The Assignment


Mary Hark
Amara Hark-Weber
Madison, WI

Title: Kejetia Conversations

Number of Copies in Edition: One-of-a-Kind
Size: 7.5" x 7.5" (page size) 22" plus long depending on presentation
Number of Pages: 160

Medium: Handmade flax paper, found coal grates, adinkra ink, pigments, linen thread


The Assignment

In early June 2009, Mary and Amara were invited to participate in an international artist workshop at the National Cultural Center of Ghana in Kumasi. 10 artists from around the globe, and 10 Ghanian artists set up studios, worked and lived together. The organizers of this event asked that the artists pay attention to the this particular place, to respond by integrating local materials into their practice, and to collaborate when it was appropriate. This book was made with paper Mary made in her Madison Wisconsin studio, along with found local materials: adinkra ink and coal grates. Painted imagery was contributed by Ghanian artist Asokipaala Aberinga, and Ghanian batik artist Dorothy Amenkue carved the stamps that were used with the adinkra ink.

Artist Statement

Kumasi Ghana is a place where powerful histories overlap. It is a place where the intensity of the sun and the rain erode the built environment producing beautiful and evocative surfaces everywhere. It is a place where masterful craftsmen 'repurpose' the dregs of the material world into inventive and useful daily objects. Amara and Mary responded to the accumulation of time and experience that was evidenced everywhere they looked; to the heartbreaking beauty of the common coal grate found in every local market, and to the lively, if not fully understood exchanges between people on every street corner, as they designed and built this book-object.


All images and text copyright the artists and authors. All rights reserved.