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Art in the city

BY: Kofi Akpabli
“The Devil Is in The Details”, it is a collection of panoramic images that tell the story of a young Ghanaian’s travels across a number of regions of Ghana

THE role of art in opening our minds, improving our moods and confronting issues in our society cannot be discounted. In tourism, art is a big attraction and the reason why some people actually step out there.

Of late, Ghana’s capital has seen events here and there related to some art forms. Spaces such as Nubuke Foundation, Artise Alliance and The Loom have also contributed to the artistic landscape of the city. Another vibrant art house is Kuenyehia Trust for Contemporary Art located at Tesano, (near Lakeside Clinic).

A not-for-profi t organisation established in 2013 to support emerging and mid-career African artists; this institution aims to advance contemporary African art, promote a vibrant market for local art and encourage art literacy. It is known for its flagship, the prestigious Kuenyehia Prize for Contemporary Art which is open to visual artists not just in Ghana but in West Africa.

For lovers of art and others looking for some creative action, all roads lead to the Tesano art house for an exhibition from 4th to 7th August 2022. Titled, “The Devil Is in The Details”, it is a collection of panoramic images that tell the story of a young Ghanaian’s travels across a number of regions of Ghana and the memories he carried home.

Celebrating photo art and abstract expressionism, the exhibition is to appreciate the mundane things and scenes of life by paying attention to the values they hold and the lessons they teach us by changing our perspectives. The hero at the centre of the exciting creations is Divine Agborli an award-winning documentary photographer and an English for Africa Service Correspondent for Deutsche Welle (Germany).

The artist doubles as the Team Lead and Creative Director at Nuku Multimedia Services, a budding creative brand which creates captivating photography and videography, as well as fineart products and services for corporate institutions and privateindividuals. The practice of photography has come a long way and with the advancement in technology,the introduction of sophisticated gadgets and the advent of social media, it has been observed that many young people are engaging in the practice either as a hobby or a source of income.

“The Devil Is in The Details”, is Divine’s latest outing after last year’s highly successful Exhibition Project at Abokobi dubbed, “Butterflies in My Belly.” That art exhibition addressed how the excessive use of harmful chemicals such as weedicides and pesticides affect our environment and destroy the natural habitats of critical insects such as butterflies.

Divine was short-listed out of the many entries received to exhibit a photo titled, “Child Labour” a piece that showcases the plight of children of school age engaged in menial jobs for survival at Kpandu-Torkor, a fishing community along the Volta Lake of Ghana. He was also selected to participate in Imani Africa’s Social Protection Programs Video Premier And Art Exhibition held at Alisa Hotel in 2020.

As a follower of the Pan-Africanist movement, DivineAgborli projects Africa as a continent of hope through his works. He aspires to be world-class through the consistent production of masterpieces. His documentary photo and video projects cut across various social issues that affect our development as a continent and hope to use art as a tool to engineer a paradigm shift in mindset for the development and transformation we desire as a people.

He believes that art is a way of life and is expressed in several forms including photography. “The practice of photography goes beyond capturing memories, it is a tool for causing social transformation and development in any society”, the artist added. “The Devil Is in The Details”, definitely contributes to cultural tourism which refers to tourism in urban areas, particularly historic or large cities and their cultural facilities such as museums and theatres. It can also include tourism in rural areas showcasing the traditions of indigenous
cultural communities (i.e. festivals, rituals), and their values and lifestyle.

It is generally agreed that cultural tourists spend substantially more than standard tourists do. This form of tourism is also becoming generally more popular throughout the world, and a recent OECD report has highlighted the role that cultural tourism can play in regional development in different areas of the world.