Patrick Tagoe-Turkson is the artist who has helped me open the doors to the newly educated artists of the Faculty of Applied Art from Takoradi Technical University, where he teaches. Patrick Tagoe-Turkson works in creating beauty out of waste material. He is famous for his transformation of old flip-flops into aesthetic expressions.
In addition, Patrick Tagoe-Turkson is a very active artist who exhibits anywhere in the world, including South Africa, USA, Mexico, South Korea and many more countries. Patrick T. Turkson works with performance, installations, mixed media, textile art, photos, book projects and land art. He has also received many awards for his art.
The use of worn, discarded flip-flops, waste, plastics and rubber in stunning and vibrant colors has become a hallmark of Patrick Tagoe-Turkson's art. In art, he retells stories, dreams and hopes. The objects of the artworks are connected to the viewer in a way that is not entirely recognizable from its original form. The objects have undergone a transformation and appear as energy-filled, kaleidoscopic compositions in an overflowing color explosion, that is difficult to stop looking at.
In art, he examines themes that go across memory, migration, adjustment and social worries. He is in art both an environmental activist, a documentarist and a storyteller. He constantly challenges our perception of Ghana and Ghana's history and cultural traditions.
It was not before a visit to Patrick Tagoe-Turksons studio, that I really realized the ties between all the flip-flops seen on many people in Ghana, and the possibility of creating beautiful, recycled artworks out of waste and rubbish found on the beaches. Who would ever think, that such beautiful artworks with titles like "Sea Breeze" could be made out of old worn out slippers?!
The signs, the patterns and the combinations of colors expresses both a story of the past, persons and places, and points towards a new way of interpretation.
The art of Patrick Tagoe-Turkson is to be found in the middle of a global complex of problems, but by the way he works, both the environmental movement and the artworld can learn from this. Because his art is so inspiring, it is my hope and wish, that Patricks art will be seen by politicians and decisions makers all over the world.