Zohra Opoku is featured in the Financial Times: How to Spend It's annual Arts Issue as one of the textiles artists whose work is taking needlework to the next level by pulling together new narratives about gender, identity and race.
“Working with textiles is quite a feminine space,” says the Accra-based, German-Ghanaian artist, who started sewing clothes for her dolls at age five, created whole wardrobes for herself as a teenager and studied fashion design before falling in love with screen-printing.
The images of people, sometimes herself, are often stitched into, sometimes hanging in ephemeral installations. “They are also a little bit layered,” she says. “And large, so that people get soaked emotionally into the work.” Textiles recur as the subject matter too, often looking at Ghanaian dress codes. “I look at how clothes define culture, at how different materials have language and history – whether it is the veil of a woman or a kente wrap of a man.” Her mostly monochrome aesthetic has recently given way to a more colourful body of work, which is currently included in Mariane Ibrahim’s group show at her new Paris gallery space.