“Yellow is the color of water”: realistic portraits of Ghanaian painter Jeremiah Quarshie
When I was younger, the water problem in Accra was not as terrible as it is today,” says Jeremiah, “yet it was important to store water since not many households would have a connection in their homes. For those of us who had a connection, it flowed very late at night or at dawn. So we all had to find receptacles for storage.”
Jeremiah Quarshie is a Ghanaian painter who lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria. Very sensitive to the cause of water scarcity in Africa, particularly in Ghana. He will paint hyper-realistic portraits that highlight yellow, water, Ghanaian women by denouncing the difficulties of lack of water. Ghana has the world’s largest freshwater reservoir, but people suffer from a lack of water scarcity. Many people drink water in sachets because of the lack of supply and sanitation infrastructure. Access to safe drinking water is a recurrent problem in this country.
In his art, he paints very detailed works from photographs.
The photographs that are staged sometimes serve as complete works of art,” he says. “Some of these photographs are created by superimposing Ghanaian elements on other non-Ghanaian contexts, creating rather unusual situations in a very unique way.“
In this art collection “Yellow is the color of water“, he wanted to raise awareness through his paintings about water scarcity and the role of women in society. Because, according to Ghanaian tradition, women were often water carriers.
It was a conscious decision to use only women. In Ghanaian culture, women are tasked with the all-important chore of finding and bringing water to the home.”
With the increase in restaurants around Ghana, women were using vegetable oil containers, called “kuffour gallons”. These yellow containers were easily accessible and affordable for storing water.
In no time it became the strong cultural symbol of the search for water – the more gallons you’d see in a particular vicinity, the more acute the problem was.”
They recreate scenes of daily life by painting his friends, ordinary women, beauty queens, businesswomen, workers, a boxer and a soldier. These portraits are edifying and ultra realistic. It is a magnificent work of art to contemplate.
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Do you like these realistic paintings? Do you think the water situation in Ghana will change?
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