New Gallery 1957 opens for Ghana Independence Day

Marwan Zakhem opens new gallery of contemporary Accra art.

To mark Ghana's independence day on 6 March the Accra-based collector and businessman Marwan Zakhem is opening his new gallery Gallery 1957 (1957 being the year of independence from Britain).

The first exhibition is of works by Serge Attukwei Clottey, founder of the GoLokal performance collective.

Attukwei uses found objects, such as the yellow jerry cans found all over Ghana, and transforms them into art, hence the name Afrogallonism for which he is famous. These he sees as symbols of both the dramatic water shortages under the former presidency of John Kufour, but also of the colonial past and trade with the industrialised west.

Zakhem, a British Lebanese-born construction entrepreneur, houses his own collection in the upmarket Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City, which is also the location of the new gallery. Zakhem, who is on the board of the Tate Gallery's African acquisitions committee, says that he will also be commissioning new works for the gallery from Ghanaian artists.

Kenya's president, Uhuru Kenyatta, is one of the guests of honour for Ghana's Independence parade in Black Star Square on 6 March. The theme for Ghana's 59th independence day celebrations is investment in Ghana's youth.