Ibrahim Mahama

Art, Installation Free
Ibrahim Mahama's stunning art decks the Turbine Hall.
Photograph: Zan Wimberley Ibrahim Mahama's stunning art decks the Turbine Hall.

Time Out says

This Ghanaian artist works with re-purposed sacks to create vast works of immersive art

Make do and mend takes on a new meaning for Ghanaian artist Ibrahim Mahama. He commandeers hessian sacks originally used by the Ghana Cocoa Board and then re-purposed by charcoal sellers, turning them into his canvas.

Their textural brown surface trace countless histories, marking out traders and trade routes to far-flung destinations and the colonial narratives contained within. They’re an inherently fascinating medium that Mahama then supersizes by sewing them together.

He has transformed the towering interior of Cockatoo Island’s Turbine Hall, adorning it with stitched sacks in a colossal work that brings his typically exterior work indoors. While we’re enveloped by these rough and ready means of transporting goods, he asks us to think long and hard about how they came to be here. Who did the hard yards for us? What are their histories? How are they wrapped up in our larger colonial narrative?

For a slightly smaller scale but nonetheless big-picture work, Mahama will also show A Grain of Wheat at Artspace – an immersive installation of 400 first aid stretchers from the Second World War, collected from a site near a refugee camp outside Athens.


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