By John Owoo
(In Accra – Ghana)
La Gallery in Accra is currently hosting an exhibition of works by Patrick Tagoe-Turkson that comprise a dramatic transformation of discarded flip flops into artistic representations thereby providing them with a fresh breath of life.
Employing largely flip flops, plastics and other materials, he turns them into spectacular colours that vary significantly from their original forms, thus inviting viewers to pause and reflect on the ever-degrading environment.
An apostle of the art of sustainability, Tagoe-Turkson’s work encompass a close examination of the concepts of identity, memory and waste while subtly showcasing an interplay between creativity and environmental consciousness – a move that has seen his works being exhibited in various parts of the world.
A masterful craftsman, he transforms flip flops collected largely from beaches into elaborate embroideries that recall the skills of ancient Asante kente weavers. Interspersed with bold colours, his works encompass diverse sizes and shapes.
Tagoe-Turkson’s themes revolve around tradition, sustainability, renewability and the relationship between art and day-to-day activities of humankind. His pieces highlight formidable visual narratives that reflect Ghana’s rich traditions and culture while addressing contemporary issues.
Trained at the Department of Painting and Sculpture, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Kumasi), his work has been exhibited in France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Canada, Germany, South Korea, Japan, China, Austria, Mexico, Senegal, Nigeria, Haiti, South Africa, Romania, Hungary and the United States.
Currently a lecturer at the Department of Industrial Painting and Design and Sculpture Technology (Takoradi Technical University), his works are in private and public collections including the Royal Ontario Museum (Canada) and the Casoria Contemporary Art Museum (Italy) among others.
Tagoe-Turkson is also the director of Aesthete Ghana, which organizes workshops and exhibitions on nature art and a curator of the annual Paint Sculp Art Jury and Exhibition at Takoradi Technical University.
Titled “Generations Woven – The Art of Sustainability”, the exhibition ends on Sunday December 30, 2023.