Ghana, West Africa

Twenty-two million people live in the tropical West African country of Ghana. It is warm and comparatively dry along the southeast coast, hot and humid in the southwest, and hot and dry in the north. The terrain with its rich red soil is mostly low plains. Ghana has a wealth of natural resources: gold, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, manganese, fish, rubber, hydro-power, petroleum, silver, salt, limestone and recently discovered oil. It is now the second largest producer of cocoa in the world. The domestic economy continues to revolve around subsistence agriculture, mainly small landowners.

In 1957 Ghana became the first sub-Saharan country in colonial Africa to gain its independence from Britain. Formerly known as the Gold Coast, the Republic of Ghana borders the Gulf of Guinea between Cote d'Ivoire and Togo. Ghana is a constitutional democracy with a unicameral Parliament and has 230 elected Members of Parliament. His Excellency, President John Evans Atta Mills has been in power since January 2009. Ghana is considered one of the most politically stable countries in the region of West Africa.

Judy Cavanagh, owner of The Motherland Studio, spent three years in Ghana working on a project funded by the Canadian International Development Agency. While there she attended many art exhibitions and fell in love with contemporary African art. The paintings of Gabriel Eklou, with their joyful humanist spirit, made an especially deep impression on her.