Our quest to celebrate women in the African Arts Industry has landed us at the door step of an amazing artist. Her works are unique and she has decided venture into an area very few artistes have dared to. It’s the 5th episode of WOMEN OF ARTS and we have the owner of Phillan Gallery as our guest.
For starters, please about yourself and what you do as an artist etc…
My name is Edith Akosua Berchie and my stage name is Akosua Berchie, I grew up in Twifo Praso in the Central Region of Ghana. My secondary education was at Arch Bishop Porter Girls Senior High School in Takoradi, Western Region of Ghana. There I studied visual arts and continued to Cape Coast Technical University after completion to read HND in Hospitality Management in 2015. I am into scotched artworks or pyrography using mixed media to create textures on wood.
Scotched art involves decorating wood or leather by burning a design on the surface with a heated metallic point. What it simply means is that, the final art is not just a drawing but is an engraving of an object on a piece of wood or leather. Also, all the materials used in this type of art are tangible and includes materials such as: beads, fabric, hairs, woods, threads, among others.
*When did it all begin for you, and how did it start?
It all started when I started working after my tertiary education where I realized I was investing all my time into the hospitality industry but with little returns by way of salary. That prompted the decision to go back to my first love and that is arts.
However I decided If I’m finally going venture into arts, then I should go into what my name will be mentioned for or a unique niche in the arts space, that made me choose scotched artworks.
*What was your inspiration for starting and has it changed over time?
My inspiration was simple,I found joy in what I was doing to the extent that I would sometimes forget I haven’t eaten and that driven joy made me work without giving up. Although it wasn’t really selling
*How has the journey been so far?
The journey has been awesome.The comments of people and their encouragement gives me hope.
*What impact has/is your work had/having on society?
My work is having so much impact in the sense that very few women are into the art industry and me been there has proven to other women that they can even become better.
Have you commercialized your arts yet? If yes, how difficult has that been & If no, what are your reasons.
I have commercialized my work and the progress is slow because people are now beginning to understand what art is all about and why they should buy it.
*What is the current state of the arts industry from your perspective as a scotched artiste?
The current state of the art industry is not good. The don’t have any interest in pushing our products to the international work. The Ministry of Tourism should come to our aid. Because we can also create employment for others
*Are women appreciated in our arts space? Comment extensively if possible on the state of women in arts.
Women are not appreciated in the art field because they know it will get to a stage in our lives we need to build a family and with a lot of responsibilities we will leave our first love(art).
*Looking back, do you regret ever embarking on this journey?
I don’t regret embarking on this journey because I know hard work pays and I also know that a great door will open for me one day.
*Any setbacks in your field of endeavor and how you think it can be overcome?
The only setback is finance. Electricity is the basic need for my work and electricity bills are going higher everyday.
*What are the plans going forward for you as an artist?
The way forward is to be able to get sponsorship and help investors to see the benefits of investing in my works to help improve the my work. Also taking part in various international exhibitions will also give me the exposure to get my works out there.
*Any other things you would like the general public to know about women in arts?
The general public should encourage women in art, because it goes a long way to bring the best in us and they should support us in anyway they can.
So there you have it, it’s always a pleasure to celebrate another heroine. You can also get yourself a nice piece or arts by placing your orders via on social media or phone.
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