Ibrahim Mahama is a Ghanaian visual artist who is committed to the transformation and development of the contemporary art scene in Ghana.
In achieving this, he established the Savannah Centre for Contemporary Art (SCCA Tamale) in 2019. SCCA Tamale is dedicated to art and cultural practices that emerged in the 20th Century and inspire generations of artists and thinkers of the 21st Century and beyond.
The Centre is operated by committed, dedicated and generous persons who produce critical discourses that will eventually be disseminated through exhibitions, publications and allied activities.
The first exhibition which opened up the art space was titled: “In Pursuit of something ‘Beautiful’, perhaps…”. The exhibition is a retrospective of the work of Ghanaian modernist artist Galle Winston Kofi Dawson who coined the term Afro-Journalism to describe his socially committed art practice.
Ibrahim Mahama has established another art institution in Tamale which is aimed at expanding art and its experiences across society.
This institution is called the Redclay Studio.
To establish the Redclay Studio, Ibrahim sold his artwork for $1million and bought six used-aircrafts. He converted the six aircrafts into classrooms for kids.
Redclay Studio is an art project space, exhibition and research hub, cultural repository, artists’ residency which provides an opportunity for people to experience art, be artists and showcase the evolution of art in Ghana.
All programmes at Redclay Studio are completely free to the public; it is open to schools for tours and educational programmes.
At the Redclay Studio, there are other interesting places including the Parliament of Ghosts and the Nkrumah Voli-ni.
Ibrahim Mahama’s work has appeared in numerous international exhibitions including NIRIN, 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020); tomorrow, there will be more of us, Stellenbosch Triennale (2020); Future Genealogies, Tales From The Equatorial Line, 6th Lubumbashi Biennale, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (2019); Parliament of Ghosts, The Whitworth, University of Manchester (2019); Ghana Freedom, inaugural Ghana pavilion, 58th Venice Biennale, Venice (2019).
Other exhibition works include Labour of Many, Norval Foundation, Cape Town (2019); Documenta 14, Athens and Kassel (2017); All the World’s Futures, 56th Venice Biennale, Venice (2015); Artist’s Rooms, K21, Düsseldorf (2015); Material Effects, The Broad Art Museum, Michigan (2015); An Age of Our Own Making, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen and Holbæk (2016) and Fracture, Tel Aviv Art Museum, Israel (2016).
In December 2020, he was a recipient of the 2020 Prince Claus Laureates Award. The Awards honour individuals and organizations for their excellent, ground-breaking work in culture and development.
Ibrahim Mahama attended Pope John Senior High School. He later obtained a bachelor of fine arts (BFA) degree in Painting, and a master of fine arts (MFA) degree in Painting and Sculpture from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
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