You are here: HomeNews2012 07 16Article 244822

Entertainment of Monday, 16 July 2012


Why I paint women, markets; Ablade Glover Digs Deep

Retired professor of Art Education, Ablade Glover was born in Accra, Ghana in 1934. He trained in Ghana, Britain and the United States. He is a world renowned painter and eminent educator on the Ghanaian and international art scene. He is a former head, Department of Art Education and Dean, College of Art at the University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana. Glover is the recipient of several national and international awards including the Order of the Volta in Ghana and a life fellow of the Royal Society of Art, London. He speaks briefly on his art and inspirations.

Why Art? That‘s a difficult question. For some people it will be easy but for me, it‘s pretty difficult in the sense that I got into arts, painting particularly, by difficulties of life. I don‘t think I was carved to be an artist. If you asked me back then, maybe I wanted to be a doctor or something like that.

Those days, those were the things people think of but by circumstances; because of the inability to continue my education, I went into teaching, teaching Art. So, it followed and I‘m glad that those circumstances - they were bad circumstances, but they were challenging circumstances. And having gone through those challenges, I‘m glad that I‘m here now. Yes, I‘m glad.

Training I trained at various places. I first started teacher training at Kwame Nkrumah University, Kumasi. Then I went to the Central School, London. I went to Newcastle, Kent State in the US and Ohio State to do a PhD, all in Art Education. My focus was on Art Education because I‘m a teacher. But having retired, I started practising as a full time studio artist.

Medium I paint using oil. I use the palette knife which gives me the freedom I want. The palette knife gives you the feeling to express yourself immediately. You take it off when you don‘t want it so there is a mediacy of the palette knife and I love it.

Influences My environment, I think. There are things around me and I think all of these must be influenced by the immediate environment. For example, if you notice, you see a lot of women in my work and people do ask me, why do you paint so many women?

The first time I was asked the question, I didn‘t think about it. I just opened my mouth and said because they are more beautiful than men. That wasn‘t a serious answer. It was later, thinking about it, that it struck me they have courage. Women of Africa have some courage and they show it. When they walk the street, they are elegant. They are courageous, they are brave. When they are going about, they show it. Men don‘t do that, do they?

Inspiration That again is the environment and its challenges. Like I told you about the women or the market, if you go to the market, you see the frenzy, the business of the market, they challenge me. Simple things of life, they challenge. Things that will escape anybody, people don‘t look but sometimes they hit you and I attend to them.

Best work so far I don‘t know, I‘m still working. Maybe in time, years to come, you will be sitting and will look at my works and say that‘s the best so far. That will be for posterity to judge, not me.

Least satisfying work That‘s in the studio. That means I haven‘t finished. There are lots of works in the studio but I have not finished them. When I‘m not satisfied, it doesn‘t come out. It‘s when I‘m happy that I send it out for exhibitions and so on. They are still in the studio.

Career high point I haven‘t reached there yet. You are thinking of a big master, I haven‘t reached there yet. I will get there in time.

Favourite artist living or dead I love some artists, yes. I admire Bruce Onobrakpeya. Over the years I have loved his works. I‘m dreaming of bringing his works to Ghana to show one day. In Ghana, my favourite artist has been Saka Acquaye, he is dead now but he was my favourite. He was good, I like his works. Sculptor, Vincent Kofi, too was good. They are some few people I looked up to when I was growing up.

See Some of his works below Glover Market