By Kwame Asare Boadu
THE 3rd Sansa International Artists’ Workshop (Sansa 3) has ended at the Centre for National Culture in Kumasi.
The programme, which included visits by artists and critics, video presentations and an open day, was aimed at creating a forum for critical dialogue between artists from diverse countries and cultures while stimulating creativity and networking.
The workshop is a project of Sansa Artists Association and the Kumasi Centre for Book and Paper Arts, and is part of triangle artists’ workshops in over 20 countries. Founded by Robert Kider, a British patron of the arts, and renowned British sculptor, Anthony Caro, it also focused at creating opportunity for uninterrupted work and interaction between artists.
Furthermore, it provides room for artists to visit each others’ studio for observation and discussions on the various stages in the creation of arts work. The first Sansa workshop was held in 2004 at the College of Art of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. It offered participants the opportunity to attain aesthetic distance and critical discourse that is virtually free from academic constraints.
Sansa 3 was on the theme, “Hands on Art: Community, Collaboration or Commodity?” The workshop was organised with some input from the British Museum. Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, observed that the Sansa agenda was a bold step to help galvanise the efforts of the various nations into a strong force that could move the wheels of development worldwide.
He observed the importance of culture in the development of a group of people and said art plays a role in making this possible. Mr Opoku-Manu said it was not for nothing that Kumasi was chosen for the workshop explaining that apart from being centrally located in Ghana, Kumasi is also the cultural hub of the nation. The Director of the Kumasi Centre for National Culture, Mr S.F. Adjei, noted that art in the form of painting, sculpture, pottery and ceramic carving among others, is, apart from its aesthetic beauty, a means of expressing the people’s beliefs and philosophy of life.