Crafts artist and teacher Ekuyasi Francis, has noted that modernisation in crafts today was all about complementing our accessories, dressing as well as embellishment of apartments.
She backgrounds crafts with modernity, saying that crafts were handmade works, and that art in Nigeria were basically indigenous works made by Nigerians with the use of hands and little technology.
Francis said this during an exhibition to mark Nigeria’s 59 independence anniversary and the celebration of Jesuit Annual Festival organized by St Francis Catholic Secondary School, Idimu Lagos and cited the calabash as a decoration and sculptural piece used not only as ornamentation at home but also for different purposes.
She said, “Calabash can also be used to store up water or several other items. You can also use it to eat and drink as well as for flower vessels in your apartments. In the works on exhibition one could see some calabash decorations, and other pieces which can be used to decorate our houses.
“Apart from using it to decorate our houses, we can also use it for keeping different religious items in our religious houses. The carvings too can be used to decorate houses. And all these are aspects of the art in relation to beautification; which is created to beautify places, and ourselves. So, crafts can be used for dual purposes: beautification and functionality,” she added.
While rating art collections for homes considering the economic crunch, she said that, “Crafts can be collected either for functionality or utility. So at home you have for instance ceramics, and some of the plates we use to eat are ceramic made. At the same time we use it to beautify our sitting rooms while beads which are also part of crafts are used to complement our dresses besides using it for flower vessels in our houses.
“So, whatever you see as art anywhere, its utility is diverse, and for different purposes. So art at home is for functionality and beautification and what you collect also depends on your interpretation in terms of feeling and mindset at the time of collecting or creating the work. While contributing to the discourse, a potter and ceramist, Alero Adighibe rated collection of art particularly ceramic works in Nigeria on 1-10 scale. He used Nigeria as a case study saying that on the scale, Nigeria scores 7 points.