Emmanuel Aggrey Tieku (b.1994, Cape Coast) is a contemporary Ghanaian Textile Abstractionist. Born in the central region of Ghana, the artist’s early years were exposed to the rich culture and lustrous congruence of traditions of the Fante Tribe which influenced his ideals of freedom as a way of life, not an inheritance. With a background in Civil Engineering, he discovered the contemporary reuse of discarded fabric and textile waste while working on his final year project at the University, experimenting with how textile waste could be recycled and reused in the construction industry. Since then he’s been engaged in large-scale installations of discarded second-hand clothing popularly known as “dead white man’s clothing” amongst other trash materials. A self-taught mixed media artist, Aggrey blends sculpture and painting into one body of work when he subjects the fabric he scavenges to a vigorous dyeing process and a series of undercoats and overcoats, creating a transitional framework for the fabric to develop into an entirely different medium of expression, which gives the viewer a dual sense of emotional throng. His works, characterized by folded Upcycled Textile and bold, unyielding colors, immediately drawing the viewer in and leading them on a journey, a visual pursuit of sensory fulfillment. Aggrey’s practice explores the concepts of waste colonialism and modern-day slavery and seeks to question the ideals of freedom in the expression of social identity and self-liberation within cultural appropriations in the context of post-independence, industrialization, consumerism, climate change, and sustainability in his country. He also has a passion for Mental Health and its related abuses. Aggrey holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering at the University of Genova, Italy.
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