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Tension is Necessary

Ceramic earthenware, underglazes




The remains of this piece demonstrate the tension I feel amidst my attempts to stand strong and stay focused as a woman while navigating the peculiar ways of the opposite sex. Although the shattered remains of men in my life still surround and affect me.

Forgiveness, loyalty, and accountability build a strong foundation but what happens when the foundation is cracked? How do you play the game? Can you crack the code to the game when you’re broken?

The remains displayed speak to the current state of the black community. Our men are being trapped, enslaved and hunted. Ultimately the Black male identity and their role is shattered. The black woman cannot play every role in his absence. But she tries her best. 

My intension in the operation of this piece was to show the process of rebuilding my perspective of men and masculinity. In Tension is Necessary, the chessboard and its components act as an analogy of America’s progressive efforts to derogate Black love with psychological elements such as self-hate, Black shame, colorism, and incarceration. The chessboard represents an urban landscape that the modern family learns to maneuver between violence, poverty, mistrust, and generational trauma with the goal of reaching a space of trust, commitment and loyalty. The Ultimate goal is unity, the only safe space on the game board to be free. Hands represent trust. The images of partnership and children symbolize the power of the matriarch. Every crack and break representing an opportunity to checkmate.

“True peace is not merely the absence of tension, it is the presence of justice” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


For Adesina, clay sculpture is a metaphor for life. Inner struggles become concept sculptures become symbols, coded messages that personify strength. Clay is unpredictable and unapologetic. It doesn’t forget its folds, it explodes, cracks, and morphs under fire. It survives this process and emerges resilient. Its imperfect knicks and scars are markers of a unique journey from mold to set. Her sculptures are manifestations of emotional vulnerability and patience. The heart of each piece connected by the thread of strength guided by instinct. Pyramids and circles become symbols of self-love and direction. Antelopes become reminders to learn and love. For each collector, the Adesina sculpture will hold its own meaning and representation. Still, the intentions behind each Adesina piece, from small to full scale busts each represent the final stage of vulnerability.

Adesina holds two bachelor degrees in Psychology and Studio Art (Ceramics) with honors from Humboldt State University. Her sculptures have been exhibited throughout the towns of Arcata and Eureka, CA. In addition to participating in the California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Art (CCACA) in 2014-2016. She draws inspiration from self reflection and is currently letting her artistic process teach her how to be vulnerable and trust her intuition. Adesina means “her coming has opened the way” or as her mother describes, “a child waiting to be born”. Either definition speaks of her resilient character and ability to create her own reality.

insta: @Adesin.a

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