Akofa Norman

www.artakofanorman.com

Artist Bio

Akofa Norman is a Togoian artist living and working in Brooklyn. She has worked with deafness and children with autism in special needs education at the St. Francis School for the Deaf for three and a half years. Akofa graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in 2016. She participated in making artwork with other artists, and decided to name their group “DIG”, collaborating together in 2014 at the Firehouse Gallery in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Working in dialogue motivates her to understand her work as “in progress,” something for viewers to experience and live within. Currently an MFA student at Parsons School of Design in The New School, she is shifting the focus of her work to present a platform for cherishing and a growing space. What matters to her are its impacts and the insights her work inspires.

Email Address: hello.akofanorman@gmail.com

Social Media: @akofa_art

Broken Anxiety, 2020

Textile and acrylic on canvas
48” x 48” x 1½”

Fragile letter, 2020

Textile and acrylic on canvas
48” x 48” x 1½”

Lost for Words, 2020

Textile and acrylic on canvas
48” x 48” x 1½”

Untitled, 2021

Textile and acrylic on canvas
48” x 48” x 1½”

Untitled, 2021

Textile and acrylic on canvas
36” x 72” x 1½”
(work in progress)

Untitled, 2021

Textile and acrylic on canvas
48” x 60” x 1½”
(work in progress)

Untitled, 2021

Textile and acrylic on canvas
48” x 60” x 1½”
(work in progress)

Untitled, 2021

Textile and acrylic on canvas
48” x 60” x 1½”
(work in progress)

Artist Statement

My path of discovery is a return to, or rather, an emergence of, the fact that there was nothing to protect other than my sense of self; who I am and what is my identity as an African woman of Togolese heritage who is deaf, discovering art therapy and psychology through color, textile, collage, and painting. With my work I explore the connection between healing and bodily anxiety. As an abstract, expressionistic painter my series of works evoke flesh, as well as the light that our souls cannot see. With this current body of work I am exploring the moments based on my comfort and the space that makes you uncomfortable. The concept of physically being in a calm space, or creating it mentally, allows us room to breathe, pause, and reflect in order to grow and flourish. The densely impastoed surfaces, built up over time, offer associations with the body, breaking down barriers between notions of beauty and ugliness. As a woman and as an African, I produce work so as never to be forgotten and/or erased. Combining textiles with my painting practice has opened a new way of storytelling. As my identity has changed, so has my art. I create the fiber of our lives and my work explores the space between positive and negative, abstraction and metaphor. It is in this space that I structure pieces of moments to assemble collages. The use of the textiles in my paintings is meant to evoke a sense of process. It builds us up and tears us apart, but they are a part of us—the patterns on the floor, memories, the struggle of bodily escapism, and the relationships that are significant to me. And they are what’s in front of me and guiding me through your safe space.