Google doodle celebrates Ladi Dosei Kwali, the life of Nigerian educator, ceramicist, glassworker, and potter.
On March 16, 2017, an exhibition of Ladi Kwali’s work at the Skoto Gallery in New York opened.
Kwali helped introduce the international community to the beauty of Nigerian art through intricately decorated earthenware designs.
Ladi Dosei Kwali was born around 1925 to a family of potters in Kwali, Abuja, Nigeria.
Her aunt taught her the coil and pinch methods of pottery during her childhood, which Kwali later refined into her own style as she fabricated everyday containers ornamented with animal iconography.
Subsequently, local aristocrats soon showcased her masterful work as home decorations, and it was in a royal palace that Michael Cardew—the founder of Abuja’s first potter training facility—discovered her talent in 1950.
It was in 1954 that Kwali joined the Abuja Pottery Center, where she made history as the first Nigerian woman to train in advanced pottery techniques.
She fused her traditional style with these innovative methods to craft a hybrid collection of pottery stylized with zoomorphic illustration, it was learned.
Ladi Kwali continued to break the mold into the 60s with exhibitions across Europe and the Americas, achieving international acclaim.
Much later in her career, the woman shared the secrets of her craft with the local community as a university lecturer.
In 1977, she received a doctorate from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and the Nigerian National Order of Merit Award in 1980.