George Obeng from Ghana

is the artisan in the spotlight this week

Artisan George Obeng

George is motivated to carve by one principal theme: "Recording the events" of his time. As an animal rights activist and a committed vegetarian, wildlife plays an integral role in his work.

Themes from developing countries also inspire Obeng's art, as well as comments on the cyclical problem of social confusion and irresolution. He is an observer of his time, struggling to represent the myriad unheard voices that surround him.

But for his stalwart determination, Obeng would not be the carver he is today. He had been ordered by an elder relative to take up typesetting and printing. However, he defied his family and studied sculpture, eventually graduating from the University College of Art.

As an apprentice for Saka Acquaye, a renowned sculptor, he was able to participate in exhibitions in Ghana, many other African countries, and abroad.

Obeng has a workshop where he constantly trains apprentices; he also offers assistance to carvers. His works are displayed in the Official Residence of the Ghana High Commissioner to Nigeria, amongst others. His awards include second and third prizes in Sculpture, National Arts Contest 1979 and Sculptor of the Year from Leisure Arts and Entertainment, 1988.

He is married to his sweetheart with whom he has four wonderful children.

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