A display of works by ten women spanning three generations with influences from international styles and regional traditions ended recently at the Loom Gallery in Accra.
Undoubtedly a landmark exhibition featuring highly creative women with ages ranging from 34 to 97, it equally signified the contributions of Ghanaian women to fine art since the struggles of feminist art movements in the late 1960s and 70s.
Artists with works on display are Araba Kromantin, Theodosia Okoh, Kati Torda, Marigold Akufo Addo, Kate Badoe, Betty Acquah, Constance Swaniker, Nana Amu, Adwoa Amoah and Fatric Beowng.
A graduate of the Slade School of Art (UK), coarse squares by Marigold Akufo Addo tend to sparkle like trimmings while recalling the ever-changing nature of our landscapes. Her thin lines, which are often realized in gold, stand side by side with transcultural ideographs.
Trained at the College of Art, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Fatric Bewong’s acrylic paintings on canvas are fiery and quite energetic. Alongside textured colors, she freely condenses the passions and energies that she effectively captures on her canvas.
Currently the president of Foundation for Contemporary Art Ghana, works by Adwoa Amoah make successful forays into explorations of the human eye. Indeed, the eye becomes the centre of attraction despite the presence of other facial features.
Currently based in the United States, Kate Badoe’s work is definitely on the contemporary tip – but with its heart firmly embedded in the rich traditions of Africa. Indeed her lines, curves and dots alongside representational combs create harmony with ancient and current practices.
Educated at Reading (UK) and Columbia (USA) Universities, works by Kromantin, who is originally from Jamaica, evoke fond memories of market scenes and erotic flowers that suggest mankind’s lost intimacy with nature.
Best known for designing the Ghanaian flag, Theodosia Okoh appears to have talent to spare. Undeniably, her works make an interesting foray into delicate collages that employ corn stalks to create replicas of huge public buildings and castles.
With temperatures soaring to 32 degrees Celsius over the past few weeks in Accra, the exhibition, which also marked the 45th anniversary of the Loom Gallery, without doubt brought some relief for art lovers in the city.
By John Owoo
Pictures – Michael Nortei Lokko