pages: 25

image of Echoes of the Kalabari: Sculpture by Sokari Douglas Camp

Exhibition catalogue for Echoes of the Kalabari, a substantial exhibition of sculpture by Sokari Douglas Camp, held at the National Museum of African Art, Washington D.C., 11 November 1988 - 29 January 1989. In her Echoes of the Kalabari catalogue Introduction, Sylvia H. Williams, then-Director of the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution and Roy Sieber, Associate Director, wrote that this was “the first showing in the United States of the sculpture of Sokari Douglas Camp, a Kalabari artist who has studied and lived in Europe and the United States. As is true of all artists, she draws upon  a variety of her experiences in the creative process. Her sculpture exemplifies the universal search for artistic self-expression.

Presented here are large constructions, some motorized, which evoke aspects of traditional Kalabari culture. Two sources emerge: the festival as a major cultural activity and funerary ceremonies. Hers is an aesthetic that combines the authenticity of its cultural past wih contemporary artistic technologies. As a modern sculptor, she makes us aware by means of shape and rhythm of the aesthetic richness of her cultural legacy.”

The catalogue was extensively illustrated with high-quality photographs of Douglas Camp’s sculpture, and a dramatic portrait of the artist at work in her studio, taken by photographer Bob Jardine.

Contents as follows:

Inside front cover: exhibition credits, details of cover image, etc

Introduction, Sylvia H. Williams, Director and Roy Sieber, Associate Director, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution

Essay, A World Between, Marina Vaizey

Portrait of Sokari Douglas Camp, using an angle grinder, in her studio, by Bob Jardine

An Interview with Sokari Douglas Camp, by Wendy Belcher (Assistant Editor of the catalogue) [Belcher’s questions included, Do you see yourself primarily as a Western artist or as an African artist? Tell me why you bare now working primarily in metal, When you did actually show your work to other Kalabari people, how did they react? Do you feel that being a woman has helped you with your art? How has living in the West affected your work? and, Does someone need to understand Kalabari culture to understand your work?

Artist’s CV, including Biography, Residencies, Solo Exhibitions, Commissions, Films, and Bibliography.

Back cover, portrait of the artist, by David Gamble.

The catalogue has nine full page, colour plates of Douglas Camp’s sculpture, plus a centre fold spread of Alali Aru (Festival Boat with Masquerader), 1985, Wood, steel, resin, sawdust, length 20 ft. with a small insert documentary photograph of a Festival Boat, Buguma, Nigeria, 1984, by Joanne Eicher.

Related people

»  Sokari Douglas Camp CBE

Born, 1958 in Buguma, Nigeria

»  Marina Vaizey CBE

Born in New York, date unknown

Related exhibitions

Related venues

»  National Museum of African Art Smithsonian Institution

Washington DC, United States of America