There couldn’t have been a more appropriate tag for Nii Amasah Abifao’s ongoing maiden solo exhibition at the Arts Centre Gallery in Accra than the ‘Catch Eyes’ title he has given to it.
What he has done with the 34 pieces on show is not only to catch the eyes of art enthusiasts but also to capture their hearts and minds with his bold mix of brush and bare finger depictions, oils, acrylics, canvas and cloth.
He sends out a sense of positivity with the main elements in the exhibition, which include figures in well-tailored outfits made from ‘local’ fabrics. Actual cloth is pasted on the canvas and sometimes painted over, giving an impression of just oil or acrylic on the canvas.
The figures, some seated and others standing, appear to feel comfortable in their settings, perhaps to drive home a point that we can be happy in our circumstances if we cleverly tap into local resources.
Some of the works depict older women plaiting hair for girls, something that happens regularly in our communities and which symbolises creativity, as well as care and attention from our women. It’s obvious
Nii Amasah is a careful observer of happenings in the community where he lives and has cleverly tried to embody some of them in his work.
The pieces about women selling in the market and other locations say a lot about the hard work they always put in to ensure survival for themselves and their families.
One of his pieces
Use of colour in the ‘Catch Eyes’ exhibition is generally vibrant, an indication that Nii Amasah likes to evoke pleasantness and a feel-good attitude, rather than playing on subdued tones that call up despair.
A noticeable aspect of nearly all the works is the presence of butterflies in them. They come in different colours and sizes and the artiste says it is also a way of adding something unique to his pieces.
“When you don’t see my signature on a work but see the butterflies, then you know it is something from Nii Amasah. Butterflies are beautiful objects and I like watching them. Art is about colours. Whether bright or sombre, whatever colours any artiste uses are already on butterflies,” Nii Amasah stated.
The exhibition is testimony that he is an inventive young artiste from whom greater things can be expected in the coming years.
The ‘Catch Eyes’ exhibition opened on January 2 and is scheduled to close on January 31.