Oluseye in ‘Magdalene Odundo: A Dialogue with Objects’ at Gardiner Museum

Works from Oluseye’s 2021 series, Ploughing Liberty, were selected by Dame Magdalene Odundo for inclusion in her exhibition Magdalene Odundo: A Dialogue with Objects at Toronto’s Gardiner Museum. Running from 19 October, 2023 until 21 April, 2024, the exhibition is the largest ever presentation of the renowned ceramic artist’s work in North America and her first in Canada. The show brings together works spanning the Kenyan-British potter’s career, including new pieces directly from her studio, in conversation with art and artifacts from many time periods and cultures, ranging from ancient Mediterranean figurines to monumental Abstract Expressionist painting.

Oluseye’s Ploughing Liberty fuses discarded hockey sticks—an object linked to white Canadian identity—with antique farm equipment, raising broader questions around liberty, labour, and the symbols that make up Canada’s national psyche. The work reflects Oluseye’s research of the Black Loyalists, a mix of enslaved people and free individuals who departed New York to become farmers in Nova Scotia in 1783.

The Gardiner Museum exhibition is co-curated by Odundo and Dr. Sequoia Miller, the museum’s chief curator.

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