By Nii B. Andrews.

Our once idyllic and pristine shoreline – from Wiawso to Keta, has been ravaged with waste; plastic has become ubiquitous on our beaches.

Years of unheralded, unrestrained use of plastic bags and containers including bottles and associated lack luster waste disposal systems coupled with indifferent and myopic public attitudes have led to this disgraceful state of affairs.

BIANCA: 122 × 112 cm, discarded flip flops on suede, 2019.

The problem is not restricted to Ghana: the Pacific garbage patch for example is a blight on our planet and collective conscience.

The hallmark of the artistic oeuvre of Patrick Tagoe-Turkson is manipulation and creative transformation of the plastic waste on our beaches into stunning pieces of work.

KROKESI I (aka DUMSOR I): 260 × 130 cm, discarded flip flops on suede. 2019.

Chale Wote is the local name for flip flops; they are made of various colors of plastic. 

In Tagoe -Turkson’s studio, the discarded fragments of Chale Wote collected from our beaches are transformed into swathes of pattern, color and texture; they are given a new structure, meaning and function….and value.

KROKESI II (aka DUMSOR II): 260 × 130 cm, discarded flip flops on suede, 2019.

If the viewer sees repetition with balance and incipient variation on a theme, then the pieces reference the traditional Kente cloth and of course the syncopated rhythms of the traditional drums – and yes, jazz.

Thus the artist positions himself as a polymath; a griot, an environmentalist, an engineer, a designer and perhaps a magician.

The variant subtle deviations from black with its thematic minority points of blue, yellow and white spots, prompted me to suggest an alternative title to the pieces KROKESI I and I I ( KROKESI means big town).

I suggested DUMSOR (Ghanaian lexicon for “light off” or “black out”) and the artist readily agreed.

In his aforementioned roles he nudges us to think of memory and recovery; migration and transformation – a transformation into SOMETHING that is radically different from the original form.

Is Tagoe-Turkson engaged in a passionate plea for us to transform the banal qualities of human nature and the inherently violent qualities of our society where the majority remain deprived by the shameful acts of a small vicious minority?

Patrick Tagoe-Turkson gained his MFA from KNUST; he is currently based in Takoradi and his distinctive works with their kaleidoscope of colors have been exhibited worldwide.

To his immense credit, the flip flop sculptures have morphed from their early relatively robust not particularly refined door mat quality. 

ABOW NA TOKURA: 260 × 143 cm, discarded flip flops on suede, 2019.

They now have a structural dynamism and litheness that makes them look akin to paintings or if you like, magic carpets.

“I keep experimenting with the medium and as such I’m still discovering its inherent but nuanced qualities”, Tagoe-Turkson explained.

“I’m growing to understand the language of the medium each and everyday”, he continued, “still learning, my approach is more experimental, I’m always trying to understand new vocabularies of the material”.

2 thoughts on “PORTFOLIO – 58.”

  1. bonjour je trouve votre démarche intéressante c ‘est un créneau que les artistes doivent prendre au sérieux car nous donnons un sens à notre travail bonne continuation

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