Honoring the Dead – in Cement. The Akpans

When I was in London this summer, my extremely knowledgeable and adventurous friend Julian suggested I visit the Horniman Museum.  He told me it was a lesser-known, yet remarkable institution located south of the Thames in Forest Hill, a 40 minute bus ride from central London.  Julian even knew which bus to take – the 176.

  I found that the Horniman houses admirable collections of musical instruments and taxidermied creatures, but my favorite part was the awesome African Art collection.  In particular, I loved the two pieces sculpted out of cement by Nigerian artists  named Sunday Jack Akpan and Aniedi Okon Akpan.

   Sunday Jack Akpan created the woman.  According to a placard at the museum, he calls himself a” Natural Authentic Sculptor”.  He has said “My work is natural because nobody taught me.  My work is authentic because I mould cement to make it look like a real person”.

Aniedi Okon Akpan sculpted the man.

 According to this article in RAW VISION   the Akpans come from southeastern Nigeria  where there  is a long tradition of sculpting figures of decedents as a way to honor them. They are using a new medium and a new realism to create absolutely beautiful representations of beloved decedents.


0 Responses to “Honoring the Dead – in Cement. The Akpans”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: