Until February 2021, a billboard featuring an artwork by Zohra Opoku is exhibited on the side of Queen Elizabeth Hall, opposite Hayward Gallery.
Rhododendron (2015) is part of a series of self-portraits inspired by West African masquerades and the beauty of the natural world.
Now based in Accra, Ghana, Opoku was born in the former German Democratic Republic. She has described her identity as chameleon-like – a result of being identified as ‘German, Afro-German, African, Ghanaian, Obroni [‘foreigner’ in the Twi language] and Asante all at once.’
For the artist, indigenous plants – plants native to a particular place – provide a useful allegory for thinking about identity and belonging. In this self-portrait, she uses the leaves of a non-native rhododendron to blend in, finding safety in concealment.
Zohra Opoku (b. 1976) lives and works in Accra, Ghana.