“WHAT I REALISED IS THAT WHEN YOU’RE AN ARTIST AMONGST ARTISTS AND CREATING SPACES FOR ARTISTS BY ARTISTS, IN THE HEART OF GHANA, THE URGENCY OF CREATING AS AN ARTIST IS LIKE BREATHING.”
- JOSEPH AWUAH-DARKO IN CONVERSATION W/ RACHAEL SIGEE, SOTHEBY'S, JANUARY 2023
Joseph Awuah-Darko (b. 1996, London, UK) is a British-born Ghanaian contemporary artist whose practice encompasses painting and woven tapestry work. Drawing on his personal experiences, his body of work addresses major themes such as mental health, spirituality and identity. His painting practice incorporates techniques rooted in local poster design, while his woven pieces engage with traditions of Ghanaian basket weaving and European tapestry-making. By combining these various influences, Awuah-Darko creates abstract and loosely figurative works that depict idiosyncratic visions of the perennial battles with mental wellness and identity, while also alluding to the complicated histories of capitalism and systemic policing. Influenced by artists such as Henri Matisse, Magdalene Odundo, El Anatsui, Andy Warhol, and Atta Kwami, he investigates emotional states through colors and shapes, interlacing reality with a singular magical and dreamlike imagery.