The gallery’s initial curatorial focus will be on contemporary Ghanaian art, presenting a programme of exhibitions, installations and performances by the region’s most significant artists under the creative direction of Nana Oforiatta Ayim. The 140 sq. metre space is located within the newly built Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City, and is named after the year Ghana gained independence.
Gallery 1957’s inaugural exhibition My Mother’s Wardrobe presents new work by artist Serge Attukwei Clottey. Clottey’s works examine the powerful agency of everyday objects, with particular focus on the significance of personal clothing. Oforiatta Ayim, founder of ANO, and Creative Director of Gallery 1957 said: “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. 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.”
Based in Accra and working internationally, Clottey’s powerful testimony to his mother in the aftermath of her death will explore narratives of personal, family and collective histories. In continuation of Clottey’s established use of assemblage, he considers the value of material as a tangible experience of loss. My Mother’s Wardrobe is a result of Clottey’s residency with ANO, whose remit is to uncover hidden and alternative, personal and collective histories, which make up what is now known as Ghana. This is the first in a series of exhibitions under the Creative Directorship of ANO at Gallery 1957 that look to expand exhibitions outside of a closed, limited space.
Serge Attukwei Clottey work in progress for My Mother’s Wardrobe, -®the artist, courtesy Gallery 1957, Accra