Ngozi Ajah Schommers’ journey unveiled in ‘tracings of time and place’

TSA Ideas Lab | bo-art projects has released the first monograph on the prolific Nigerian-German artist Ngozi Ajah Schommers. Titled tracings of time and place, a statement said the publication is a hybrid masterpiece, blending the essence of an artist’s book, a monograph and a visual diary to chronicle Schommers’ transformative journey through critical themes, materials and techniques spanning over 15 years of her illustrious career.

Schommers’ artistic repertoire is a rich tapestry that encompasses drawing, sculptural installation, painting, photography and performance art. Through these diverse mediums, she delves into profound subjects such as women’s experiences, Igbo hair heritage and the realities faced by African migrants in Europe. Her work is not merely a portrayal but a profound exploration of traditional practices and the rich reservoir of women’s knowledge and beliefs in pre-colonial West Africa, aimed at dismantling stereotypes and unveiling the true essence of African cultures.

tracings of time and place is not just a monograph; it’s a testament to collaboration and scholarly discourse. Featuring essays and texts from renowned art scholars, critics and curators like Rajkamal Kahlon, Elliot Barnes, Bukola Oyebode, Kea Wienand, Joseph L. Underwood, Paula Callus, Wura Natasha Ogunji and Tobias Peper, the monograph provides a holistic view of Schommers’ artistic ethos and influences.

Kea Wienand, a gender and art scholar, sheds light on Schommers’ unique perspective, stating, “Schommers’ art is a celebration and exploration of the deep-rooted traditions and forms of knowledge that women in Africa and the diaspora have nurtured for centuries.” This sentiment underscores Schommers’ commitment to portraying not just the surface but the profound depths of African heritage and narratives.

Karo Akpokiere, another brilliant artist, commented that he likes how the book “blurred the lines between artist book, monograph, and visual diary”. 

The monograph also unveils Schommers’ artistic process and the spaces her work reflects. Elliott Barnes, an architectural designer and founder of Elliot Barnes Collection, shares his firsthand experience visiting Schommers’ studio in Bremen, Germany. He marvels at her seamless transitions across mediums and the powerful messages embedded in her creations.

Published with a seed grant from the Künstlerinnenverband Bremen and the Senator für Kultur Bremen in Germany, tracings of time and place is a bilingual publication, featuring texts in both English and Deutsch, ensuring its accessibility to a global audience. With 256 pages of insightful narratives, captivating visuals and a softcover binding, this monograph is set to become a cornerstone in contemporary art discourse.

Ngozi Ajah Schommers, born in 1974, brings a wealth of experiences from Nigeria, Ghana and Germany into her artistic expressions. Her works, now part of prestigious collections like the Busch-Reisinger Collection at Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, continue to captivate audiences worldwide.

TSA Ideas Lab | bo-art projects, under the visionary leadership of Bukola Oyebode-Westerhuis, continues its legacy of promoting art projects that matter. From the success of “Collector’s Series: Artists & Cities” to now “tracings of time and place,” TSA Ideas Lab remains a beacon of creativity and innovation in the art world.

For further inquiries and to delve into the artistic world of Ngozi Ajah Schommers, contact Bukola Oyebode-Westerhuis at 

tracings of time and place is currently in stores in Amsterdam and Berlin but will be available soon in Lagos and Accra. Also, it will be present at the African Art Book Fair during Dak’Art Biennale in May.


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