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Art Dubai… Here comes Nubuke with two Diaspora artists


Art DubaiAccra, Ghana-based art group, Nubuke Foundation, makes its second appearance at Art Dubai, UAE showing the works of Daniel Kojo Schrade and that of George Afedzi Hughes. Schrade is a painter and teaches Art at Hampshire College, Amherst, while Hughes lectures at Visual Studies Department, State University of New York, both in the U.S.

Nubuke is showing at Art Dubai 2016 for third time after it exhibited at Nigeria’s Bisi Silva-curated space, Marker 2013 of the same event. Marker exhibition had master of crowd-effect, Ablade Glover in the space that also featured other artists from West Africa, including Nigerian artists.

Showing, among many other paintings of the Diaspora artists at Stand E2, Johara Ballroom, from March 16 -19, for example, are a mixed media on paper, Brother Kyot by Schrade; and acrylics, oil, enamels on canvas Brown Bust from Hughes. Schrade takes his brushing back in time to the medieval creative era, with attempt to generate issue over politics of contents.

His Brother Kyot series refer to Kyot, a scholar believed to have influenced medieval poet, Wolfram van Eschenbach’s piece Parzival, as a central theme within academic context. Schrade argues, “…claiming a central piece/icon of central European high culture – reposition it into an African context.”

Schrade’s abstract texture often comes with a flavour of drawings, which enriches the painting. “My work combines abstract, non-representational compositions with conceptually-based text and word fragments into painting and drawing,” explains the artist. “I incorporate figurative personages into my work, which add elements that occupy the liminal space between fore – and background. The motifs and texts that I focus on appear in repetition and are worked out through various series.”

Perhaps being Afro-German born artist comes with the challenge of going the extra mile in cultural adventurism. He narrates how his contents are generated from “multiple cultural contexts,” and via “integration” into his work, which “becomes part of my personal and cultural archive.”

For Hughes, his canvas – even from a soft copy view – appears like a window to ventilate aggressive application of colours. The impasto texture of his canvas complements a rich composite of images that jostle for limited space. Hughes is an artist whose brush movement or palette knife slips very swiftly such that you can hardly cage his technique or style within a confined definition, so suggest Brown Rust.

Thematically, Hughes also ventures into politics of identity, noting, “My work utilizes the turbulence of colonialism to highlight parallels between that violent history and contemporary global conflicts. I investigate the duality between the evolution of postcolonial reconciliation (through sports imagery) as a civil contest, contrasted with war and its fatal references.”

Hughes is a painter, but also works as a poet and performance artist.

In what he describes as cathartic, Hughes navigates through Western and African influences with his latest works addressing global power relations, violence and conflicts, cultural deterioration through vivid imagery of machinery, body parts and other iconography, “who investigates postcolonial reconciliation through competitive sports imagery, popular culture and narratives of multicultural societies.”

Schrade has participated in group and solo exhibitions both locally and internationally and exhibited his works in several galleries, including the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw-Poland, Artists Alliance, Accra- Ghana. His major works include repeated motifs such as the “Afronaut” figure, and textual elements in the cycle entitled, “Brother Beethoven,” a series he started in 1999.

His works are in permanent collections in Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Oaxaca-Mexico; Collection Hypo Vereinsbank, Munchen- Germany, Museo de Cuenca/Spain; Collection Morat/Freiburg-Germany.

Nubuke Foundation is a non-profit organisation, which promotes the visual arts and culture of Ghana. Established in April 2006 by Tutu Agyare, Kofi Setordji and Odile Tevie who is the current Director, the foundation serves as space for the development of the practice of Ghanaian artists. It nurtures ideas and shares knowledge through exhibitions, talks and workshops; provide opportunities through exchanges and residencies.

In the last three years, Nubuke has worked with contemporary artists wishing to activate materials thought only to be the preserve of traditional arts-textiles and clay.

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