Modern & Contemporary African Art Online / Siddig El Nigoumi (Sudan 1931-1996) Bird dish 4 x 38 x 25cm (1 9/16 x 14 15/16 x 13 3/4in).
A private collection, UK;
Thence by descent to the present owner.
Born in Sudan in 1931, Siddig's career began as a calligrapher for the Publications Bureau in Khartoum. This training impressed the importance of line on Siddiq and would imbue his later artworks with a strong rhythmic energy. Following this, he enrolled in a three year course at the School of Art in Khartoum where he specialised in pottery. In 1957, he was awarded a government grant to study ceramics at the Central School of Art in London.
He eventually permanently settled in England in 1967, where his works were positively received. He was nominated for membership of the Craft Potters Association in the early 1970s, and in 1980 the Victoria and Albert Museum acquired several of his pieces for their collection.
Siddig popularised the use of traditional African pottery techniques within British studio ceramics. His pots are hand built, using the ancient methods of coiling and smoothing. He then burnished the surfaces, rubbing them with a stone. On pots which had already been fired in the electric kiln, he would smoke the surface with a lighted taper of finely rolled newspaper, the flame licking the surface and depositing a thin but delicate mottled pattern.