Life and works of selected practising Ghanaian Female Painters and Sculptors

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October, 2019
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Women have been and continue to be integral to the institution of art, however, from time immemorial, only a small sample of women found their way into the tales of the greatest artists. Over the years, the painting and sculpture industry has seen very few practising Ghanaian female painters and sculptors. Also the few who practise as artists are not able to forge ahead and make waves like their male counterparts. Most literature on the painting and sculpture practise in Ghana is therefore centered on the life and works of male artists. Additionally, in respect to literature on African art specifically, most scholars who research on women artists tend to focus on the indigenous arts produced by women because those affected by colonization and globalization are not perceived as authentic African art. Hence, this research aimed at inquiring into the life and works of some practising Ghanaian female painters and sculptors. The target population for the study was professional Ghanaian female painters and sculptors living and working in Accra and Kumasi, precisely those that have been practising for five (5) years or more after completing school. The study employed qualitative and descriptive research to look into the life and works of four (4) Ghanaian female painters namely; Fatric Bewong, Betty Acquah, Victoria Adoe and Afia Prempeh, and three (3) sculptors; namely: Gladys Adinyira, Dorothy Amenuke and Margaret Anakwa. Interviews and observation were the main data collection instruments used. Among the information gathered from the research, the researcher found that people usually question whether female artists are the ones who created their artworks because generally females are perceived to be incapable of producing good paintings and sculptural pieces. Thus, painting and sculpture are regarded as a profession solely for men, because they are perceived as the ones who are capable of painting and sculpting. In view of this, when an author or researcher sets out to look for artists the first group of people that comes to mind are men artists, except the author or researcher consciously decides to research on women artists. As a matter of fact this misconception about female painters and sculptors is one of the reasons why throughout history the works of women artists remained unrecognized. Owing to this, the study concluded that people attribute works of art done by female artists to male artists. It was recommended that, the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs together with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts should help promote works done by practising Ghanaian female painters and sculptors.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Educational Innovations in Science and Technology, College of Art and Built Environment, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award degree of Master of Philosophy in African Art And Culture.
Activities and performance, Women, Painters and Sculptors, Ghana