Dufie Sakyiama

Hannah Dufie Sakyiama
Through arts and crafts, I capture the relationship between the edifices of life: growth, resilience, and beauty. These are symbolized in my works of art through representations of the spider, the web, butterfly, and a traditional adinkra symbol called Aya. The spider refers to the god, Anansi, who is revered in my hometown of Akan, in the Ashanti region of Ghana, and one of the most important characters in West African lore. Whereas, the butterfly and Aya appear as symbols of resilience, resourcefulness, and endurance over life’s failures, an additional perspective on life to that of the spider.

I incorporate textiles with metal jewellery to narrate life’s peregrination, exploration, fulfilment, and grace to symbolize the journey of life. The dichotomy of these materials, one is hard, one is soft; one moves, the other is stationary, embodies the paradoxes one encounters in life. Furthermore, I build these pieces to interpret the beauty of the wearer to the audience; to establish a perception that reflects the assets of resilience, success, and determination of the wearer. This is reflected through the symbolism of the spider Anansi, who is the god of all knowledge, often taking on the role of a trickster in stories.

In contrast, the butterfly through metamorphosis develops flapping wings of astonishing colours. Using the butterfly as a representation of life’s fulfilment, the spider takes the role of interruptions and difficulties, and the spider’s web demonstrates the interwoven and interconnected relationships of all of these. I combine fabrics and metals to form surfaces that create allegories for the dynamic nature and characteristics of the spider, its web, the butterfly, and life. Aya narrates my biography to reflect an atmosphere of life’s endurance and resourcefulness. It combines the glory of God and my adversities to reflect my gratitude for life which I draw from two sides; my traditional identity and my innermost being of thoughts and perception. The metaphors of the materials, elements, designs, and compositions channel my perspectives to tell a story of outlasted difficulties and the beauty of the growth that comes with it. These form a conversational tone to attain the sole voice of a self-portrait of perseverance, love, and charm.
1. Threads and Powders
An Iowan Fashion & Textiles Exhibit- September 10, 2021

2. MFA Thesis Exhibition
University of Iowa
March 22-27,2021

3. Juneteenth Exhibition Artisan's Sanctuary
Marion-Iowa June 13-July 15, 2020

4. (NOT SO) common objects Winthrop University
Guild of Emerging Metalsmiths. January 28- February 17, 2020
Image 1
Necklace ‘My fairytale’ 2018 Copper, brass, bronze
Image 2
Brooch ‘The butterfly counts not on the ugly and awkward cocoon adventure, but blooms gracefully with love’ 2018 Copper, brass, bronze, acrylic, resin, wood
Image 3
Necklace ‘Accepted versatility’ 2020 Copper wires, brass, screen print fabric, yarn