Cloth as Currency // Osei-Duro Residency
Kenturah Davis is an artist working between Los Angeles, New Haven, and Accra (Ghana). Her work oscillates between various facets of portraiture and design. Using text as a point of departure, she explores the fundamental role that language has in shaping how we understand ourselves and the world around us. This manifests in a variety of forms including drawings, installations, performances and sculpture.
Kenturah is a longtime friend and collaborator of Osei-Duro. She is the queen of making doing the most look like a trip to the beach. We’ve been friends since before Osei-Duro existed, and she was one of the very first people we hired to come to Ghana and manage production. The candidate had to be up for long days and tight quarters, and Kenturah handled both perfectly. While on the job she also managed to squeeze in a couple murals, installations at art festivals, grant applications, her usual studio practice, maybe a love affair or two… It was a glorious time, I was honored to be her sidekick, and I’m here to tell you this lady gets it done.
Kenturah is now back in the US where she just wrapped up an MFA at Yale (nbd), and is currently teaching at Occidental College. During grad school, she ALSO managed to squeeze in a few weeks in Accra as Osei-Duro’s first ever artist in residence. It was, again, an easy choice. Kenturah knew what she wanted to do, dropped in, cranked it out, gave a presentation about her work, and pouf, was back on the plane. We were left with several amazing objects, and are proud to announce that we get to make a few of them available on our website. These are one of a kind handmade art pieces made in collaboration between Kenturah and Fati, a seamstress we’ve worked with for many years. Together they cut and pieced our off-cut fabrics to create a new textile that resembles Kente cloth in its proportions and narrow strip structure. They sewed a number of large pieces that refer to finished Kente, and then another master tailor, Bawah, sewed two of these into a stunning coat. Kenturah also created a loom-like framework with miscellaneous textile materials woven into it as a wall piece. Of these items, we’ve been able to make two large textile pieces available for sale now. The coat has gone to a private collector and the wall loom will stay in Osei-Duro’s permanent collection.