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General News of Friday, 20 September 2002


Kumasi Street Paintings Invade Llandudno, Wales

The town of Llandudno in Wales is currently playing host to a paintings exhibition depicting the works of streets painters in Kumasi.

The exhibition is being hosted from September 14 to October 19,2002 by Oriel Mostyn Gallery, a leading gallery for contemporary arts with the support of the Visiting Arts and Wales Arts international.

Dubbed ‘Kumasi Junction’, the exhibition explores the contemporary genres of Ghanaian painters. It features the work of a leading Ghanaian painter, Atta Kwami, a lecturer of the College of Art, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and eleven art and sign street painters based in Kumasi.

They include collections by Kwame Akoto of Almighty God Arts Works, Alex Amofa of Supreme Arts Works, Isaac Otchere Azey of Azey Alberto Art and Sign, Kwesi Addai of City Boys Art Works and Barbington Boakye of Excellent Arts Works.

Some of the paintings which caught the attention of viewers included ‘No Room for Terrorists’, ‘Don’t Mind Your Wife’: A wise Man’s Eye is in his head’: A view of the Anglican cathedral from Asafo: Romas of the Decadence: Food Chain and exotic works on canvass bordering on different themes

Mr Isaac Osei, Ghana’s High Commissioner in the UK was the guest of honour at the opening session of the exhibition described by influential personalities in the arts world as “an excellent example of cultural experience between Ghana and Wales”.

Mr Osei commended Oriel Mostyn Gallery for organising the exhibition which, he said, would inspire Ghanaian painters to improve upon their output.

He said Ghanaian Art painters have enormous contributions to make towards the development of the sector and urged up and coming painters to improve upon what they have learnt from their peers in the field.

Mr Osei said Ghana’s democratic dispensation, based on the freedom of the individual “enables the artist to explore all kinds of themes” and added that “there is a real opportunity for the exchange of ideas between artists and painters of Kumasi and the University trained painters”.

Commenting on the exhibition, Mr Atta Kwame described it as very “encouraging and a re-awakening call to all Ghanaian artists to forge ahead in their endeavours with pride and confidence”.

To assist in the development of the sectors, Mr Kwami appealed to the Ministry of Education to include painting in school curriculum right from the primary school level.

The exhibition is of particular interest to the Welsh audience. According to Mr Martin Barlow, Director of the Oriel Mostyn Gallery, “recent researches into 18th and 19th century artisan painting in Wales revealed a rich visual culture based on vernacular styles completely overlooked by conventional ideas of High Art”.

“Whereas in Wales vernacular styles completely died out and had to be rediscovered through historical research, in Ghana street artists continue to flourish alongside those trained at school”, he added.

Meanwhile, plans have been finalised for the Exhibition to be displayed at The Lowry, Salford, Quays, Manchester in spring 2003.