Serge Attukwei Clottey


Serge Attukwei Clottey and GoLokal, My Mother's Wardrobe, performance at Gallery 1957, 6 March 2016, courtesy the artist and Gallery 1957, photo by Nii Odzenma


Serge Attukwei Clottey (b. 1985) is known for work that examines the powerful agency of everyday objects. Working across installation, performance, photography and sculpture, Clottey explores personal and political narratives rooted in histories of trade and migration. Based in Accra and working internationally, Clottey refers to his work as “Afrogallonism”, a concept that confronts the question of material culture through the utilisation of yellow gallon containers.

Cutting, drilling, stitching and melting found materials, Clottey’s sculptural installations are bold assemblages that act as a means of inquiry into the languages of form and abstraction. Utilising flattened Kuffuor gallon, jute sacks, discarded car tires and wood pieces, he forms abstract formations onto which he inscribes patterns and text. In doing so, he elevates the material into a powerful symbol of Ghana’s informal economic system of trade and re-use. While some surfaces resemble local textile traditions such as Kente - a key reference in west African Modernism throughout the 20th century - others refer to barcodes and feature Chinese characters in reference to the emergence of new power structures in Ghana. In Clottey’s drawings, the artist explores a formalist approach, depicting disjointed figures and faces, not unlike the visions of nude women under Cubism, a European movement which drew heavily from traditional African tribal sculpture.

At the centre of Clottey’s engaged dialogue with Ghana’s cultural history is the notion of performance as a daily activity. Through his notable work, My Mother’s Wardrobe, presented at Gallery 1957, Clottey used performance to explore traditional gender roles along with notions of family, ancestry and spirituality. In a personal work inspired by the aftermath of the death of his mother, the artist staged a performance exploring the concept of material possessions honouring women as the collectors and custodians of cloth that serves as signifiers of history and memory. Clottey’s work sits at the intersection of making and action, drawing heavily on the artist’s immediate and ever-changing environment.


Born 1985, Accra, Ghana

Lives and works in Accra, Ghana



  • "Softening Borders"- The Moody Center for the Arts At Rice University - Houston - USA


  • "Solo Chorus"- The Mistake Room Los Angeles - USA
  • "Sometimes in Your Life" - Lorenzelli Arte - Italy


  • KUBATANA, Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium, Norway
  • Fabrica, Brighton, UK


  • Brighton University, UK
  • 360LA, Accra, Ghana
  • Depart foundation, Malibu, California USA
  • Defying the Narrative Ever gold Projects, San Francisco, USA
  • Differences Between Jane Lombard Gallery New York, USA
  • Gallery 1957 ’’Takeover’’ Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai


  • Group Show, Ibid Gallery, Los Angeles
  • Dans Un Ciel Ensoleille, UTA Artist Space, Los Angeles
  • Astala Tsala, Patricia Low Contemporary, Gstaad


  • My Mother's Wardrobe, Gallery 1957, Accra
  • 10th year anniversary exhibition, Nubuke Foundation, Accra
  • Hand to Mouth, Ever Gold [Projects], San Francisco
  • Practical Common Sense, Chale Wote Street Art Festival, Jamestown, Accra
  • Earthly Coversations, GNYP Gallery, Berlin


  • We Don’t Contemporary, Kampnagel Hamburg, Germany
  • What is Matter, Intelligentsia Gallery, Beijing, China
  • Silence Of An Ordinary Things, The Mistake Room, Los Angeles, California
  • The Displaced, Feuer/Mesler, New York


  • Color Unfinished, 27th Festival Les Instants Vidéo, Marseille
  • Migration Messages, Collective Realities of African Migration, WUK, Vienna
  • Global Art Local View, European Monument Day, Mohr Villa, Munich
  • MULTIPOINT International art Symposium, Nitra
  • The Auction Room — African Contemporary Photography, Ozwald Boateng, London
  • Masked Unmasked, 11th Dakart, Dakar
  • Du Bois In Our Time II ‘Colour Unfinished’, University of Amherst, Massachusetts and Nubuke Foundation


  • Muses, Goethe Institute, Accra
  • Art Speaks, Residency at Wuk, Vienna
  • Du Bois in our Time I ‘Colour Unfinished’, University of Amherst, Massachusetts and Nubuke Foundation
  • Insidethemoskitonet, Alliance Française, Accra
  • We Are Africa, Nubuke Foundation, Accra


  • whose puppet are you?, performance, Accra
  • Time, Trade & Travel, Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam and Nubuke Foundation, Accra
  • The Beautiful ones are not yet born, Goethe Institut, Accra
  • Alternative Independence Day Celebration, Freedom Tour, Nubuke Foundation, Accra, Ghana
  • Inside The Mosquito Net, Brazil House Jamestown, Accra


  • Cultures in Confluence, Alliance Française & Goethe Institut, Accra
  • Trash to Treasure, chale wote street art festival, Accra


  • Climate Change, Caspar House, Accra
  • Portrait of Ghana, The Drum Ace Café, Birmingham, UK
  • My Life, Charity Photo Show, W.E.B. Dubois Memorial Centre, Accra and Haverford College, Pennsylvania


  • Africa Show, African Contemporary Art, Naples


  • Global Warming, Featured Project, British Council, Accra
  • Portrait of Accra, Junior Art Club sponsorship, Bristol


  • Untying the Human Spirit, CAN 2008, Goethe Institute, Accra


  • Different Strokes, The Loom African Gallery, Accra


  • Modern Forms, UK
  • Nubuke Foundation, Accra
  • Seth Dei Foundation, Accra
  • The World Bank Collection, Washington D.C.



Serge Attukwei Clottey, My Mother’s Wardrobe
Exhibition Catalogue, 2016

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