Growing up in Ghana, where African print plays an important role in everyday life, Nusenu Prince Mawuli’s artwork is influenced by the important role fabric plays in this cultural framework. He states, ”Fabric is the first gift you get when born in Africa, even if you are from a poor family and it is the last gift you get when you die. Fabric covers many secrets in life, the pain, scars and joy. Fabric plays a central role in the rites of passage, whether it be the celebration of a new life or mourning a lost life.”
Nusenu Prince Mawuli studied visual arts in high school and went on to study textile design and technology at tertiary level. However, due to textile production companies closing down and the consequent lack of employment in this industry, he decided to use the knowledge he had about textiles in making his artworks.
Use is made of African print fabric off-cuts and jute fabric to create unique fabric collages on jute canvas. The variety of textures, beautiful colours and the unique patterns of the African print makes his artwork stand out. He is a collage artist, making use of African print fabric off-cuts which is his way of promoting recycling art.
Mawuli’s artwork is focused on the youth of Africa. Through his art, he is called to give voice to their way of life in terms of the political and cultural challenges they face as youth. He explores social issues, like gender based violence and unemployment. He wants to give expression to the hidden beauty, feelings and identity problems of the youth.
In Ghana there is a saying, “textiles cover many secrets” both good and bad. Nusenu Prince Mawuli’s is ready to uncover them.
ARTIST STATEMENT: “To me the youth is my main focus when it comes to the theme Translocation. The struggle in making decisions and accepting changes. Changes are bound to happen and these artworks explain how the youth go about it.
My artwork ‘Stay Focused’ is a reminder that in any decision or move you’re making in life there are always temptations and challenges on the way so you really need to stick to your main goals. ‘Empowerment and Upliftment’ is to show that the youth need guidance and mentoring in life in order to make the right choices and decisions that will help their future. ‘The Believer’, talks about being positive minded in any decision you take in life and always hope for the best. ‘Brown Skin Girl’ is a reminder that everyone is beautiful in their own way.
Translocation is bound to happen in everyday life but how we go about or deal with it to is most important, we must just stay awake, focused and accept changes as it comes because that makes us human.”