Zoom In to Winfred Amoah's Recycled Portraits

Discover the Ghanaian artist's series of mixed-media portraits of Hohoe residents with the Nubuke Foundation

By Google Arts & Culture

Gbledi (Neglected) by Winfred Nana AmoahOriginal Source: Nubuke Foundation

Ghanaian artist Winfred Amoah, born in 1996, uses found materials to explore personal identities and community belonging, focussing on those he knows best - the fellow residents of his hometown of Hohoe.

His collages are made from waste materials freely available; acrylic paints, textiles, used credit cards, newspapers, and plastic bags. The materials, as well as the image, speak of the daily life of the Hohoe residents.

These yellow cards are pre-paid mobile credit cards, each one is worth 10 Ghanaian Cedi, or about $1.50. Many Ghanaians use these to transfer money without having to get cash from a bank. The used cards are a common sight in rubbish bins.

Pay-as-you-go phones are very popular, and Vodafone Ghana is the second-largest company in the country. Daily life runs on these little red cards, almost everyone will have used one at some point in their life.

Offcuts of Kente, a style of West African textile, provide splashes of vibrant colour and contrasting patterns. Kente is traditionally woven, but these days cheaper, printed fabric is imported from China. More styles are available, but local skills and jobs have been lost.

Amoah was drawn to portraiture because of the uniqueness and the universality of the human face. Every face is different, but we recognise them all. When people smile, or laugh, or cry, we get drawn into their world and their way of thinking.

Thanks for joining this tour of Winfred Nana Amoah's Gbledi (Neglected). On the next slide, you can listen to Amoah talk about this work and his wider Hohoe Women project.

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