Transition IV a new commission by glass artist Anthony Amoako-Attah enters Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens’ collection

Ghanaian born, Sunderland based glass artist Anthony Amoako-Attah is in the final stages of completing an exciting new glass artwork ‘Transition IV’ which will enter Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens collection later this year.

Below Anthony talks about his practice and the process of making ‘Transition IV’ which will be on display at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, 2 April – 5 June 2022. In advance there will be an extensive online exhibition which explores the influences and narratives which make up the glass work available to view on Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens website from 22 November 2021.

Meet the Artist

I am a contemporary Ghanaian glass artist who views glass as a ‘western material’. I aim to manipulate glass to look like woven fabric, I achieve this by screen-printing using glass powders, glass enamels, waterjet cutting and finishing the process through kiln forming. I perceive glass as a language, platform or container to express my cultural identity.

Anthony Amoako-Attah, The Umbrella, 2021.
Photo: Colin Davison.
Anthony Amoako-Attah, Stole, 2021.
Photo: Colin Davison.

My Practice

My work concentrates on social, political, and cultural issues that intertwine with integration, migration, dislocation and my personal identity through the use of Ghanaian cultural Adinkra symbols and native Kente patterns. I am marvelled by the way fabrics are made and the drape-like fold which bears the mental and physical expressions of the weaver and wearer.

Anthony Amoako-Attah, The Ironing, 2018.
Photo: the artist.
Anthony Amoako-Attah, Fathia fata Nkrumah, 2021.
Photo: the artist.
Anthony Amoako-Attah, Death, 2020.
Photo: the artist.

Transition Series

‘Transition’ is series of glass artworks that talk about my life from childhood dreams through to the realities of life. Each stage of my life is represented by fabrics. I believe the clothes we wear determine our mood and vice versa.

Anthony Amoako-Attah, Transition II, 2020.
Photo: Jo Howell.
Anthony Amoako-Attah, Transition III, 2021.
Photo: Jo Howell.

‘Transition IV’ talks about my experience of Sunderland when I first arrived as a student studying for a Masters in Contemporary Glass. Coming from Ghana, my self-expression and dress changed alongside my environment. The artwork also details the history of Sunderland through fabric design, glass making, coal mining and ship building found within the museum’s collection alongside traditional Ghanaian Kente design and Adinkra symbols.

Ship model from Sunderland Museum Collection.
Photo credit: Michael Davidson.

Production Process

The design process for ‘Transition IV’ started with Kente patterns and Adinkra symbols alongside patterns, colours and symbols from Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens’ collection. The final design was printed and transferred onto screens, with the use of a squeegee glass powders were forced through the screens to transfer the design onto glass. The glass was then fired in a kiln to make the glass powders permanent. The glass was fired for a second time to create the slumped look typical of woven fabric.

Applying powders to the design.
Photo credit: Colin Davison.
Pushing the powder through the screen.
Photo credit: Colin Davison.
Printed design.
Photo credit: Colin Davison.

Do you have a story to share? How have you unleashed creativity during lockdown? We would love to hear from you! Let us know of your creative ideas by emailing us at [email protected]

Support Sunderland Culture and become a subscriber today to be the first one to receive latest newsletters, programme and exhibition updates, events information and lots more.

Make a donation today and help us make Sunderland a place where everyone can get involved in world-class arts and culture.