White Cube presents an off-site project by Ibrahim Mahama, one of the most exciting artists to emerge from Ghana in recent years. Known for his large-scale installations incorporating jute sacks previously used to transport cocoa beans and charcoal, which are stitched together and draped over architectural structures, the project will feature Non-Orientable Nkansa, a towering sculpture comprised of hundreds of ‘shoemaker boxes’. These small wooden objects are made from structural materials found in the city and used to contain tools for polishing and repairing shoes, which were then obtained by the artist and his collaborators through a process of negotiation and exchange. Gathered together here in a single, monumental unit, the containers are crammed with other re-purposed items such as heels, hammers and needles, all of which are part of Mahama’s ongoing inquiry into the life of materials and their dynamic potential. Accompanying this major work is a series of jute sack paintings which serve as ‘extracts’ of the larger architectural interventions.
- Ibrahim Mahama Non-Orientable Nkansa 2017 Mixed media Dimensions variable © the artist. Photo © White Cube (George Darrell)