On a visit to James Barnor‘s home, I was treated to a history lesson of Ghanaian and British culture dating back to the 50’s when the 86yr “Ever Young” photographer began his career and became Gold Coast’s first newspaper photographer and later on the first to introduce colour processing to newly Independent Ghana. Continue reading
Fred Kuwornu has started a movement, perhaps without even intending to. But then again, that’s to be expected of the Italian-Ghanaian filmmaker and activist whose films 18 IUS SOLI and Inside Buffalo, examine issues of race, ethnicity, and national identity in Italy’s contemporary multi-cultural setting. Continue reading
I spent the weekend in Berlin hanging out with Edrin Kondi – a friend I met during my trip to Ghana in 2010…
I couldn’t help notice the books about Africa he had sitting on his bedside table… This was my excuse to get an interview with my host and find out a bit more about his fascination with Africa.
I ended my last night in Berlin with this interview with Edrin and editing… Can’t complain!
What are your thoughts on the books Edrin shared?
– How To Be A Nigerian – Peter Enahoro
– DEAD AID – Dambisa Moyo
– The State of Africa – Martin Meredith
Ghana is developing fast.
The proof is most definitely evident in its diverse social scene. From music to art, restaurants to hotels, Ghana is certainly making a statement with its capital city Accra as the show piece for the world to view.
In less than 24 hours of stepping off the plane at Kotoka International Airport, I landed an invite by Ghana Contemporary to Kaleidoscope art exhibition sponsored by Grey Goose on the 15th March. An event which would fast forward me to the reality of the rate which my heritage city Accra is moving at.
Gone are the traditional conventions of gallery viewings held solely indoors and usually saved for a rainy day. Accra is all about making a statement. And what better way than to fuse art into the bustling social scene that Accra is rapidly creating?
The setting for the exhibition was indeed ideal; the scenic settings of La Villa Boutique Hotel- ‘Accra’s Crown J of Comfort and Style.’ Off the beaten tourist track of Osu Oxford Street, lies hidden the luxury haven. A unique showcase of some of Ghana’s best elements came together that night to form a trendy social vibe; bold statement art surrounded by creative exterior design.
I’m honoured to have experienced the future of Ghanaian contemporary art, courtesy of premier fine art dealership- Ghana Contemporary LTD. A well throughout exhibition which wouldn’t be out of place in major cities such as London, New York and Paris to name a few. The face behind Ghana Contemporary LTD is Finnish born Leeni Ojaniemi. Despite many clients demanding her attention, Leeni was hospitable on my arrival to the exhibition and offered brief background of the exhibition. I was impressed with her passion for the subject so I asked if she also paints. Flashing her signature bright smile, the response was no, however Leeni studied History of Art in London. With her passion and knowledge of art, it’s no wonder Kaleidoscope exhibition was a success!
“There is a lack of support for contemporary artists, therefore some of the artists have a lot of talent but they have stopped working to produce beautiful art because the support system isn’t there and they are not able to make sales or become known in the business.”
Leeni told showbiz.peacefmonline.com earlier this month.
The colourful canvases of eight talented artists were viewed by an elite crowd of Accra’s modern art conscious society. Expats and locals came together to appreciate ‘a unique journey through some of the finest Ghanaian contemporary art.’
Thoughtfully spaced out on the first floor terrace of the hotel, each painting told a different story. A dynamic fusion of abstract and realism yet with an underlining theme in social context making each piece relatable to the audience.
I stayed behind a while longer… I confess the complimentary drinks might have had some influence however it didn’t divert my attention away from the art even after the crowd started to fade.
And I guess it paid off when one of my ultimate favourite Ghanaian TV personalities, Chris Attoh showed his presence- fashionably late!
The acclaimed Ghanaian actor, tv presenter, film maker and CEO of aFACTORY entertainment, was all smiles as I he got a quick view of the paintings before they were taken down. As the event drew to a close, I diverted Chris’ attention onto other priorities on my mind… There was no way I was letting Mr Attoh leave without exclusive news on his future projects. He reassured me a personal interview. And I reassured him; I’ll hold him to that!
And for the future of Ghana Contemporary?
For now Ghana Contemporary continues to offer private viewings at the showroom at Villaggio and specializes on corporate collection building according to popular demand. Future exhibition plans are already brewing and they continue to take place in Accra – and hopefully sooner or later outside Ghana too.
Contemporary is continuing its Arts Column monthly on Enjoy Accra Magazine. If you haven’t already picked up a free copy, what are you waiting for? Or why go online to www.enjoyaccra.com and check out Leeni’s interview with Ghanaian artist Larry Otoo whose work was also featured on the night. Keep an eye out for Leeni’s ventures to Europe soon, especially to follow 2 Ghana Contemporary artists’ participation in an exhibition in Barcelona in May.
So readers in Europe, look out for Ghana Contemporary coming your way!
For more information on Ghana Contemporary contact Leeni Ojaniemi:
+233 (0)235 840 0000
If you missed the gallery event, you can still view art work courtesy of Ghana Contemporary dotted around the beautiful settings of La Villa Boutique Hotel.
13th Lane, Ringway, Osu-Accra
+233 302 730 333