Friday, December 2, 2011

A Home for Art

I've always dreamed of having a nice house with an open lawn, creating some art, then turning the place into a gallery for my work.

Here in Accra, Parisian-trained expatriate artists Anna Kurtycz and Rudek van der Helm are living that dream. 

And not only that, they're doing one better, using their current show "Neither Black Nor White" to showcase the work of a select few Ghanaian artists as well.

Working under the artistic brand of "Studio Kurtycz," Anna and Rudek have shared their display space with local artists Isaac Konney, Kelvin Haizel, and Nii Obodai to run an exhibit from this past Wednesday, November 30 to Saturday, December 3.

I dropped in on the show's opening on Wednesday and absolutely loved what I found: a medley of engaging installations, photographs, video work, paintings, woodcuts, and prints all tucked fondly into well-crafted spaces around a manicured garden, a pool, and a few outbuildings.

Rudek told me they gave particular thought, for this show, to the use of lighting in shaping discrete and welcoming exhibit-spaces for the nighttime open-houses.  Their care and attention paid off: it's a magical night garden of lovingly-created, well-displayed, quality artworks.

A ghostly Rudek installation haunts the pool.

In a screened terrace, photos by Nii Obodai make inspired use of white space and blur to channel the harmony and devotion of a unique Accra-based community of Moslems and Christians.

Vibrant butterfly paintings by Kelvin Haizel float through a pool-side pavilion.

Beautifully-layered photographs of Accra's striking clothing store mannequins show off Anna's artistic city-wanderings.

And ethereal charcoal drawings by Isaac Konney celebrate the beauty-in-the-ordinary that is everywhere in this sweaty, gritty city.

There's even a participatory painting hung on the swingset, with visitors invited to 'paint' a Rudek self-portrait by hitting it with thrown 'eggs' of red dye.

An intriguing body of work.  A cool feast, in this hot season, for the eyes and the mind.

The show is on for two more days.  You can visit, according to the Studio Kurtycz website:

-today, Friday evening, from 6 to 9 pm
-or tomorrow, Saturday evening, from 4 to 8 pm.

Find their studio in Ringway Estate near Ako Adjei interchange, behind the Canadian High Commission and across from the SSNIT guest house.

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