Marigold Akufo-Addo has been an artist as long as she can remember. At the tender age of four she drew a sleek red truck that caught the inspired attention of her parents. Five years later, she rather impressively composed her first abstract drawing on a scraper board. The sophistication and dexterity exhibited by the young Akufo-Addo was ample proof of her indubitable talent and of what was to come.
In 1964 after secondary school in The UK, Akufo-Addo took a year and a half out to get more acquainted with the indigenous art of Ghana. She spent that time in the northern region of the country assessing and even participating in mudwall painting. It was an experience that forever changed her philosophy on art.
Akufo-Addo returned to The UK, where she enrolled at Central Saint Martins. Thereafter, between 1967 and 1971, she attended the world-renown Slade School of Fine Art (University College London). In between her studies, the twenty-year old Akufo-Addo not only found time to execute her debut, solo exhibition in 1968 at Ghana’s legendary Ambassador Hotel and another at Africa House in London’s Convent Garden, but she also spent a whopping two months working on The Beatles’ now-iconic “Yellow Submarine” animated film.
Returning to Ghana in 1971, Akufo-Addo both worked and exhibited at the Ghana Museum for a year and a half. In 1975, she opened the doors to her own art studio - Lamra Gallery. Lamra exemplified Akufo- Addo’s contagiously revolutionary spirit, her innate understanding of the subtle nuances of the very things around us and her distinctly anomalous ability to deconstruct and repurpose cultural text.
While in Freetown during the mid-1970s, Akufo-Addo taught art at the Methodist Girls High School. In 1976, while still teaching, Akufo-Addo exhibited at Freetown’s then premier lodging - The Bintumani Hotel.
It was also in Freetown that Akufo-Addo aggregated her ethos on the purpose of art, specifically African art. She rejected the accepted premise of regional boundaries in art. She instead championed the idea of the creation of a fluid forum that facilitated a bona fide dialogue and interchange of different art forms between related areas that had been shackled with artificial barricades.
Akufo-Addo is of the staunch belief that fine art has directives and fuel for future development; she upholds that it is the artist that can delve into the past and harness it with the present to create a vision for the future.
The proof is in the pudding: In the 1980s, The Daily Graphic duly noted her leading-edge style and quite aptly deemed Akufo-Addo a ’trailblazer’.
Among a motley bevy of endeavours, Akufo-Addo served on the esteemed board of the National Commission of Culture from 2003 to 2007. She recently exhibited at The Gallery Parliament House in Cape Town, South Africa and Dei Centre of Contemporary African Art in Accra.
Ambassador Hotel, 1968 – Debut in Accra, Ghana
Cochrane gallery, 1969, Washington DC, - participation in art event
Africa House, 1971, Covent Gardens, London, England
Pen and Inks, 1976, Bintumani Hotel, Freetown Sierra Leone
Established and opened Lamra Studios and Gallery, 1975 till date.
Signature Gallery, 1980
Works on display at Artist Alliance from Omanye House, Accra 1988 –
The Museum, Parliament House, Cape Town 2006
Marigold Akufo-Addo currently serves as a member of the Ghana National Commission on Culture.