F5: Ntiense Eno-Amooquaye Explores Self-Portrait in the Spotlight

05.12.23 | By
F5: Ntiense Eno-Amooquaye Explores Self-Portrait in the Spotlight

Ntiense Eno-Amooquaye’s practice brings together the visual, written, and spoken word through print, text, image, and live performance. In her words, “I am a writer, performer, and maker of artwork. I explore the relationships between words and images, the artist as someone who listens, recording to collect the writing as well as the drawings. I want to present what I am doing in performance and reading in performance but also ask – where do people find me in the exhibition when I am not there?”

Ntiense credits her career in art to her talent and lots of hard work as a member of the London-based Intoart collective. It’s a place where she connects with other people and artists while creating self-confident, self-portrait and autobiography for the spotlight, the red carpet, and the catwalk. “I remember seeing artworks by Andy Warhol, with the photographs of actresses, like Marilyn Monroe, doing the role-play as a model and icon,” she recalled. “Artworks like “Gold Marilyn Monroe” are about her creation of an idol, about her self-portrait. Marilyn Monroe is an artist as well.”

brown-skinned woman with short black hair and glasses stands in front of a wall of colorful tapestries reading to an audience

Ntiense Eno-Amooquaye \\\ Photo: Josef Konczak

“It is important for me to be an artist and to keep showing new projects, to be thinking about future projects,” she shared. “To have a point of view and to add ideas through my artwork, performance, and film. It’s good to keep finding new references, to travel, and to have new experiences as part of my work.” Ntiense also notes the importance of recharging and relaxing in between, even if her wheels are still spinning. “On summer holidays I like to read, but I always like to have a topic to work over and write about, to make notes about, to find out the details.”

Ntiense’s most recent performance – “Art Deco Zebra Crossing” – was developed at Flat Time House, an archive and artist’s residency space in the former home and studio of John Latham. The performance explores the intersections of writing, scenography, and performance within the domestic setting of Flat Time House and in conversation with the John Latham archive.

The central elements from “Art Deco Zebra Crossing” reappear at White Columns, New York, alongside “African Bird Dynasty,” a group of four new large-scale silk wall hangings that combine Shibori tie-dyeing and hand screen-printing. Each wall-hanging functions as a backdrop to a scene to be performed by Eno-Amooquaye as part of a new film. Ntiense was awarded the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists in 2022.

We’re pleased to have Ntiense Eno-Amooquaye join us today for Friday Five!

brown-skinned woman with short black hair and glasses sitting at a table covered in books and papers

Photo courtesy Intoart

1. The National Poetry Library, Southbank Centre, London

The Poetry library is on the 5th floor of the Southbank Centre, overlooking the river Thames. It’s got a good vibe and loads of books and space to work in. It’s where I search for themes and write notes as I read to record and to write new poetry.

Japanese condiment bottle with a bright green cap

Photo courtesy Intoart

2. Japanese Calligraphy Ink from Sekaido, Shinjuku, Tokyo

I like traveling to see different types of cityscapes, the architecture and the interiors. I take lots of photos and notes to bring back to the studio. I bought this ink from a huge art shop, Sekaido, in Shinjuku, Tokyo. I work a lot in black and white, with ink on paper. This ink is made for Japanese calligraphy, and it’s the ink I always use now – I like the thickness and the finish.

the center of Times Square with lots of skyscraper buildings and crowds

Photo: Ntiense Eno-Amooquaye

3. Times Square, New York City

I loved seeing the edges of the buildings in Times Square, the writing in bold line work. It’s a vibrant experience, seeing the images and words coming together live, in the air. Seeing the relationship between the buildings and the screens, the text as part of the cityscape and skyline.

fuchsia colored card reading BLACK CURRANT with a small bottle sitting in front of it

Photo courtesy Enfleurage Inc

4. Enfleurage Inc, New York City

I find inspiration exploring shops, this tiny shop Enfleurage Inc in New York City sells ‘aromatics from the natural world.’ The essential oils are in individual bottles. I enjoyed smelling the different fragrances and reading about them, too. They also have great books and charts. I bought ‘Blackcurrant Bud in perfumery’ published by Nez + LMR and ‘Natural Perfume Wheel’ by Atelier Perfumes.

overhead photo of a cocktail with a lime surrounded by peaches on a pink background

Photo: dashu83a, Freepik

5. Peach Bellini Cocktail

I love fruit in cocktails, my favorite is a peach Bellini. The fizz of the Prosecco, the velvet and sweetness of the peach. It reminds me of growth.



Recent Work by Ntiense Eno-Amooquaye:

light beige embroidered tapestry reading African Bird Dynasty

African Bird Dynasty, White Columns \\\ Photo: Marc Tatti

light yellow embroidered tapestry reading Order, Justice, Domination

African Bird Dynasty, White Columns \\\ Photo: Marc Tatti

a woman with short black hair looks at a wall of tapestries

Art Deco Zebra Crossing, Flat Time House Portrait \\\ Photo: Josef Konczak

interior space painted white with art and books

Art Deco Zebra Crossing, Flat Time House \\\ Photo: Josef Konczak

Kelly Beall is Director of Branded Content at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based writer and designer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, from Fashion Plates to MoMA and far beyond. When not searching out the visual arts, she's likely sharing her favorite finds with others. Kelly can also be found tracking down new music, teaching herself to play the ukulele, or on the couch with her three pets – Bebe, Rainey, and Remy. Find her @designcrush on social.