Past Exhibitions

The Breath From Fertile Grounds Otobong Nkanga

08 December - 10 February 2018

Guest curator: Caroline Hancock

Temple Bar Gallery + Studios is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in Ireland by Otobong Nkanga. The Breath From Fertile Grounds is an installation of entirely new work emerging from a research visit to Dublin and from research carried out within the BAK Fellowship Program. Otobong Nkanga is a 2017/2018 Fellow at BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht. Nkanga’s interests in architecture and the body, in landscapes, organic growth and exchanges are carefully combined in her different projects. This exhibition has been conceived as a “space of remains and revitalisation”.

A collage of elements spreads across the gallery, along with a wall drawing and the sculptural “intersect” that binds the two central pillars around a stone. The bog clashes with the metal and brick work of industry and disused urban waste to highlight resistance and mutualisation. Networked structures propose a constellation of thought in times of transformation and crisis. Twisting and contorting as forms of forced or natural adaptation are made manifest. Decaying fragments and revisited familiar city tropes combine with sprouting moss and lichen in a will for survival.

Printed on cotton cloth, written accompaniments by Doireann Ní Ghríofa and Otobong Nkanga open an invitation to different writers for the emergence of multiple narratives, timeframes and languages throughout the exhibition as shared experiences and fertile grounds.

Born in Kano in Nigeria, Otobong Nkanga lives and works in Antwerp in Belgium. Her first monograph was published this year: Otobong Nkanga. Luster and Lucre, edited by Clare Molloy, Philippe Pirotte, Fabian Schöneich (Portikus / Sternberg Press, 2017). Her work (a large tapestry entitled The Weight of Scars, 2015) was previously seen in Ireland at EVA International in Limerick: Still (the) Barbarians, curated by Koyo Kouoh in 2016. For documenta 14 in 2017, Nkanga launched a long-term project called Carved to Flow, in Athens and Kassel.

Temple Bar Gallery + Studios would like to thank Luke Gibbons, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Niamh O'Malley, Lucy Jackson, David Delahunty, Guinness Storehouse, National Botanic Gardens, National Museum of Ireland, National College of Art and Design, Shaffrey Architects and Lullymore Heritage & Discovery Park in County Kildare for their riveting hospitality and engagement. TBG+S are also very grateful for the support of Flanders State of the Art.


Thursday 7 December 2017 | 6-8pm
All welcome.

Artist Talks

TBG+S Writing Commission

Click here to download Essay #5 'Bogopolis' by TBG+S Writer 2017 Gavin Corbett, written in response to Otobong Nkanga's The Breath From Fertile Grounds.

Learning + Public Engagement Programme

Space, Place and Change: Reflections on Allan Kaprow and Otobong Nkanga’s ‘Baggage’
Thursday 7 December 2017 | 5pm

Artist/Curator Talk: Otobong Nkanga in conversation with Caroline Hancock
Friday 8 December 2017 | 11am

Relatively Speaking: A guided walking tour across three city art galleries
Thursday 14 December 2017 | 1pm
Meeting point: Project Arts Centre

Red Bricks and Railings - a walking tour with architect Gráinne Shaffrey
Saturday 13 January 2018 | 3pm
Meeting point: Temple Bar Gallery + Studios

Relatively Speaking: A guided walking tour across three city art galleries
Thursday 18 January 2018 | 1pm
Meeting point: Temple Bar Gallery + Studios

Twists and Torcs: a tour of the Gold Exhibition at the National Museum
Saturday 20 January 2018 | 11.30am

Supporters Meet Friends: Tour: Exhibition by Otobong Nkanga + Black Church Print Studio
Tuesday 23 January 2018 | 11am

Symbiotic, Mutual and Parasitic Plant Systems
Saturday 27 January 2018 | 12pm

Closing Constellations in Clay
Saturday 10 February 2018 | 12-1pm



Further Information

Temple Bar Gallery + Studios
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+353 (0)1 671 0073

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