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Sources of Inspiration and Portrayal of the Ideal Woman in Ghanaian Culture Through Contemporary Paintings
Current Issue
Volume 3, 2019
Issue 3 (September)
Pages: 69-81   |   Vol. 3, No. 3, September 2019   |   Follow on         
Paper in PDF Downloads: 19   Since Oct. 11, 2019 Views: 817   Since Oct. 11, 2019
Shirley Dankwa, Centre for African Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences Education, University of Education, Winneba, Ghana.
The purpose of this study was to identify the sources of inspirations of artists as well as the qualities of the ideal Ghanaian woman portrayed in selected paintings of Prof. Ablade Glover and Dr. Ben Offei Nyako (BON). Qualitative research approach was employed for this study. Further, the topic investigated lends itself to a case study design. Qualitative research therefore provides the easy platform that requires an in-depth and in-context study which can uncover many aspects of the female traits as pertain to the case of the contemporary painting of the ideal Ghanaian woman. The population for the study included contemporary Ghanaian painters who feature ideal female images in their works, painting lecturers, painting students and enthusiasts/connoisseurs. In all, there were thirty-four respondents which were made up of two Ghanaian contemporary painters who mostly convey female images in their painting (Glover and BON), six painting lecturers and twenty painting students from both University of Education, Winneba and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, and six enthusiasts/connoisseurs were sampled for the study. Purposive sampling technique was employed in selecting the painters and lecturers on the basis of their unique knowledge of the desired information required, whilst the painting students and enthusiasts/connoisseurs were conveniently selected. Semi-structured interview guide, observation checklist and painting imageries were the main instruments employed to collect data for the study. An in-depth semi-structured interview were carried out with the renowned painters, painting lecturers, painting students and enthusiasts/connoisseurs. Observation was also carried out to complement other materials of data collection on the field. Thematically, based on the research questions, direct quotations and interpretative techniques were employed in analysing the data gathered from the in-depth interviews, whilst scene description (pertaining to the observed effects) were employed in analysing the observational outcome. It was concluded that painters (artists) are inspired by several things in their environment which includes previous works, works of other artists, especially, the masters, events, magazines, photographs, women, and personal experiences. It became apparent that women are preferred as the major subject matter for contemporary painting artists. In the light of these findings, people have to be sensitive to understand the principles of art appreciation and that female images used in paintings are not meant for erotic display but rather to portray the hidden qualities of the ideal woman.
Artistic Inspiration, Contemporary Paintings, Ghanaian Culture, Ideal Woman
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