My work is about self-discovery.
Understanding and finding myself meant decluttering my life…it meant focusing on fewer things, fewer ideas, and fewer colors...It brought me to black. It meant embracing myself as an African with all my influences unique to this continent. It meant finding new paths and not traveling alone, making friends and being a friend. Self-discovery is finding the art locked within ourselves: though we may start off feeling like dirty discarded tire tubes, we end up as valuable pieces of art.
Dela Anyah is a contemporary multi-disciplinary artist and author who lives and works in Accra, Ghana. Dela’s art spotlights the consequence of a fast economy, particularly debris and waste. He finds beauty in discarded materials to articulate issues on identity to provoke discussion.
Dela’s earliest recollection of his interest in art was drawing behind fashion magazines in his Mum’s workshop. He would later take an interest in drawing landscapes and sketches of his classmates back in high school. He attended Achimota Secondary School and would often sneak into the chemistry lab to fiddle with old rusty apparatuses. Dela has always been drawn to nostalgia and history, continually seeking out old photographs and historical items.
Growing up, Dela’s paternal grandparents sold charcoal and firewood. They also owned a farm in the Volta Region which Dela would occasionally visit during Easter Holidays. These childhood experiences have informed Dela’s practice, particularly his use of jute sacks and wood in his art.
His maternal grandparent was a headmistress, and her home was filled with exercise books, crayons, and other literary materials. Dela’s uncles influenced his art: he recalls visiting an uncle who was also an artist and going into his sacred room, beguiled by his oil-paint filled palettes. Another uncle taught him how to use Microsoft Paint, which ushered him into the world of digital art & graphic design. Being in their homes always gave him a chance to dig through drawers, lockers and more in search of random items. He often channels this curiosity into his art by incorporating antique objects into his work.
|2019||Beauty from Chaos: Abuse Series, Canadian High Commission, Accra|
|2019||Beauty from Chaos: Abuse Series + MMIWG, Canadian High Commissioner’s Residence, Accra|
|2019||Beauty from Chaos: New Slaves, Hope City Church, Accra|
|2019||Beauty from Chaos: Minutes Before A Heartbreak, Antique Lemonade Art Space, Accra|
|2018||Beauty from Chaos: Abuse Series, Antique Lemonade Art Space, Accra|
|2018||Art Exhibition on the Elimination of violence Against Women and Girls, Alliance Français, Accra|
|2018||Exhibition of Ghanaian Artists Works, iArt Gallery, Tbilisi|
|2017||Art Retrospective, Alliance Français, Accra|
Canadian High Commission, Accra, Ghana
City Hearts Africa, Accra 2019