A free exhibition of work by Academician Adelaide Damoah, from her Genesis series.
Adelaide Damoah (RWA, FRSA) is a British artist of Ghanaian descent working at the intersection of painting and performance within the context of colonialism, identity, sexuality and spirituality.
The works in the Genesis series mark the beginning of the artist's exploration into her personal history. The series was sparked by the discovery of a photo of her great-grandmother, Ama Ammissah Quansah, dating back to 1920 in British Gold Coast (now Ghana). The discovery led to an obsession with the image and Adelaide has used it multiple times in various works including The Rebirth of Ama (2018) which is featured in this series of work. The same image sparked a desire to discover more about the history of colonialism and the relationship between the colonised and the coloniser. The bible page works in the series prompted the artist to start to consider the relationship between Christianity, spirituality and colonialism. Of the body print works in the series, Adelaide says, “Black and gold have been used both for aesthetic and metaphorical reasons. Black is evoking skin colour, but also absence as a lived experience. Meanwhile, gold is referring to Ghana's historical source of wealth which gave it its colonial name (Gold Coast).”
Works in the Genesis series are importantly titled after Ghanaian proverbs with the translation of the twi in English in order to further tie the work to the artist's heritage.