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In A New Dawn, Mofunanya explores ginger starch technique


Dr. Stella Awoh Mofunanya. Photo/africanartswithta

As part of efforts aimed at providing options for works of art as well as innovation in printmaking; Awoh Stella Mofunanya has explored the benefits of ginger starch for creative works.

In her research on pulverised ginger starch as a vehicle for printmaking, Mofunanya shows how the technique can be introduced into printmaking process to neutralise the potential toxic components involved.

Apart from the health benefits and culinary possibilities of ginger, she has gone further to reveal other benefits that are not known in the creative industry.


Though art is not considered as life threatening, she believes artists are generally exposed to the same conditions, materials and equipment used in manufacturing process.

Mofunanya argues that artists are consistently exposed to a plethora of potentially toxic chemicals in the materials available to them for art production.

According to her, activities of artists are fraught with hazards, hence, “safety of the creative in the midst of his material should be consistently perpetuated by propagating that artists apprehend and understand the potential risks of employing hazardous chemicals in creative production in their physical and health safety.

“For this, there is need to also encourage proper safety procedures, while using these materials and engaging proper equipment for work safety.


“I discovered that most artists are coming down with pains.

I remember about 12 years ago, when I went to Agbarha-Otor, for the Harmattan workshop, Prof. Bruce Onobrakpeya drew my attention to the health hazard of the paints we use, and told me about his friend in the US that ended up having arthritis.

We inhale these chemicals and our skin also absorbs them,” she noted.

The new research has led to A New Dawn- A Synthesis of Art Product show, which ended yesterday at Didi Museum, Ikoyi, Lagos.

In the 30 works exhibited, Mofunanya looks at the chemical compositions and antimicrobial activities of pulverised ginger starch to determine its effect on printing ink.

Using different techniques of stylized expression in printmaking, she generates concrete imagery.

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