Awanle Ayiboro Hawa Ali - EMERGEAST
Account Wishlist Cart
search icon
Artworks Artists Exhibitions NFT About Blog Press Contact

Awanle Ayiboro Hawa Ali
b. 1997, Ghana

“Whenever I paint, I feel like a bird, free as a bird. I just forget my worries and glide through, with each brushstroke.”

Awanle Ayiboro Hawa Ali (Ghanaian, b. 1997) is a visual artist whose work is inspired by African women's experiences in patriarchal societies. As the first female child of her nuclear family, she had always been subjected to false societal expectations and pressure when it came to ‘settling down' and having children. Awanle, on the other hand, as a young lady who does not believe in the institution of marriage and its limitations on a woman's worth, paints in order to reject the expectations placed on women like her. She aspires to become a world-renowned artist who will be remembered for generations.

She has always been interested in the visual arts but has been unable to develop her skills due to her parents' lack of enthusiasm, who encouraged her to pursue a career in General Arts. However, a series of unintentional encounters with the visual arts community and artist mentors prompted her to rebel and decide to pursue a career as an artist, defying expectations that were never hers, to begin with.

Hawa is adamant about capturing these experiences in her paintings and, as a result, inspiring many women to break free from society's constraints. She currently works in an Accra art studio, where she spends her time researching, experimenting, and painting.

Read more

Artist Statement


For the past three years, I've been constantly studying areas of life that are frequently concealed or misunderstood in our culture. I dig into the lives of regular traditional Muslim women in Ghana and throughout the world who get lost in their thoughts, dreaming of a day when they are not seen as incapable of achieving their objectives and aspirations. I capture the spirit of the dreamer, of the woman who refuses to be held back by excessive aspirations, of the woman who tries to break through the barrier. I concentrate on problems that society discusses but has little or no power over, such as patriarchal institutions in my own society. My artwork is influenced by my upbringing in a strict and conservative Muslim environment. My emotions are evoked, and sorrow and sadness are depicted in the images I paint. My choice of colors reflects my ambition to live beyond the limitations imposed on women.

I apply navy blue and numerous hues of blue on the skin of my subjects, indicating freedom from all limits, abuse, and the controlled lives of all women, just as the oceans and seas do. Blue also represents royalty in the northern Ghanaian society. 

In order to create my art, I use acrylic paints and items such as magazines. Multiple collages of powerful, inspirational women who continue to defy all obstacles to be successful in their respective industries are sometimes infused into my paintings. After finishing each piece of art, I say a small prayer, hoping to make a difference in society by assisting women like me who may be forced or brainwashed into early marriages, denied an education, let alone an education of their choosing, to break free from the shackles of societal and religious expectations. It is more important than ever for women to step forward and focus on leadership in their communities and beyond, and I hope to make a significant contribution.

Series Statement


"Encounter" immerses viewers in a world where the vibrant hues of resilience and strength leap off the canvas, weaving a rich tapestry of human experience. Each portrait within this captivating series serves as a window into the lives of market women, embodying their indomitable spirit and unwavering perseverance in the face of adversity, unveiling a kaleidoscope of narratives, each as unique as the individual depicted. From the bustling markets to the quiet moments of reflection, these artworks capture the essence of everyday heroes who navigate life's complexities with grace and tenacity. This series is part of the artist's current body of work titled "Women In Suits."

The choice of attire, the suits adorning these women, serves as a powerful metaphor for their multifaceted identities. It symbolizes not only their professional acumen but also their resilience, determination, and empowerment. Through the lens of art, we witness the fusion of tradition and modernity, as these women carve out their place in a world that often seeks to confine and define them.


Solo Exhibitions

2023 'The Abandoned Playground', Galerie Mathilde Le Coz, Paris, France

Group Exhibitions

2023 'Identities', Galerie Farah Fakhri, Abidjan, Ivory Coast
2023 'Worldmaking', Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York, USA
2023 'Unlimited II', Gallery 1957, Accra, Ghana
2023 'Visual Language: The Art Of Protest', Subliminal Projects, Coates & Scarry, LA, USA
2023 'When The Birds Fly Home', Artemartis & Gallery 1957, Accra, Ghana
2022 'Reflections Of Her', Mitochondria Gallery, Texas, USA
2022 'Birds of a Feather', Phillips x Artemartis, London, UK
2021 'Ties That Bind Us', The Cowrie Culture, Accra, Ghana
2021 Emergeast Gallery, Dubai. UAE
2020 'Worlafest', Alliance Francaise, Accra, Ghana
2019 Zongo Art Project, Accra, Ghana
2019 Charlewote Art Festival, Accra, Ghana

Artist Residency

2020 James Town Workshop, Accra, Ghana

Permanent Collections

Private Collection, Ghana
Artemartis, Ghana


Barbara Siebenlist Palomar – Artist, Argentina
Kamal Larry – Artist, Ghana
Emmanuel Kwaku Yaro – Artist, Ghana


Artemartis, Accra, Ghana