Sela Kodjo Adjei
Sela Kodjo Adjei, a Ghanaian artist and academic, holds a degree in B.A Communication Design from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. He also holds an MPhil degree in African art and Culture from the same University. As an experienced multimedia Artist, Sela’s artistic career spans a period of over 10 years. He has worked as a designer and visual communication consultant for various publishing companies and organizations (including Johns Hopkins University, World Bank, Bank of Ghana, Ghana Ministry of health, Universal Merchant Bank, TV3 News Network Limited, Sub-Saharan publishers, Accra[dot]alt Radio etc). Sela is also a researcher and currently pursuing a PhD degree in African Studies at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon. He is currently researching into ‘Philosophy of Art in Ewe Traditional Religion’ for his PhD dissertation. Sela has participated in over 20 exhibitions including 7 solo exhibitions within the last two years. Sela is a member of the Arts Council of the African Studies Association.
His work and scope embrace an amalgam of African symbolism and creative expressions which highlights his unique individualism and philosophy. His art traces its roots to Ndebele art, Adinkra symbolism, Nsibidi script, Modernist wall painting traditions of Africa, Bantu cosmograms, Agama symbolism, Veve symbolism, sacred Võdũ aesthetics, patterns from nature and Uli designs, all of which accentuate his strong Pan African ideals. Sela’s artisitc practices has also largely been influenced by highly influential African artists, critics and aestheticians (like Bruce Onobrakpeya, El Anatsui, Moyo Okediji, Olakunle Filani, Olabisi Silva, Uche Okeke, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Theodosia Okoh, Rowland Abiodun, Kwame Gyekye, Vanessa German, Slyvester Ogbechie, Romuald Hazoumè, Saidi Tingatinga, Ibrahim El-Salahi, Wiz Kudowor, Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou, Ablade Glover, Wosene Kosrov, Jean-Michel Basquiat, etc)
Efo Sela represents new breed of young “New School Artists” aiming to delve deep into indigenous African creative expressions to revive some of the powerful and spiritually engaging modernist African art schools. In that regard, his works builds upon the artistic legacies and aesthetic foundations laid by the creative philosophers of the Zaria art society, Oshogo Art Movement, The Tingatinga School, ONA Art Movement, Khartoum Calligraphic Modernism, The Casablanca School etc. His ”New Sacred Art” highlights varying degrees of esoteric knowledge, deep aspects of Võdũ philosophy, sacred Võdũ aesthetics and indigenous religious iconography. His works covers broad themes such struggle, identity, effects of colonialism, racism, tragedy, human suffering, post-colonial crisis, conflict, aesthetics of resistance, religion/spirituality, the macabre and the ethereal. Sela works from Grin Studios in Lashibi off the Baatsona-Spintex road (Accra, Ghana). A creative start-up studio he founded in 2012 after graduate school to promote African art and culture through art exhibitions, research and academic publications.
As part of Sela’s initiative to preserve African history and to also re-educate the public on African history through art, he has begun a series of art exhibitions. Sela curated quite a number of important exhibitions the 2016 STORYMOJA Ghana festival: One Blood One Story “Creating a Smarter Africa.” He recently co-curated the “KWAME NKRUMAH: THE SPIRIT” Exhibition at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon as part of the 2nd Kwame Nkrumah Pan-African Intellectual and Cultural Festivial. Sela is currently a Lecturer at the National Film and Television Institute.
Kwame Akoto-Bamfo is an influential figure to most young and emerging sculptors on the modern art scene in Ghana. He is an extremely versatile artist who loves experimenting with various media and genres in art. His art is a personal research into eclecticism and thus he employs a variety of techniques and media for his expressions. He is considered by many to be an expert in both digital art and traditional media fine art, and it is quite normal to see his exhibitions comprising of both of these tangible and intangible media. . In August 2016, Kwame collaborated with Sela in an art exhibition titled Usuthu! Usuthu!: A Response to Global Terrorism, Anti-Black Racism and Police Brutalities. The exhibition was a creative initiative from the duo to show support and solidarity for people of African descent in the Diaspora
Both Kwame and Sela’s strong academic backgrounds have shaped their creative practice to a large extent. Kwame’s recent exhibition, “In Memoriam:Portraits of the Middle Passage, in Situ THE NKYINKYIM INSTALLATION is still on display in the slave dungeons at the Cape Coast Castle. The installation seeks to use art (sculptures mostly) to document and tell the story of Ghanaian/African heritage. Nkyinkyim is an evolving art installation seeks to include the periods between pre-historic and post-postmodern times in the timeline narrative. Sela is part of Kwame’s research team for this crucial creative project.
Kwame is a former lecturer and has lectured and run art workshops in institutions such as Radford University College, KNUST, NAFTI, and Alliance Francaise, Takoradi Polytechnic, Ecole Lycee Francasie D’accra and Lincoln community school. He is also an award winning artist (Kuenyehia art prize for contemporary Ghanaian Art 2015) and a social entrepreneur. He is the founder of Osramba, a start-up art company (www.osramba.com) and he is the creator of Ancestor Project; A project that uses art promotes African Heritage (www.ancestorprojectgh.com).
Kwame Akoto now works full-time as the creative director of Osramba but also spends a lot of time in Ancestor Project’s youth outreach programme as well as working on the projects “Nkyinkyim” art installation.
Curatorial Advisory Board
Mantse Aryeequaye is is co-creator of ACCRA [dot] ALT, an independent cultural network supporting alternative art expressions and cross-cultural collaborations between Ghanaian and international artists. He is also co-director of the CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival.Over the last 20 years, Mantse has been involved in many aspects of journalism and media production in Ghana from music and magazine production, filmmaking, television, newspapers, advertising and radio as well photography and event programming. He is alsofounder of Redd Kat Pictures, a multimedia production company that supports the programming of ACCRA [dot] ALT. Mantse’s own artistic work documents African digital cultures and the socio-political imaginary.Sionne Rameah Neely
Sionne Rameah Neely is a womanist researcher, writer, teacher and multimedia producer. She is co-creator of ACCRA [dot] ALT and co-director of the CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival. Since 2005, Sionne has completed more than 250 interviews with African musicians, artists and cultural producers. In 2010, Sionne received a doctorate from the University of Southern California (U.S.) in American Studies and Ethnicity. Her research revolves around independent arts organising, African women’s rights, African feminism, the rights of artists, the history of music production in Ghana and pan-African recollectionsHakeem Adam
Hakeem Adam is an artist in learning and instinctive creative exploring the power of narrative as a tool for deconstructing society through various mediums. He is also the founder and creative director of DANDANO, a Pan-African cultural platform for African film and music criticism. His prose and poetry have been featured in African literary magazines, Afreada, Brittle Paper and as part of an anthology of short stories by Flash Fiction Ghana. He recently completed a degree in Psychology and English at the University of Ghana, focusing on Creative Writing. His work is fixated on the fabrics of contemporary Ghanaian society and is exploring ways to unravel the threads that bind through storytelling.
Sela Kodjo Adjei