Born in Accra, Ghana to a family of artists who nurtured his exploration of unique creative expressions, Yaw Obuobi is a Birmingham based contemporary impressionist mixed media artist whose work has been exhibited internationally since 1979.
Throughout his childhood, it was common to find Yaw playing with discarded materials and artistically manipulating them effortlessly into innovative presentations of beauty and art. At an early age he mastered depth and insight into the working properties of many natural materials used in art such as grains, leaves, metal, plastic, fibre, and fabric. One of his initial hallmark works included ”The Crazy Horse”, which he used to make a strong political statement about the terrible state of governance of Ghana and the challenging economic situation which was sculpted from the roots of a tree stump and first exhibited at the British Council Hall in Accra, and at the Accra International Trade Fair Center, Ghana and drew the attention of the head of state.
In his practice, Yaw Obuobi uses strands of wool to create the effects that are normally achieved mainly by brush strokes. This is a medium he self devised over 30 years ago when he initiated after switching from the more conventional watercolour and acrylic. Obuobi uses coloured and textured yarn to intricately “paint” and create pieces with depth, texture and movement.
Yaw Obuobi studied architecture at the University of Science and Technology Kumasi, Ghana, West Africa and graduated in 1986. His training and practice as an architect his knowledge of form, shape, colour and texture influenced his work as he endeavoured to produce works of extraordinary intensity and detail. As a custodian of this medium he seeks to take the medium through a journey of evolution as generations of paintings are produced revealing the immense potential of this contemporary medium. His seeks to blur the boundaries between tapestry and paintings. Yaw’s work draws you in for a closer look.
In 2012 his work was received at Clarence House when HRH Camilla’s portrait was presented to HRH Prince Charles. Her Majesty’s portrait was also presented to Buckingham Palace in June 2012 to mark her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
He is currently working on the next generation of paintings which he calls the “retroflective collection”. This collection showcases the process of reversing form and function, where “figure and ground” become interchangeable yet dwell in harmony. The next generation of works is going to even more intricately fuse figure and ground thereby creating figures within figure in more intricacy.