G.A.S. Fellowship Award 2022

The call out for the inaugural G.A.S. Fellowship Award was announced in February 2022 in tandem with the local launch of Guest Artists Space. The fully supported opportunity was open to emerging creative practitioners across all disciplines living within the West African region and initially offered three one-month residencies across our sites in Lagos and Ikise.

The judging panel was impressed by both the talent and breadth of creative disciplines and, following  a review of all 160 applications submitted via the open call, they decided to increase the number of opportunities from three to seven fully funded residencies.

It is with great pleasure that we present the first cohort of G.A.S. Fellowship Award recipients.

Laeïla Adjovi

Senegal | September 2022

 

Laeïla Adjovi is a Beninese-French multidisciplinary artist based in Dakar, Senegal. Photographer, visual artist and researcher, her favorite themes relate to culturel hybridity, multi-layered identities, visible and invisible borders, and the African cultural heritage. Her work has been exhibited in Senegal, Ethiopia, Morocco, Benin, France, South Africa, the UK, the US, and Cuba.

 

In 2018, she was the recipient of the Leopold Sedar prize for her poem and photographic series Malaïka Dotou Sankofa, done in collaboration with French photographer Loïc Hoquet. In 2019, thanks to an artistic residency in Benin with the Zinsou Foundation, she started her ongoing project The Roads of Yemoja about African spirituality in Nigeria, Benin and Cuba. In 2020, she received a grant from the Musagetes foundation to pursue this work, and in 2021, she started a Phd titled The Roads of Yemoja: Nomad spirituality, oral transmission and cultural resistance

 

 

Sarafadeen Bello

Nigeria | November 2022

 

Sarafadeen Bello is a Design architect and creative based in Lagos, Nigeria. He graduated with a degree in Architecture from Ivanovo State Polytechnic University in Russia. He was a participant in the first Young Critics programme in Nigeria organized by the International Association of Theatre critics, British Council Nigeria and the Guardian Nigeria in 2017.

 

He was shortlisted for the Ken Saro Wiwa book review prize at the Lagos Book and Arts Festival (LABAF) in 2019 and placed second in the “How can we obey the law against war” essay competition in 2020. He participated in the Remote Research Residency “Memory and Memoricide of Land” – Reimagining alternative model of Museum cooperated by Co.iki (Japan), supported by KOFICE (South Korea) in 2021 as part of “Project The Great Museum”.

 

His works and artistic medium of expression are through text, essays, research, design and installations. And his areas of interest operate within the overlapping boundaries of architecture, urban design, theatre, culture, social inclusion as well as the intersection of art and public realm participation. He strongly believes in the power of the arts as a tool for social change.

Femi Johnson

Nigeria | June - July 2022

 

Olorunfemi Johnson is a Director and Producer working in fields of arts and culture and its future in the context of the Digital Adoption moving into a web3.0 meta world. He has worked with numerous cultural initiatives documenting and researching African identity and culture.

 

In terms of technology, he is an active advocate of adoption of Blockchain Technology in Western Africa, being a tutor for Binance in 2021, the largest crypto exchange in the world, he has worked with local art initiatives to build workshops and tutoring lessons for educating artists on NFTs and the public on the fundamentals of blockchain.

Samuel Nnorom

Nigeria | November - December 2022

 

Samuel Nnorom holds an MFA in sculpture from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. His notable prizes include; 3rd and 1st prize of the National Gallery of Art in 2010 and 2012 respectively, and prizes in the 2016, 2017 and 2019 editions of the Life in My City Art Festival. 1st prize recipient (leatherwork category) of the Icreate Africa 2019. He has received invitations to important workshops, group exhibitions and residencies including the international art workshop by IICD at the United States Embassy, Abuja (2019), Rela Young Contemporary Bootcamp 2021, published in an international magazine, UK (zine, issue 11, artist responding to issues) 2021, Cassirer Welz Award, South Africa 2021 and recipient of 2022 Royal Over-Sea League and Art House Residency London, and several others.

Samuel belongs to the New Nsukka School of Art and currently exploring Ankara fabric to interrogate ideas surrounding bubbles while discussing personal experiences that relate to sociopolitical issues in Africa.

Tobi Onabolu

Nigeria | April 2023

 

Tobi Onabolu is a storyteller who exists at the intersections between the conceptual, audio-visual, written, and experiential arts. His ikigai is to advocate cultural pan-Africanism through collaboration, storytelling, and healing. 

 

Interrogating topics of identity, space, time, and spirituality, Tobi creates works which celebrate African and Diasporic cultures, and his award-winning short film, Dear Black Child, speaks directly to these themes.

 

His work has been featured across exhibitions, billboards, and in publications such as Dazed, artnet, gal-dem, AFROPUNK, and GQ. Tobi divides his time between West Africa and London.

Ofem Ubi

Nigeria | August 2022

 

Ofem Ubi is a multidisciplinary artist from Nigeria who uses poetry, photography and film to drive conversations and preserve memories through storytelling and documentation. He was shortlisted and published in the Deep Dreams Anthology of the Nigerian Students Poetry Prize, 2018. Internationally published in the first volume of the INKWELL Journal. His poetry film; Velvet, was selected for the Fringe of Color film festival, 2021. His film; Southpaw was showcased in the inaugural National Arts in Health Week, Nigeria.

Uzor Ugoala

Nigeria | June - July 2022

 

Uzor Ugoala (b. 1995) is a self-taught Nigerian conceptual photographer who creates visually stimulating and introspective images that explore the human psyche in relation to the nuances of our existence; understanding patterns governing the self which may be reinforced by culture and society. Through his imagery, he attempts to provoke thought in the viewer by employing deliberately composed elements comprising of hand-fabricated props together with a generalized aesthetic of muted colours that whisper ‘pause and reflect’.

 

He views conceptual photography as a curious means of soul-searching and draws a rich blend of inspiration from downtempo trance music, nature, sculpture, surreal paintings and photographs, introspection, real life experiences, psychology literature and conceptual animation. 

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