Home and Hospitality is a thirty-piece city-owned community crockery set designed and crafted with love by artist Najma Abukar, in partnership with the potter Ruth Impey, with the support of Küche and the Centre for Contemporary Arts. The tableware set reflects traditional Somali pottery and geometric designs, the historical production of Glasgow’s export plates, the theme of home and hospitality and incorporates portraiture of people who call the city of Glasgow ‘home’.
Najma Abukar is a Somali-born, Glasgow-based photographer. Abukar documents cultural and gender identities, the African diaspora and immigrant experiences. She is passionate about curating, archiving, and (re)focusing the untold narratives of those underrepresented and marginalised. As a first-generation migrant woman of African heritage, her photographic body of work focuses on the strife and resilience of the other.
Kitchen on Prescription is funded by the National Lottery Awards for All Fund and supported by the CCA’s Cooking Pot Programme.
What was the inspiration for the project?
Back in September 2018 Küche got in contact with the idea to create a community crockery set that would be hosted by them but can be used by all of the community. And through the project to also support a young artist or creative to develop skills in ceramics. Initially, the idea was that through a beginners pottery course I would learn to actually throw and make the set myself, and with the support and mentorship of a professional potter make the crockery set. However, that process proved to be quite a challenge and timely. And so that’s where Ruth came on board as a mentor and collaborator. I was very adamant that the project and overall end product told stories, because that’s what I am interested in. My work is very much about visual storytelling and a celebration of peoples’ identity, heritage, culture, and sense of belonging. I guess the main inspiration would be my personal lived experiences and story of where I am from, of my heritage, culture and identity. All this is reflected in the end product’s aesthetic, which is something we’ve discussed and incorporated into the process of Home and Hospitality.
Why does using food as a creative medium interest you?
Because food is a big part of everyday life. I see using food as a common ground for people of different walks of life to come together, share and learn from one another. And also because I love food! People are always interested in food, and it’s a great way to start a conversation onto anything else. You share stories over food, agree/disagree over food and maybe find some commonality along the way and fall in love.
How important is the collaborative aspect of the project?
Depending on the project, very important. For Home and Hospitality it was essential. I couldn’t have done it without the support of Küche and the mentorship and guidance of Ruth.
What’s next for the project?
For my part, Home and Hospitality is complete. It has been a long and learning experience. A much needed professional and personal development. The set is now the city’s. For the community. I just hope the stories are heard and reflected on, that the faces are remembered and cherished.
How should people get in touch if they wish to use the crockery set?
The set is being hosted at the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) till mid-September. People can email arts.admin@cca-Glasgow.com and take it from there.