Theresah Ankomah is a Ghanaian artist who lives and works in Accra. Ankomah’s artistry is expressed through performative installations, sculpture, weaving, photography, basketry painting and printmaking. Repurposing is core to Ankomah’s art making, and her work often makes use of locally produced kenaf baskets, or chalis, that are found in marketplaces across Ghana. Embedded in her art are the geopolitics of the region, where traditionally handmade items like baskets are being replaced by cheap imported goods.
Theresah Ankomah’s work explores the intricacies of weaving and the complexities of ‘craft’ in relation to trade. She examines how underpinning issues of geopolitics, gender and capitalism resonate in the everyday usage of materials and objects.
Through her work, the idea of weaving moves beyond the confinement of beauty and its association with “women’s work”, and the functionality of objects, to explore more complex issues such as consumerism, geopolitics, gender, identity and capitalism.
For Theresah, everyday objects are not innocent or self-contained but coexist within a physical space with seen and unseen collaborators. This manifests in the layers of processes her materials go through from the start till the end, and for the artist, “the process of my work is as equally important to me as the final product of the installation”.
In Theresah’s work, weaving embodies the conception of one’s identity, by combining separate entities into a disjoint body of work. Through the process of assembling and disassembling woven objects, splitting and collaging, joining and weaving, her body of work becomes an appropriation of individual weaves collected from various encounters, experiences and narratives.