• My Body is Present. Homage to Ana Mendieta
    Performance at Christie’s Education (part 1 of 3). 26 September 2018. Image courtesy Jennifer Moyes

  • My Body is Present. Homage to Ana Mendieta
    Performance at Christie’s Education (part 1 of 3). 26 September 2018. Image courtesy Jennifer Moyes

  • My Body is Present. Homage to Ana Mendieta
    Performance at Christie’s Education (part 1 of 3). 26 September 2018. Image courtesy Jennifer Moyes

  • My Body is Present. Homage to Ana Mendieta
    Performance at Christie’s Education (part 1 of 3). 26 September 2018. Image courtesy Jennifer Moyes

  • This is Me: The Inconsistency of the Self. Performance at UNFOLD Festival 3rd October 2017
    Images Courtesy Jennifer Moyes

  • This is Me: The Inconsistency of the Self. Performance at UNFOLD Festival 3rd October 2017
    Images Courtesy Jennifer Moyes

  • This is Me: The Inconsistency of the Self. Performance at UNFOLD Festival 3rd October 2017
    Images Courtesy Jennifer Moyes

  • This is Me: The Inconsistency of the Self. Performance at UNFOLD Festival 3rd October 2017
    Images Courtesy Jennifer Moyes

  • This is Me: The Inconsistency of the Self. Performance at UNFOLD Festival 3rd October 2017
    Images Courtesy Jennifer Moyes

Current Work

[The artist Adelaide Damoah’s] visual artmaking contests the outdated idols and ideologies of colour, race, creed and gender imposed both on her – and on the Eurocentric and non-Eurocentric history of her family – by colonialism and neo-colonialism. Damoah revalues – and thereby unbinds herself from – these outdated idols and ideologies by using the Promethean fire of her mythopoetic thinking to magically produce artistic images that function as ‘crucibles’ in which she (al)chemically interweaves materialised memory-traces of her family in the past and the present.


Extract From Stephen Baycroft’s essay: Beginning a new life by revaluing idols and ideologies © 2018.
  

Artist Statement

I consider the performative element of my practice central to everything I currently make. The final pieces I produce are the end results of a performance- whether the process was started in my studio or in front of an audience.

The starting point for my work is my body. Inspired by David Hammons, I use myself as a “living paint brush” or as a printing tool. I sometimes work into and around the resulting body prints with writing and images from the past and present to complete pieces- which can end up being minimal or highly detailed and patterned, depending on my intention for the piece in that moment. I work instinctively.

I was inspired by Yves Klein’s 1960 Anthropometries performance, in which he selected young (white) women who would have been widely considered to have had ideal proportions and to be seen as beautiful, to be used as “living paintbrushes.” He instructed them to cover their torsos and thighs with his patented blue paint and directed them- in front of an audience- to press and roll their bodies onto the surface, making the art work and ultimately, in my opinion, creating a passive female body -which was culturally looked upon and eroticised by the male gaze.

I sought to counter that idea by using myself, giving myself agency, whilst Klein’s models were stripped of agency. When I performed at UNFOLD  in October 2017, I used and directed myself (as I do in the studio), applying the paint to my whole body in private, removing the potential for eroticisation and objectification. This was my intention.

My main influences include David Hammons, Yves Klein, Judy Chicago, Ana Mendieta and Jean-Michel Basquiat. But my biggest influence has always been Frida Kahlo.

Bio

“I use my body as a tool to paint and perform…”

Adelaide Damoah’s current practice involves using her body as a “living paintbrush” to paint or print onto various surfaces. The artist works with photographs and text later in the creation of the work. Damoah was initially inspired by a desire to subvert Yves Klein’s “Anthropemetrie’s” series and engages in live performances of the first part of her creative process- body printing and writing.

[The artist Adelaide Damoah’s]visual artmaking contests the outdated idols and ideologies of colour, race, creed and gender imposed both on her – and on the Eurocentric and non-Eurocentric history of her family – by colonialism and neo-colonialism. Damoah revalues – and thereby unbinds herself from – these outdated idols and ideologies by using the Promethean fire of her mythopoetic thinking to magically produce artistic images that function as ‘crucibles’ in which she (al)chemically interweaves materialised memory-traces of her family in the past and the present.


Extract From Stephen Baycroft’s essay: Beginning a new life by revaluing idols and ideologies © 2018. 

Damoah cites her main influences as being Judy Chicago, Jean-Michel Basquiat, David Hammons, Yves Klein, Sokari Douglas Camp, Rachel Ara and Ana Mendieta. Solo exhibitions to date include Genesis, This is Us, Supermodels, Black Lipstick, and a domestic violence exhibition for registered charity, the National Centre for Domestic Violence.

Damoah’s background is not a traditional artistic one. After graduating in 1999 with an honours degree in Applied Biology, she went on to work in the pharmaceutical industry and worked her way up to become a hospital sales expert specialising in a range of therapeutic areas. During this time, she was diagnosed with endometriosis- following many years of chronic pain. Damoah’s time spent convalescing allowed her the opportunity to develop as an artist.

Adelaide Damoah interviews visual artists for her Youtube channel. The videos form a series called Art Discussion. First started in 2011 as blog interviews, the series seeks to discover how artists overcome their biggest challenges, achieve their biggest successes and aims to give advice to artists at the start of their careers.

Damoah lives and works in London and is a founding member of the BBFA (Black British Female Artists Collective).

 

 

Damoah is represented by MTArt Agency.

 

Click here to download a PDF of this bio

Click here to download a short version of this bio

What is the BBFA Collective?

BBFA stands for Black British Female Artist Collective. Founded in 2015 by Enam Gbewonyo, the BBFA was established to address the lack of visibility and platforms available to black female artists in the UK. We have a number of events and projects in the pipeline for 2017 and beyond. Watch this space for updates. Please visit our website and follow our various social media channels below to be kept abreast of the latest news. Exciting times are ahead for the collective!

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