02.2.2023 - 18.2.2023

Joseph Awuah-Darko (b. 1996, London, UK; lives and works in Accra, Ghana) is a British-born Ghanaian contemporary artist best known for his multi-disciplinary practice of painting and woven tapestry work. His practice autobiographically references major broader themes of  depression (mental health), spirituality and identity, as well as procreative sexuality.

Beyond acrylic paintings, Joseph earnestly employs interdisciplinary techniques rooted in local poster design with works on canvas. Additionally Ghanaian basket weaving and European tapestry-making are also engaged to create both abstract and loosely figurative works that depict symbols of spirituality – rendered in the dystopian beings he describes as Sentinels which famously reference the Akuaba fertility doll originating from Akan culture in Southern Ghana. Often depicting moments of conflict or amorous harmony, Awuah-Darko pulls influences from African literature, Ashanti poetry and internalized cognitive dreams played back to himself.

With a solo exhibition in 2019 with Gallery 1957 under his belt, Joseph Awuah-Darko has rebirthed his career forging a new visual vocabulary from the one he initially debuted. In the process he still continues to dedicate a significant amount of his time at the helm of institutions dedicated to uplifting emerging practitioners from the continent; he is the recognized director and founder of the Noldor Artist Residency and the president of the Institute Museum of Ghana.

in the exhibition Dear Future Self «Awuah-Darko mines this ancient but still fecund seam in woven tapestries incorporating human forms, flora and fauna, the sun, moon and stars in a way that representationally reinforces the holistic nature of the arts and crafts- embracing African conception of artistic creation. In line with this tradition the works in Dear Future Self depict the natural, universal and cosmic. Awuah-Darko’s innovation is a signature combination of materiality and figuration that rests on a basic contrast of form between his sinuous ‘sentinel’ figures and the simple geometric shapes that emerge as organic patterns. This formal contrast is echoed by similar contrasts of colour and texture.» (Azu Nwagrogu)