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Ibrahim Mahama
Exhibition Preview

Join us for the preview of Ibrahim Mahama's exhibition Songs about Roses

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6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Free Admission
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Friday 12.07.24. 6–8pm. Free. All welcome. Click here to book

The first-ever solo exhibition in Scotland of the work of Ibrahim Mahama; a Ghanaian artist critically acclaimed for his evocative large-scale, site-specific installations that speak to the cultural and social effects of post-colonialism and global migration.

Born in Tamale in 1987, Mahama burst onto the international art scene at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015 with Out of Bounds, a work that clad the massive outside wall of the Arsenale in jute sacks to make a visually spectacular and thought-provoking installation. The sacks were worn, torn and had lived several lives before ending up in the artworld: they were old cocoa- bean sacks, most recently used by charcoal sellers, many of whom had written their names on the sacks. Mahama obtained them by exchange, and the work set the tone for his on-going investigation into the life of materials and their dynamic potential – the sacks telling a visual history of the narratives of production and trade, and the more human tales embodied within.

At Fruitmarket, Mahama works with materials he has collected from the now obsolete railway the British built in Ghana in 1923 to transport minerals and cocoa around the then Gold Coast. Large scale charcoal and ink drawings, sculpture and film bring the materials, histories and ghosts of this defunct railway back to Britain, re-installing it on top of the railway here in Edinburgh.

Mahama wraps politics and protest into his materials and methods. His Fruitmarket exhibition is named for a song by Scottish band Owl John: ‘we don’t need songs about roses/Please sing me something new … we don’t need songs about roses/All that we ask for is truth’.


Supported by the Henry Moore Foundation


With thanks to the Ibrahim Mahama Supporters Circle.


All images © Ibrahim Mahama. Courtesy of the SCCA and Red Clay, Tamale. 

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