ELISE TOKOUDAGBA

Sculptor | Benin 

Elise Tokoudagba, an autodidact painter and sculptor, inherits a rich artistic legacy from her parents, steeped in the spiritual traditions of Dahomey and Vodoun culture. Through vibrant sculptures crafted from locally sourced red clay, she brings to life the intricate symbolism of traditional Vodoun deities, ensuring their enduring presence in contemporary art and spiritual practice.


PORTRAIT

Elise Tokoudagba is an autodidact painter and sculptor who grew up working early on in the studio of her late father, being an internationally highly acknowledged painter and researcher of Voudoun imagery and her mother being a ceramic sculptor, at the very center of the old kingdoms of Dahomey and the Voudoun religion. Being firmly rooted in the local art community and this rich background of spiritual traditions, she continues the inherited lineage in her own contemporary style, amongst others with colorful sculptures in large as well as small formats made of locally produced red clay painted with car oil paint. 


Colorful ceramics represent some of the numerous deities and spirits from the traditional Vodoun religion, each of them carefully arranged with the right attributes, symbols and colors, becoming new bearers of knowledge of the non-written spiritual traditions into the future.

Elise Tokoudagba is an autodidact painter and sculptor who grew up working early on in the studio of her late father, being an internationally highly acknowledged painter and researcher of Voudoun imagery and her mother being a ceramic sculptor, at the very center of the old kingdoms of Dahomey and the Voudoun religion. Being firmly rooted in the local art community and this rich background of spiritual traditions, she continues the inherited lineage in her own contemporary style, amongst others with colorful sculptures in large as well as small formats made of locally produced red clay painted with car oil paint. 

Colorful ceramics represent some of the numerous deities and spirits from the traditional Vodoun religion, each of them carefully arranged with the right attributes, symbols and colors, becoming new bearers of knowledge of the non-written spiritual traditions into the future.

 



WORKS

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CREDENTIALS

1990 - 2000: Training received under the guidance of Tokoudagba's late father, Cyprien Tokoudagba, a renowned international artist, modeler, draftsman, and painter

  • Crafting small clay statuettes
  • Crafting concrete statues (monuments)
  • Crafting bas-reliefs in clay, cement, and plaster
  • Painting on canvas
  • Crafting iron cages to protect condiments



    2024

    • Crafting bas-reliefs at the royal palace of King Agonglo.
    • Crafting bas-relief at the convent of the private palace of Sèmessou.
    • Crafting bas-relief at the convent of the private palace of ZOMADONOU.
    • Crafting bas-relief at the convent of the royal palace of King TEGBESSOU.
    • Crafting bas-relief at the convent of the DONOUVO family household.
    • Crafting high-relief at the MEVO family household.
    • Crafting bas-relief at the AGOMADJE LIGBE family household.

    2023

    • Crafting high-relief in Porto-Novo.
    • Crafting high-relief in ALLADA.
    • Crafting high-relief in SAVALOU.
    • Crafting portrait high-relief at the MAHISSI TROYA household.
    • Crafting bas-relief at the GOUKPOTÔ household.
    • Crafting bas-relief at IFAN–ZOU.
    • Crafting statue at the ZANGBTO convent of the TOKOUDAGBA household.
    • Crafting portrait and monument statue at the Mehou household.
    • Crafting high-relief at the SEKLOKA household.

    2022

    • Crafting self-portrait bas-relief in Savalou.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs at the royal palace of Dègan in Zapkota.

    2021

    • Crafting statues and bas-reliefs at the royal temple in AKIZA.
    • Crafting statues and bas-reliefs at Mehou's residence in Cococodji.
    • Crafting statues and bas-reliefs at the Agerialand Center.
    • Crafting statues and bas-reliefs at the AMOUSSOUGA family household.
    • Crafting statues and bas-reliefs at the MEVO family household.
    • Crafting statues and bas-reliefs at Mr. ZINKPE's unique center.
    • Crafting statues and bas-reliefs at the French Cultural Center.

    2020

    • Crafting statues and bas-reliefs at Mami Hounnon TOKPONHÔ's residence.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs at the royal temple AGASSOUNON.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs at the Royal Palace of Agoliagbo.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs at the Royal Palace of Agoua.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs at the ADJOLOHOUN family household.

