Ghana Artwork Scene Q&A With Rising Curator Essé Dabla-Attikpo –

Ghana Artwork Scene Q&A With Rising Curator Essé Dabla-Attikpo –

In recent several years, Ghana’s artwork scene has begun to prosper with artists like Amoako Boafo, Ibrahim Mahama, and El Anatsui getting international recognition and ever more significant profits prices. .

Essé Dabla-Attikpo, a Togolese-Beninese art marketing consultant, cultural producer, and curator, has been at the centre of Ghana’s burgeoning scene, performing to fulfill the new global demand for contemporary African artwork, while also in search of to democratize artwork for Ghanaians, and Africans at big.

In addition to launching her art consultancy This No Be Artwork, Dabla-Attikpo has curated exhibitions for the European Union delegation to Ghana, Kuenyehia Rely on for Up to date Art, and Alliance Française, began initiatives like reasonably priced artwork honest Asime Artwork Sale, and served as an agent, advisor, and winner for African artists breaking into the worldwide market. 

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Most just lately, Dabla-Attikpo partook in a curatorial investigate residency at Switch2 in Berlin and a Museum of African Modern Artwork Al Maaden (MACAAL) boot camp for African curators in 2020 and 2021. 

ARTnews spoke to the mounting curator about West Africa’s fascinating scene.

This job interview has been edited for clarity and concision.

[This No Be Art] has assisted a range of artists with their 1st exhibitions. What’s the pondering guiding furnishing an avenue for people today who in all probability will not have these options?

I am surrounded by artists. My dad is a writer.  My auntie is a fashion designer. My brother is a visual artist, DJ, rapper and radio host so I have been living with creatives and I see how sophisticated it can be to have to cope with every little thing all-around making in addition to staying inventive.  

… Also, I recognized that a great deal of artists make a living by advertising their art largely to holidaymakers, say at The Arts Heart [a popular tourist attraction in Accra]. Which definitely has become difficult with the pandemic. There wasn’t definitely significantly assumed into generating the art accessible to people today living in Accra. 

The strategy [for me] is to be a facilitator and make the perform obtainable for men and women who are living in Accra so it’s not always men and women from outside benefitting from the talent of Ghanaian artists or African artists in normal, but also to present avenues for art practitioners to create revenue.

 What are your thoughts on the enhancement of the art scene in Ghana, and much more usually West Africa?

I think we have generally had talent in West Africa and in the continent in common. People today are intrinsically innovative on the continent. You just have to be creative to survive for the reason that of hardship or scenarios in these international locations. I imagine much more men and women have been inspired to go after an artwork occupation due to the fact of the total market. There is a real African modern artwork current market that is acquiring at the minute so it can make it much easier for artists to be whole-time artists and not only do it on the aspect. The expertise has usually been in this article, it is just that some individuals have excellent abilities but they transform to another job because they need to have to make a dwelling. 

That explained, I am incredibly energized about what is taking place. I also love that portraiture is flooding the environment. We are seeing black portraits all in excess of the spot and I appreciate that. It is bringing harmony to the worldwide art scene. I like seeing black painters this sort of as Richmond Agamelah, James Mishio, and Niiodai do black portraits – staying very inventive about it and just telling our stories in essence. I am really thrilled and hopeful. And also observing persons like me who are not artists them selves but recognize that there is a require for facilitators, artwork consultants, curators and artwork sellers, and art brokers. … 

Other than, to see that there are a good deal of black artists who in fact survived the pandemic thanks to NFTs, like Nana Danso or Ahmed Partey. It’s wonderful to see that there are new avenues and there are much more techniques to make a living as an artist when compared to how it utilized to be. And I also truly feel like it is producing ties between the continent and the diaspora. I really believe that in the electric power of art to foster the connection among the continent and the diaspora. 

What’s your take on the intermixing of the diverse genres of artistic expression? For example, songs and portray?

It is lovely to see. I really do not believe it’s something new. It’s been occurring for many years. When you see somebody like Lemi Ghariokwu In Nigeria, who was undertaking the artwork for Fela Kuti – it has been in existence without end. In this article in Ghana, we have [visual artist] Afroscope collaborating with [musician and filmmaker] M3nsa. Brilliant Ackwerh with [musician] Wanlov, for case in point. 

It is some thing that has been going on and what is possibly exciting is when it is not only music and visual arts but visible arts and dance for example. 

Just just lately, Anne Laure Gueret, a French photographer, had an exhibition at Gallery Elle Lokko in collaboration with Addis Ababa Ackwerh, a Ghanaian dancer. I truly feel like we are in a entire world in which we are finding out of the box, we are breaking boundaries. There are less restrictions and everyone is far more daring. It’s inspiring. It demonstrates that we are limitless … 

What does the foreseeable future appear like for the art scene in Ghana and West Africa in standard?

I truly feel like there are much less people than right before who censor on their own. Also, there are additional folks than in advance of who are now full-time creatives. It is even now not the the greater part for the reason that it can take courage and not everybody has it. And not every person has the essential assist technique. I am very hopeful. I also see that there are new educational institutions, institutions, and galleries … the landscape is switching and it will enable form the future technology. 

Children of today have so lots of galleries they can go to and get motivated. There are quite a few destinations exactly where they can see artwork and get influenced. They know that there are educational institutions wherever they can go and get excellent instruction, such as [Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology]. There are also some art residencies [Nubuke Foundation, Gallery 1957, Noldor Artist Residency, etc.] in Accra that they can choose element in that will help them develop a profession in the arts.

There is a positive alter, not only in the arts ecosystem, but on the facet of the artists who are finding much more and additional empowered to be whole-time artists and on the facet of establishments that guidance these artists.