Meet SERGE ATTUKWEI CLOTTEY, a fine Ghanaian contemporary artist and illustrator. His installations and works extend beyond Ghana’s shores matching a down-to-earth personality that grounds his work with a deep resonating message.
In the last five years, Attukwei has carved a niche in African art by using reclaimed and recycled materials such as discarded car tires, yellow Kufuor gallons, jute sacks, wood pieces, wires and cables, Kantamanto thrift shopping and more. His work brings new life to disregarded pieces by re-purposing them into political and social PA systems.
Attukwei’s work examines the powerful agency of everyday objects. Through a mixed-media approach that spans installation, performance, photography and sculpture, he explores narratives of personal, family and collective histories often relating to trade and migration.
Based in Accra and working internationally, Attukwei is also the founder and creative lead of Afrogallonism, an artistic concept and collective that utilizes yellow water containers to raise new questions about how African social life is constructed, particularly in relation to modern consumerism.
Through cutting, drilling, stitching and melting found materials, Clottey’s sculptural installations are bold assemblages that act as a means of inquiry into questions of form and history. As the founder of Ghana’s GoLokal performance collective, he sees art as a way to transform social relations. With aspects of activism prevalent in his practice, Clottey’s works challenge convention and advocate the importance of creativity.
Attukwei has exhibited in Ghana, the United Kingdom, Brazil and the U.S. Through the foundation, The Attukwei Art Foundation, Serge is giving back to his La community through school programs, lectures on painting, drawing, sculpture and modeling, and also by raising awareness about global and environmental issues. Attukwei has also been a member of the CHALE WOTE planning team since the festival began in 2011. He participates as artist, organizer and partner through his foundation.
In relation to this year’s theme, Attukwei had this to say:
For all intents and purposes, finding such a healthy balance between spirit and robot is a dicey issue. It does not lend itself to a quick fix or clear-cut solutions. It is a trying test of our mettle and maturity as our spirit is robotic.
This year, Attukwei brings two projects to CHALE WOTE 2016 – a performance procession featuring more than 50 La collectives (Sun August 20, 4 – 5pm) entitled, Practical Common Sense and a set of charcoal drawings called the Sex and Politics Series (Aug 20-21, Brazil House).
For Attukwei, these projects together raise these central questions:
Should we as Africans discard all our traditions? And do we even know what ours are?