    2019

    • Crafting bas-reliefs at the BOSSOUHON family household.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs at the ADANVENON family household.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs at the BAHANGNANSI family household.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs at the AKLAMOLI family household.

    2018

    • Crafting bas-reliefs at the ZEWA temple in Abomey.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs and decorating poles at Abomey, NAN Hounmêton household.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs and decorating poles at Abomey, SINSIN GBEMETONOU household.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs and decorating poles at Abomey, MATRO household.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs and decorating poles at Allada, SOKOU household.

    2017

    • Crafting bas-reliefs at the ZOGBODOME Town Hall.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs and statues at the TCHIAKPE household in Cococodji.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs and statues at the GUEDOU family household in TORI.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs and statues at the LISSAZOUNME Center.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs at the DJÔGBENOU Paul household in HINVI.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs at the LINKPEHOUN Rémi household in Abomey.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs at the AZÔMANHOU family household in Abomey.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs at the HOUEDJISSIN Rita household in Agbangnizoun.

    2016

    • Crafting bas-reliefs at the AKALOGOUN family household in Abomey.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs at the DJÔGBENOU household in Abomey.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs at the TÔHAN household in Agbangnizoun.

    2015

    • Crafting statues and bas-reliefs at the private palace of DJEHÔSSOU in KPOMASSE (OUIDAH).
    • Crafting bas-reliefs at the DJIMAN household in Agbangnizoun.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs at the KINTA district.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs at the Agbangnizoun Town Hall.

    2014

    • Crafting the emblem of King Guézo at his Private Palace in Abomey.
    • Crafting statues and bas-reliefs for the HOUNBADJI family house in Abomey.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs for the KPÉLOU temple in LÈGO, Abomey.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs and statues for the AGOSSA family house in Houawo.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs and statues for the DAKOHOUEGBÈ Nestor's house (HWAWÉ).
    • Crafting bas-reliefs and statues for the Private Palace of SAGBADJOU in Abomey.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs and statues for the SEKLÔKA family house in Abomey.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs and statues for Dah TÔKPÔ's house in Cotonou.

    2013

    • Crafting bas-reliefs for the Catholic Church, Notre Dame de l'Assomption d'Agnangnan/Abomey.
    • Crafting statues and bas-reliefs for the ZINSOU Foundation in Cotonou.
    • Repairing and decorating old monuments in Ouidah '92. Statues previously crafted by my late father, Cyprien TOKOUDAGBA, the earth magician.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs for Mr. Maxime HOUEDJISSIN's family house (Director of ARCHA).
    • Crafting bas-reliefs for the Private Palace of Dah AHO GLELE in Abomey.

    2012

    • Crafting bas-reliefs for the SOROPTIMIST Gazelle Club in Cotonou.

    2011

    • Crafting bas-reliefs for Mr. LOUKOU Michel's house (Alèkpéhanhou).

    2010

    • Crafting bas-reliefs for the Private Palace of King BEHANZIN.

    2009

    • Crafting statues and bas-reliefs for Mr. DEGAN, Vice-Rector of the University of Abomey-Calavi.
    • Crafting clay statues and bas-reliefs for the President of the Republic (Dr. Thomas Boni Yayi).

    2008

    • Crafting statues and bas-reliefs for Mr. KINDJANHOUNDE Zéphirin in his village of Akiza.

    2007

    • Crafting bas-reliefs for the Abomey City Hall.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs for the Abomey Prefecture.
    • Crafting bas-reliefs for the Abomey Sub-prefecture.

    2006

    • Crafting bas-reliefs on behalf of the Abomey Road Brigade.

    2005

    • Crafting bas-reliefs on behalf of the Abomey Research Brigade.

    2000 - 2003

    • Crafting statues and bas-reliefs for Vodoun temples.



    2024

    • Group exhibition, ​Gléhoué - Home of the earth, OpenArtExchange, Schiedam, The Netherlands

    2023

    • Participation in the exhibition "Shadows of Ancestors at the artistic and cultural center 'The Center'."

    2022

    • ​Participation in the exhibition "Benin Art, Yesterday and Today: From Restitution to Revelation."