Paa Joe with one of his coffins
Originating from Ghana, fantasy coffins are coffins that although functional, are wildly decorative. Fancy being buried in a coke bottle? Or maybe a replica of the Left Lion? Well you can if you have the money and know who to ask. One such person is Paa Joe who has been crafting these fantasy coffins since 1974. Unfortunately his livelihood has recently come under threat as he moved his premises from the centre of his village to the outskirts because he could no longer afford the rent. Since then he has struggled to get the business he used to and desperately wants to continue his trade. He is now seeking success in the contemporary art world in a bid to save his livelihood.
Nottingham based filmmaker Ben Wigley’s is focussing on Paa Joe and this plight as the subject of his new feature length documentary. A pioneer of his trade, the finished coffins are a marvel to behold. The ultimate aim of the documentary is to get Paa Joe to create a coffin in Clumber Park which will be displayed in one of his exhibitions. You can follow Ben’s progress on his blog.
Paa Joe Blog