Cross cultural influences in the work of Ian Garrett and Magdalene Odundo.
This thesis explores the ceramic work ofIan Garrett and Magdalene Odundo, in order to examine the manner in which two artists of opposite identity in terms of race, gender and global location, come to create art which is visually, technically and conceptually similar. It is the intention ofthis study to focus primarily on the cross-cultural aspect of the two artist's work. However, it has been necessary to include biographical and technical information as this information gives a more complete understanding ofthe cross-cultural issues involved. Most ofthe information for this study has been gained through interviewing the artists. Copies oftwo interviews with Ian Garrett are appended at the back ofthis thesis. The interviews were conducted with Garrett in Cape Town. The first interview took place in 1998 and the second interview was conducted in the year 2000. Aweek was spent with Magdalene Odundo in Surrey, England, during May 2000. In this time similar questions to those asked ofIan Garrett in October 2000 where put to Odundo. The interview was, however, conducted in a conversational form and was not recorded as Odundo finds recording an interview has the potential to be a limiting factor, preferring her work to remain open-ended. This thesis discusses the broader implications ofGarrett and Odundo's art. The study makes an attempt to situate their work globally, suggesting not only that their work plays an active role in narrowing the boundaries which exist between African art and western art, but that it also plays a part in closing down the distinctions which continue to exist between art and craft. Finally, the thesis suggests that Garrett's and Odundo's art can be seen as a symbol of current cultural conditions and global affairs.