New Ashgate Gallery champions the best of contemporary art and craft providing an unparalleled resource in Farnham, Surrey and beyond
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Enam Gbewonyo's creative practice merges performance, textiles and traditional painting practices. Much of her earlier work drew on the influences of the natural world and sought to translate ideas of humanity through nature's tactility. Her practice has since evolved to investigate the issues that influence the way we navigate the world. Those of identity, womanhood and existence. In this way Gbewonyo's work now becomes a telling testament of her collective, lived experiences.
Working through the mediums of textiles and performance allows her limitless avenues of expression and a freedom to experiment with materials thereby creating stimulating, sensory ways to tell stories. Her affinity with the handmade is rooted in the cultural history of her Ewe (Ghana) ancestors where weaving was once revered. Its value is intrinsic to her practice and inspires her passion for promoting craft and the handmade. She is concerned by the gradual decline of traditional handcraft in general and the decline of the communities that were once sustained as its value as viable trade is overtaken by technology.
During the process of creating a textile piece, a force of kinetic energy is created that merges and travels with the piece, transmitting to those who come into contact with it and becoming part of their lived experience. This cyclical energy transference has a cathartic influence that the machine made item lacks. As a practitioner Gbewonyo works to restore this and to revive craft's status while attempting to question society's increasing dependence on technology and consumerism. Enam Gbewonyo is the founder of the BBFA, a multimedia textile artist and emerging curator. Her artwork merges textile and surface pattern techniques with traditional painting practices, resulting in textural works translating ideals of humanity through nature's tactility.
As a curator, she is committed to delivering unique, immersive exhibition experiences dedicated to highlighting the work of diaspora artists. In both exhibiting and curating Gbewonyo has worked with organisations such as TEDxEuston, and The Artist Project Fair, Toronto. She is also a participant of the International Curators Forum's (ICF) 'Beyond the Frame'- a programme developing art professionals in the BAME community.