The best thing about London is its wealth of art galleries, museums, and cultural events. The Gallery of African Art is currently displaying “Threads of Art” by Ghanaian-British artist Yaw Obuobi. Upon entrance, the pieces catch the spectator’s eye. They are colourful and evocative. Upon closer inspection – and this can only be completely appreciated in person – one sees that the medium of choice is not paint but yarn.
The works of Obuobi speak about many of the most salient issues in the African continent and among the “Afropolitan” community. His works discuss the role of the diaspora and the self, the sense of identity and the perception that one has of the world once s/he has set roots in different parts of the world. Yet his pieces do not speak only to this particular community, the themes are connected to social justice issues that are a product of the global context which we inhabit.
“Our individual perception of the world is dependent on our life’s themes which consist of sub-themes woven together with our life’s script thread.”
Fragmented, 2015. The restorative power of creating a home within the body, of (re) imagining our existence, making peace with the fragmented pieces of our being. […] decolonial imaginaries. Fragmented, but whole.
Artists like Obuobi create a type of art that trascends the innovative technique and the topics represented directly in the artworks or written about in the captions. Obuobi connects the present and the past, the tradition with the current reality of many human beings. He opens up a window for discussion of a global system – a way of interacting between powers, humans, and with the colonial past – that needs to be examined in its own context and over the long durée.