The year came to an end but we can still focus on the positive events that will last beyond 2020. In the Ghanaian art scene, this is the case of Noldor, its first independent artist residency. An annual four-week programme that, in this edition, welcomes Emmanuel Taku and his debut solo presentation titled Temple of Blackness. This inaugural exhibition brings together ten new paintings by the artist, conceived during his residency, as it draws on figurative surrealism to reclaim a Black narrative and identity.
Founded by contemporary art specialist, social entrepreneur, and philanthropist Joseph Awuah-Darko, Noldor invites emerging African artists with limited access to resources to expand on their practice in a dedicated studio in Accra, Ghana. An initiative committed to nurturing African artists’ creative process while supporting their development.

The unconventional format of Noldor’s residency allows the project to unfold across two distinct spaces. For the first three weeks, Emmanuel Taku resides and creates in a large-scale warehouse studio space located in Accra’s seaside La district. The final week takes place in a secluded space in the periphery of central Accra, an alternative psychological retreat where he received personal, professional and creative guidance. This way, Noldor advances an organic and holistic approach to creation – one where emotional health nourishes an artist’s creative process.

Mentored by Ghanaian artist Gideon Appah, Taku produced a selection of works expanding on his existing style and with his distinct silk-screening approach. As a graduated of Visual Arts and Textiles, the Ghanaian artist uses a variety of materials, from acrylic to textiles and newspapers, which he applies on canvas, fiberglass, fiber net, mesh, or plywood.

After manipulating and exploring the materials, he captures the Black body in abstract form, recalling a human shape yet endowing it with a supernatural essence. In this way, Emmanuel Taku revisits a narrative in which the Black body is often objectified or politicized, he reclaims perceptions of Blackness, overturning them by affirming Black identity as one whole worthy of reverence, both historically and today.
Emanuel Taku's Temple of Blackness exhibition is now on view at Accra's Noldor Residency until January 17.
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