Above are three of 10 works produced especially for Damoah’s first post lockdown performance “Revaluing the Self” performed at the finissage of her 10th solo exhibition “Reembodying The Real” at Boogie Wall Gallery, Mayfair,  produced by Halime Özdemir.

This piece was one of three works consecrated during the performance as a sacred Suman to release its power for whoever ends up owning it, after breaking with linear time through the act of ritual, into circular time, to connect with the ancestors and request their blessing. The three consecrated works have sections of the poem performed on the day written on the front of them.

The performance involved a call and return with the audience, followed by the artist calling on her ancestors to bless the proceedings. She then took the audience through a journey through the conduit of a poem which journeyed through the past and into the present through metaphor. The enactment was the metaphorical revaluing of herself through performance, through art, through study, meditation and contemplation. All of these things she has journeyed through over the lockdown period to produce this work.

The images in the work are of her great grandmother Ama- taken in 1920 and her mother Esi with her husband. The photo of Esi and her husband was taken some time in the mid to late 1800’s in Gold Coast (present-day Ghana). This work also features one of the artists favourite photos of her mother at the bottom centre, Ama was her grandmother. In addition, the hand prints around the edge of some of the the works in this series are made with a special pigment derived from smelted gunmetal. Transmutation of a thing of violence into a thing of beauty. Transcendence? Alchemy? A hint at a specific type of violence?

Below are the remaining seven works from this series. Sections of the poem performed at the exhibition are written on the back of each work. The whole poem is published at the bottom of this page.



Dreams Of Overcoming

Written by Adelaide Damoah

Performed as part of Revaluing The Self Performance. 13 August 2020

We do not really mean that which we are about to tell you. For a story is a story. Let it come. Let it go. 

Needles in her womb kept her awake at night 

Then Anirama, bringer of pestilence and death came 

And everywhere, people started to expire

Unable to breathe

They choked and they choked

The agony of it all

Needles in her womb kept her awake that night


She reached for the Socials to distract her agonised mind

And there he lay

In the Gorgonian Flatlands

Pinned down by the Gorgonon himself

I can’t breathe

My stomach hurts


Her pain was gone in that instant  and she found herself saying

Aloud, alone, in the dark

He is going to kill him

He is going to kill him

He is going to kill him 

And he did

The monster did

The agony of it all

Needles in her womb kept her awake at night

And Anirama, bringer of pestilence and death kept coming

And people kept dying

Unable to breathe

She was getting closer 

And the chest pains were real 

Needles in her womb kept her awake at night 

And Anirama, bringer of pestilence and death kept coming

And our people fought on the streets for the right to breathe

And the scales fell from the shipwrecked eyes of the world 

And, everyone could see the monsters on plinths finally

Basking and gloating in the glory of their oppressive deeds

And some were torn down

And much debate ensued 

Between those who could see

And those still blinded

Needles in her womb kept her awake at night

And then Anirama, bringer of pestilence and death came for her

She’d had her in her iron grip for 24 moons and

For all those moons 

She spun her web and had her cocooned in luxurious silk cushioning her delicate skin comfortably against the iron

So the danger could not be sensed

And Maameni felt safe

And protected

And on her way to where she wanted to be

Because she too was blind 

And she thought Anirama was helping her to see

Until she wasn’t 

Until she attacked

And then Maameni struggled 

Needles in her womb kept her awake at night 

And Anirama, bringer of pestilence and death tightened her grip around Maameni’s chest

The more she writhed, the more Anirama hissed

The more her poison from her long proboscis Penetrated her cocoon 

It started to sting

Acid burning her skin

Needles in her womb kept her awake at night

And she awoke as Goddess 

And remembered 

I am daughter of Patience Dede Williams The Great Mother

Who is daughter of Adelaide Bonsibah Williams The Great Nurturer  

Who is daughter of Ama Ammissah Quansah

Whose continual Rebirth as the Great Angel Golden Mother 

The world has witnessed

And will continue to witness in perpetuity

As she is consecrated as an immortal being by the act of Art

Mother and child

Facilitated by the great Goddesses Anifesoja bringer of the gift of Vision,  

Emilah The Great Dream Weaver,

Nom Nehet The Great Philosopher 

And Nom Yot Bringer of Justice 

So removing the Pestilence that was Anirama 

Became like child’s play once she remembered her names and those of her ancestors

And she called on the humble Nam Noj and his partner Ona 

Who drowned out her bitter cries and shrieks with knowledge and wisdom

And Maameni communed with her fellow goddesses 

Mane – Goddess of Youth and Wit, Asil Godess of Wisdom, Enimsa Godess of Knowledge, Ecemel Godess of Generosity, Anirtak -Godess of Fertility, Eidas Godess of Fun and Light, Emilah, The Great Dream Weaver and Ais Goddess of the Stars

And the love and community they shared banished the darkness

And the needles retreated into the night 

And when the daylight came

Anirama’a screams were reduced to an echo 

And it was said that Maameni took pity on her for she empathised with her pain, the pain of knowing that she could not control all and turned her into a beautiful flower called the Narcissis. 

And the birds started to sing loudly

And the plants grew strong and lush 

And the animals could breathe fresh air again 

And the great Gaia took a deep breath

And released 

This is my story that I have related. If it be sweet or if it not be sweet, take some somewhere and let some come back to me.