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Paa Joe at work in the City Arts Dome

Date published: 9 May 2013

Posted by: Joe Pick

Paa Joe and his son build lion shaped coffin

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Paa Joe and his son Jacob have been hard at work in the City Arts Dome, which has been erected at Clumber Park for Paa Joe to use as his workshop during his residency there.  These photos show them building their signature lion shaped coffin.

Paa Joe is a master craftsman and the Grandfather of the fantasy coffin trade.  Since sixteen he has been crafting beautiful coffins that represent the lives of the people for whom they are made – a Coca Cola bottle for a street vendor, or a lion for the head of a family.  He has produced thousands of coffins, the majority of which lie deep under the ground.

In May 2013 Paa Joe left Ghana for only the second time in his life and travelled to the UK where he will undertake an artist residency in the stunning surroundings of National Trust site, Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire.  On June 1st 2013 the coffin will be celebrated in a grand finale, featuring the mesmerizing musicians, Sabar Soundsystem.  During the residency, City Arts will also be engaging local schools through a series of arts workshops; mask making with Stephen Jon, poetry with Panya Banjoko and music with Michael Davis.