BIOGRAPHY | BIBLIOGRAPHY | EXHIBITIONS
Enoch Yaw Mensah, The Artist with an African heart
Enoch Yaw Mensah has always reflected his motherland Ghana and its intricate connection to the rest of Africa in his work. He is described by friends as a humble artist with an African heart. Born on the 21st October, 1976, at the Nkonya Wurumpong Guan Traditional area in Northern Volta Region of Ghana, his formative years meant many lessons learnt in the textile and carving studio, which belonged to his Father.
This experience gave Yaw an understanding of texture and African symbols and he would as a young child express himself on any available medium including sand, Real work produced included charcoal from burnt wood, chalk from dried cassava (kokonte), various colors of clay and dyes derived from tree barks. An innovative child, his early canvas included the village huts, stone tablets, wood boards, paper and animal skins.
He would even make paint brushes from bamboo and chewing sticks. Yaw’s exposure earlier on as a young boy in a traditional village is truly borne in his work which is rich with symbolism.
After Senior High School, he attended Teragogen School of Art where he studied graphics and then moved to Ghannatta College to studied fine art. Again, his apprenticeship under several experienced artists which included Lawrence Okoe, Uncle Sam, Ofei Darko, Nathaniel Quarshie and Jacob Bennett offered him the opportunity and privilege to ‘grow’ his work.
Yaw has remained true to the village he was born in. his work still manages to encompass the Social, Environmental and Symbolic aspects of his motherland.
His incorporation of indigenous symbols in his art not only preserves his heritage and ancestry, but also honors’ the lessons learnt by a boy from his father.
Yaw’s Art from an African heart, the way a great storyteller weaves a tale expertly and with such skill that you almost hold your breath at the familiarity of it all. He shows you the beauty and the very soul of this diverse and exciting continent.
His many mediums, oil, water color and acrylic paints as well as charcoals, pastels and ink all serve to bring to life people, places and thing one holds dear like value + our culture.
Yaw’s art has winged its way to private homes and business in the United States, Europe and in Ghana.