Foundational Power: Art by Cecilia Lamptrey-Botchway
I was enchanted by the power of the artistry I met in viewing the work of Cecilia Lamptrey-Botchway. Then I browsed her collective work; I was mesmerized by the diverse talent of this artist – painting, batik, performance art, and the consciousness of celebrating women. Garden Spices welcomes the spectrum of splendor that is Ceci Botchway. Gate open! – Victorine
I am sharing some of my favorite, inventive works on paper. As one writer commented elsewhere “paper is one of the great artistic chameleons.” Nevertheless, I share the view that “works on paper at times provide the viewer with a sense of intimacy” and speak to viewers in a more subtle but fundamental way.
My series of paintings on the Mystical African Woman draws inspiration from the African Metaphysical Universe, where I explore the Divinity of the African Woman.
The African Woman as Divine Celebrating International Women’s Day. African Women as Divine: A Metaphysical exploration in Art. Computer panels Oil, and Acrylic on Canvas. 204 cm (80.31″) by 204 cm (80.31″) Signed and Dated: Bottom Right, 2021
The painting, African Women as Divine, takes inspiration from the works of the Great African Senegalese Scholar, Chiekh Anta Diop. Diop makes an interesting observation summarized neatly by the doyen of African American History, John Henrik Clarke.
He writes that: “In Africa, the woman’s place was not only within her family. She often ruled nations with unquestionable authority. Many African women were often great militarists, and on occasion led their armies onto battle. The Africans had produced a civilization secure enough … to let women advance as far as their talents, royal lineage and prerogative will take them (“The Cultural Unity of Black Africa: The Domains of Patriarchy and Matriarchy in Classical Antiquity (Third World Press, Chicago, 1990 .p, iii). – Ceci Botchway
My current art project tentatively titled Imaginations, Art and Society chronicles my journey as an Artist in space and time.My artistry is always evolving with my social location in society. My journey as an artist captures the contradictions of society as I explore the world around me.
I see women as the foundational power of African societies, yet they are always marginalized and dominated by patriarchal power. My Art questions this domination and seeks to provide an alternative narrative.
Everyday objects around me provides materials for my artistry. The use of discarded old newspapers, African fabrics and discarded computer panels in my art reflects my dialogues and conversations with my society.
The newspapers provide visibility and voices to people who are marginalized. The computer panels speak to the potent and unseen power of the voiceless in society. It is this dialogue between voice and power that I explore in my paintings.
But that is not enough.
How do I involve society as active participants in this dialogue? It is this process I seek to explore by incorporating Performance Art in my overall project.
I share the view that Performance Art as a practice and a process serves as an instrument for a dialogue in addressing challenges for Gender equality and ending the subordination of women in our society.
My art and paintings see the African woman as divine and as mystical. The African woman as divine and mystical, is the embodiment of the soul of my society. My performance art together with my paintings explores this dynamic.
Nneka, Mother is supreme: In some African cultures when a Man dies, it is the mother’s family that buries him. Through my paintings, performance art and installations, I try to capture this dialectic with society.
Affection (2021), Acrylic, oil, mopping wool fibre on canvas, 152 cm X 122 cm Nubukefoundation News
Frema, 2021 Oil, acrylic, mopping wool fibre and Aso-Oke fabric on canvas 76 × 60 cm
Yellow Dress, ca. 2021 Oil, acrylic, mopping wool fibre on canvas 35 4/5 × 40 1/5 in 91 × 102 cm
Sara Aina Bonetta Oil, Mopping Wool Fiber on Canvas 71” (180.34 cm) by 83” (210.82 cm) 2021
I have always been captivated by the story of the Yoruba lady whose name was Aina (renamed Sarah Forbes Bonetta.)
As the historical narrative indicates, she was sold into slavery but later became part of British Royalty, as the adopted daughter of Queen Victoria of England. Her wedding funded by the Queen was held at St. Nicholas Church, Brighton on 14 August 1862.
The painting is a homage to the resilience and strength of Black Women everywhere.
Cecilia Lamptey Botchway
Cecilia Lamptey-Botchway (b. 1992, Ghanaian) is a Pan Africanist artist whose practice ranges from performance, textile design, painting to multi-media work.
She graduated from the Yaba College of Technology, Yaba School of Art, Design, and Textiles in 2015. In her recent works, Cecilia experiments with color, incorporating and deriving meaning from symbols from cloth stamping and batik tradition, found objects and other materials like mopping wool.
Cecilia almost creates a unique language with which she communicates her passions. She employs an intricate sense of geometry, a delicate perspective to achieve symmetry with colors, with the mixed media adding vibrant dimensions as props to her paintings.
Cecilia sees the African metaphysical universe as the inspiration for her paintings.
In 2021, Cecilia was part of twelve female artist from the around world who participated in a Janet Rady Fine Art exhibition: Inside | Outside, online from 3 February to 2 March 2021. In February 2022, Cecilia participated in the group online exhibition, Celebrating the Black Body as part of Black History Month organized by Janet Rady Fine Art. Cecilia is currently the 2021-2022 Young Ghanaian Artist (YGA) in residency at the NUBUKE Foundation of Ghana. Cecilia has exhibited widely and has been reviewed in Art Journals.
Contact information: CeciAde Art Gallery