By John Owoo
(In Accra – Ghana)
Large, medium and small-scale aluminum sculptures by Tei Huagie – which are created through a multiplicative visual language and fueled by a meditative process of amalgamation – are currently on display at the La Gallery in Accra.
Inspired by a determination to create change in his own small way, the artist has created pieces that engage observers in a dialogue while challenging their perceptions on these large-scale pieces, which compel them to do a thorough examination.
Huagie has transformed discarded and purchased aluminum sheets into monumental sculptures whose scale and forceful presence have an overwhelming physical impact. In the process, he acted as an intermediary between the past and future of these sheets.
His sculptures, which are embellished with various colours, manage to maintain some of the unconnected identities of the original material as they are sewn together. Indeed, his arrangements evoke a precarious equilibrium of objects in space while recalling the traditions of Ghanaian sculptures and the aesthetic possibilities of such objects.
Employing his sewing skills – he managed to produce these sculptures – some of which are flat with tiny pyramids that abound with entropic energies and forces of nature. Geometric shapes, body contours, busts and exaggerated human figures adorned in various colours inundate the exhibition hall.
Huagie’s works encompass fashion, painting, sculpture, furniture design and jewelry. Trained at the Ghanatta College of Art and Design, he also studied under two masters – Amon Kotei and Sowatey Adjei, who inspired him and helped chart his career path.
He has exhibited in several venues including UNESCO Art and Crafts Award (Burkina Faso – 2004), Die Schreinerei, Radbruch (Germany 2008), National Museum (Denmark) and several galleries in Ghana. His works are included in the collections of Royal Ontario Museum (Canada), Julian Micahels Architects (South Africa) and Dei Centre in Accra.
Titled “Sewing Remnants and Sowing Change”, the exhibition, which is being curated by Rania Odaymat, ends on Wednesday September 9, 2023.