The Ashesi dean appointed me to her art committee (it’s just the two of us, I think) in anticipation of hosting an exhibition at the University. We went together to the studio of a local artist with international standing.
Gabriel Eklou paints traditional African experience in modern context. His work pulls me in. Somewhere between the natural texture and imagery, combined with phenomena like wind, village life, and community, I find myself falling into my own visceral experiences of life, that which needs art to express more deeply than words.
Leaning against the artist’s studio wall, atop a wooden desk and behind an easel, this stood out to me strong and tall. It became our exhibit brochure’s centerpiece.
The dean chose this one quickly. It began to intrigue me once Gabriel had selected a place for it among student study carols in the Ashesi library where the fullness of community beams.
Two more themes we selected – the baobab tree and wind.
He loaned the University 12 pieces, and came to set up for an opening among students.
- One student told me the artist must have been raised somewhere else. In Ghana, she said, we do as our parents tell us; we don’t have room for passion.
Seeing students engage became as magical as the paintings themselves.
See the artist’s story and work at his home site, or in the Ashesi library until end of this month.
Published with permission of the artist.