Ed Franklin Gavua
Natural fiber masks in West Africa
"In the olden days, masks were not intended as home décor and were regarded as sacred, and at the same time feared by many who associated them with monsters.""I'm Ed Franklin Gavua, from Ghana's Volta Region. I was born on May 31, 1966, and by the age of seven, I was already fascinated with painting. From there, my journey through art has included, sculpture, textiles, and baking!
"Now I've embarked on a different facet in my life as an artist, making original masks. I call my collection 'Yiiiiikakaii African Masks,' from the Ga words Kakii meaning 'monster' and Yiiiii, which is an exclamation of fear.
"I chose this name based on tradition. In the olden days, masks were not intended as home décor and were regarded as sacred, and at the same time feared by many who associated them with monsters.
"I make these masks by recycling paper and dried leaves together with glue. My designs come from my own imagination and from what I observe in nature.
"I believe that my ability to express my emotions is inborn. I am a self-taught artist and I am the only artist in my family. I also had no friends to teach me, but now I teach others who are interested in art.
"I have been exhibiting my work in Ghana since 2000, and I have won awards in Nigeria's Adire Carnival, and Zimbabwe's Black History Festival.
"I believe Novica is a promising organization that turns dreams into reality and, if there weren't people like Novica customers, the art world would be meaningless. My hope is to leave behind a legacy, a voice, and a home for my art work."