How Zohra Opoku Uses Textiles To Explore Identity and Heritage

Holly Black, Another Mag, August 31, 2018

The German-Ghanaian artist powerfully meshes photography and fabric to investigate the connections between codes of dress and culture

On a quiet street in Ghana, the bumpy road gives way to a luscious garden complete with trailing, fragrant foliage that somewhat obscures the entrance to Zohra Opoku’s home-cum-studio. The German-Ghanaian artist has lived here for several years, save for a few international residencies, and the ground floor is full of enormous screens used to produce her large-scale textile images, many of which hang from the walls. “I need to get a bigger space,” she sighs. “I don’t have enough room to work on more than one thing at a time.” At present, an enormous textile hangs in the front room. It depicts her siblings dressed in traditional clothing and comprises of smaller prints that have been transferred onto cloth supplied by her grandmother, before being stitched together with green thread given by her mother. For her, this is about building a ‘collective memory’ that draws on her family history and wider investigations into cultural identity, particularly through codes of dress.

 

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