Nubuke Foundation presents ‘Up to No Good’, a solo exhibition of recent works by Na Chainkua Reindorf at their gallery in Accra from 19 November to 18 February 2023.
As part of the body of works entitled, Mawu Nyonu, Na continues to explore her interests in storytelling woven around strong mythical female characters whose conceived identities she sometimes covets.
Modelled on the highly skilled, fearsome, all-women military regiment -who for centuries guarded the King of Dahomey (now Benin), Na also draws on the knowledge systems embedded within Vodun Cosmology also from Benin.
The composition of each work is a conceptual application of the Asafo flags associated with militia companies of Fante communities in the Central region of Ghana. Na borrows from their bold and compelling motifs and collage elements and creates her own visual language, drawing the viewer into a magnetic vortex of surreal mystic and intrigue. Na also use the familiar Kente – hand-woven textiles strips of Ghana, to frame these ‘stages’ in which her characters are immersed.
In another reference to masquerade culture, an imposing eye, found in the corner of each work holds the gaze and connects the viewer to the mythical characters which dominate them.
With names like Bomi, Evor, Gedu etc depicting freedom, prowess, inner strength, her camouflages are conversely empowered and emboldened. Na Chainkua is an artist with incredible skill. Her undaunted application of the colour spectrum is achieved with such precision and mastery. She also works in diverse materials – creating mixed medium and sculptures using textiles, fibres, beads and clay.
Na Chainkua Reindorf is a BA(Honours) graduate of Grinnell College, Iowa and MFA Cornell University, New York, USA.
She is also an alumni of the Nubuke Foundation YGA programme.
Her works were shown in Black Star: The Museum as Freedom – the Ghana pavilion at the 59th edition of the Venice Biennale until 27 November 2022.