Event: African Glass Futures

Event: African Glass Futures

A Talk and Rare Glass Presentation by Graeme Smith

In African Glass Futures, guests received an introductory talk through glass production, and its role in traditional societies around the world as currencies, markers of class, and glassmaking as a coveted skill. The evening uncovered RCABLK resident, Graeme Smith's expertise as a glass sculptor, ceramicist and researcher of traditional and contemporary glass-making techniques.


Attendees also had the unique opportunity to view and interact with a curated collection of glass pieces from Bida, Niger state, crafted by Masagá glassmakers, whose traditional practice is now an endangered Nigerian Middle-Belt glassmaking tradition. Pieces were loaned by Lesley Lababidi, Ambassador of Nupe Cultural Heritage, and exhibited alongside Graeme's sculptures and experiments inspired by African glass histories.


The talk drew provocations from a reading of Saidiya Hartman's Wayward Lives Beautiful Experiments, paving the way for discourse on cultural perceptions of manual labour and handwork. 








Event Details
Title: African Glass Futures
Event date: Thursday 25th April 2024
Time: 5:00pm - 8:00pm 
Venue: G.A.S. Foundation, 9b, Hakeem Dickson Drive, off TF Kuboye Road, Oniru, Lagos.




Graeme Smith is an artist and draughtsman of Jamaican-British descent born in Treaty 1 Canadian Territory. He is an RCA alumnus interested in craft as a fugitive and subjugated knowledge. He explores process, transposition, and spatial poetics working primarily with ceramics and glass. He will continue a study of Nigerian glass beads during his residency at Guest Artists Space Foundation. The small, historically ubiquitous, idiosyncratic glass crafts with complex origins and manifold journeys traded and moved between Africa, Europe and the Caribbean.




The Masagá glassmakers of Bida are renowned for their production of glass beads and bangles made from modern glass and from locally manufactured raw glass known as bikini. Bikini is a black shiny molten glass produced and used by Masagá craftspeople before the importation of modern glass bottles into this area.

Lesley Lababidi is a writer, traveller, and the Ambassador of Nupe Cultural Heritage.

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