I had spent the entire day out looking at art, and ended at Welsh and Ghanaian artist Anya Paintsil’s solo exhibition Proof of Their Victories. The gallery on the Lower East Side was absolutely perfect for this tapestry show. The entire body of work was done in 2022, making me question what I had accomplished this past year!
“Through striking usage of rug-hooking, embroidery, and tapestry-making, Paintsil weaves tougher investigations into identity, culture, and legend.” (Hannah Traore Gallery)
“I wanted to make hair not just decorative in these pieces – because hair is not decorative in Ghana, where my family is from,” Paintsil says. Instead of using hair as an ornament for her figures, in Proof of Their Victories, Paintsil turns hair into the central element of each artwork. “Hair holds so much cultural significance throughout the diaspora; hair has been used to show whether you’re rich or poor, single or married – your status, your identity.” (Hannah Traore Gallery)
“Paintsil studied at the Manchester School of Art, was awarded the Wakelin prize in 2021 and had solo exhibitions at the Glynn Vivian Museum, Swansea (2021) and We are all made of you, Ed Cross, London (2022). Her work is in the collections of The Whitworth (Manchester, UK), Glynn Vivian (Swansea, UK), Tullie House (Carlilse,UK), The Women’s Art Collection (Cambridge University, UK), The Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam, NL) and Amoako Boafo (Accra, GH).” (Hannah Traore Gallery)
The exhibition is open through February 4, 2023.