Serge Attukwei Clottey: My Mother’s Wardrobe

7 Mar 2016 – 20 May 2016

Gallery 1957

Greater Accra, Ghana


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The exhibition My Mother’s Wardrobe comprises a series of works inspired by the aftermath of the death of the artist Serge Attukwei Clottey’s mother, overlaying narratives of personal, family and collective histories.


According to custom in many parts of Ghana, a person’s wardrobe is locked up for a year after their death then released to relatives, often leaving the person’s offspring with little or nothing of the material memory of that person, especially as in the case of the artist, if he is an only son with no sisters.

Textiles and materials in Ghana, and other parts of West Africa, — each weft, line or mark — are potent carriers of memory, of communication, and the artist weaves into his sculptures subtle traces of loss, remembering, and of rebirth.

In form, Clottey draws on the interplay of the international and local, incorporating the universal and recurring theme of the barcode alongside the aesthetic structure of Ga Kpanlago rhythms, commenting on the enduring discourse of waxprint’s local demand and international production, from Indonesia to Holland to China.

Abstracting his environment, into monuments such as The Independence Arch, and the Jamestown and Labadi beachscapes so prevalent in his early paintings and current sculptural installations, the pieces, like the cloth they draw on, take on subtle semantic and communicative tones, there if you know where and how to look.

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Exhibiting artists

Serge Attukwei Clottey


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