Glimpses: Ghana Artists Exhibition Heralds Conference on Culture and Development John Owoo | AfricanColours.com
An exhibition of paintings, sculptures, photographs and ceramics that offer a subtle glimpse into the visual arts scene in Ghana ended last week at the Accra International Conference Centre in Accra.
Curated by acclaimed Ghanaian sculptor Kofi Setordji, the exhibition, which formed part of artistic events that marked a conference dubbed “City Forum on Culture and Development”, comprise international styles and African regional traditions.
Artists who participated include Kwabena Danso, B.K. Dogbe, James Amoah, Nii T. Mills, Mama Ree, Wiz Kudowor, Akoi Jackson, Kofi Dawson, Betty Acquah, Nana Nyan, Sami Bentil, Larry Otoo, Kofi Setordji, Seth Clottey and Kofi Agorsor.
Works by Kudowor for example are mature and hint at spirituality – indeed they are replete with body silhouettes, symbols, mummified human figures, shapes and colours while exuding an uncanny sort of lyricism.
An Osaka Triennial award winner, Kudowor is able to touch on a wide range of moods – emotional, romantic, lyrical, poetic and expressive. Undoubtedly, it’s the tension between the innocence and sophistication of his works that tend to account for their complex appeal and drama.
US based painter, Sami Bentil’s work equally create a spiritual atmosphere with human figures in somber and meditative states. His largely dark and blue paintings are grainy with double faces that appear to move into each other thereby creating animation effects.
Master colourist Larry Otoo’s figurative and geometric pieces are quite dense and reveal his love for powerful forms. His highly structured figures of women draped in near complete blues with bits of yellows, reds and darks appear controlled for tonality as they show the beauty of African women.
Photographs by Kwabena Danso comment on the growing menace of plastic waste on the streets of Accra and its effects on the environment. With striking pictures manipulated to create desired effects, Danso drives home the urgency of the problem.
Wooden figurative sculptures by curator Kofi Setordji consist of well-designed forms with static and dignified values. He appears to place particular attention on geometry, size, proportion, weight and density. Setordji brings nature down to earth and within our comprehension, while allowing us to share in his innermost thoughts.
“City Forum on Culture and Development” was aimed at enhancing the knowledge of public authorities, private sector institutions and representatives of civil society about the unique characteristics of the cultural economy. It equally explored the complexity of cultural industries, its numerous sub sectors and crosscutting nature in strategic national development planning.
It was or organized by the City of Accra, Ministry of Trade and Industries, Arterial Network, UNESCO, Goethe-Institut, Agenda 21 of Spain and Accra Arts and Culture Network.