Dist of Columbia

Artist's statement

Full Artist's statement

I am a professional artist born and raised in the densely populated community of Nima in the heart of Accra, Ghana. My paintings, sculptures, and mixed media works render stories that reflect everyday life. In my current series, I paint on repurposed wooden panels and uses glass, plastic bottles, pieces of cloth, cork, and other recycled materials. My works speak to youth aspirations, urban environments, and the phenomena of globalisation.

As a stranger to the United States, I find myself navigating this new foreign land like a newborn baby learning the ways of life. Each and every time I step out of my home and into the streets of Washington, D.C., I ask myself questions and explore my new surroundings. All in an attempt to differentiate between rituals and routines here in America and those back home in Ghana. As I do so, my feelings become conflicted. Some might say that the United States being the developed nation it is dwarfs my wonderful homeland of Ghana. However, Ghana has much to offer from its vibrant people and fashion to its rich cultural traditions. The differences are many and the similarities are few.

For me, art is a tool for expressing oneself, creating awareness, provoking dialogue, and transforming society.


All work by Musah

Musah Swallah
2017, 98 x 59 x 2.5 cm, Acrylic on wood
Musah Swallah
2017, 85 x 55 x 2.5 cm, Acrylic, cardboard, and fabric on wood
Musah Swallah
2017, 92 x 57 x 2.5 cm, Acrylic on wood
Musah Swallah
2017, 95 x 66 x 2.5 cm, Acrylic, caps, and fabric on wood
Musah Swallah
2017, 81 x 62cm, Acrylic and cardboard on wood