West African Women Art Exhibition in Sydney, 5 - 17 February

West African women celebrate overcoming poverty through an art project supported by the Australian Government.

The Australian High Commission in Ghana's Direct Aid Program funded the Community Artisan Project carried out by G-lish Foundation in Ghana. An exhibition of this stunning work is on display now in Sydney at Pine Street Creative Arts Centre in Pine Street, Chippendale. 

"Little by Little" includes over 50 stunning, unique, recycled, textile art works. Through traditional weaving techniques using traditional material and recycled plastic and cloth, an intergenerational group of 17 women artisans examine the issues that affect their lives. Skilled artisans struggling to overcome poverty imbue each piece with their unique story. The notion of survival through change, little by little—in family, in the landscape, and in the seasons—are major themes explored by women artisans of rural Ghana in this body of work. Abstract lines evoke the uncertainty of daily life in which survival is achieved through small, constant steps. Water, sun, family, ceremonies and the natural environment and family are represented in bold and subtle colour.

Women artisans creating pieces during the second workshop in Ghana

Through the painstaking act of transforming woven material, twist by twist, under and over, under and over, into striking works of art, the woven pieces embody the notion of transformation, little by little.

These pieces are adapted from traditional ceremonial mats used for important celebrations, including courtship, in which a man’s family spreads a newly woven mat for the woman’s family as an offer of marriage and to unite the two families.

This work has never been shown anywhere in the world and the pieces are limited. This is part of an environmentally sustainable income generating project to help impoverished rural women in Ghana overcome poverty.

The exhibition is running this week only, all day Mon-Fri, and on Saturday from 11 am - 4 pm at 64 Pine Street Chippendale, NSW 2008 Sydney, Australia.

Stunning, original work in Pine Street Creative Arts Centre, Sydney. 

A finished piece made by Atoore. This piece evokes earth and sky, constant vistas in this region of Ghana, especially during the dry season when there is little vegetation. 

Below: Godwin and Gayle seeing the art work spread out in one space for the first time, setting up the exhibition.

Gayle Pescud
Gayle Pescud