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With few days after the closing of the maiden edition of the Lagos biennial, the noisy wall installation art is one of the conceptual arts which made the event a memorable experience. This masterpiece is by a Ghanian artist, Silas Mensah, a graduate of Bachelor of Fine Art (BFA) degree in Painting from College of Art and Built Environment, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana in 2015. He distinguishes himself among contemporary young African artists through a redefined identity of local walls and roofing. By visually portraying the dialogue between layers of accumulated specks of dirt and stains on wall surfaces, Silas creatively shifts the boundary of contemporary African art through a deliberate impasto of organic and inorganic substances on fabric to recreate a similar titillating effect of nature and human activities, as seen in his local environment. Silas Mensah’s interest in the structuring and mapping of his local community inspired the staining of plain and pattern fabrics which looks similar to a watercolor on a canvas. This technique creates a narrative of the sociocultural issues of the society which are framed on layers of fabrics hanged in space in its amorphous volume. It is believed that this current postgraduate student will in a few years to come become one of the most reckoning artists from Africa as he continues his exploration through this signature materials.

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This article was first published on 10th January 2018

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