新藝術崛起 LOEWE基金會公布七位得獎藝術家/ 7 Rising Stars announced by LOEWE FOUNDATION / Studio Voltaire Award
Studio Voltaire與LOEWE基金會今年初創立LOEWE FOUNDATION / Studio Voltaire Award，這個獎項的宗旨是推廣當代藝術界人才，支持不同事業發展階段的藝術家，提升其知名度及擴闊受眾層面，宣揚不同階級、種族、性別、性取向及傷健等領域的藝術呼聲。這次公布的七位得獎藝術家，將獲為期兩年的獎助，包括提供免租金創作室、專業發展機會及獎助金。
獲得2021年至2023年共兩年的獎助的藝術家為Ayo Akingbade、 Ufuoma Essi、 Adam Farah、 Nnena Kalu、Djofray Makumbu、 Josiah Moktar及 Curtly Thomas，他們來自不同藝術範疇，以不同媒介創作，涵蓋多元化的興趣題材、經驗及創作模式。
負責選出得獎者的評審團由著名策展人及藝術家組成，包括：Iniva藝術總監Sepake Angiama 、The Hepworth Wakefield首席策展人 Andrew Bonacina、藝術家Anthea Hamilton及Elizabeth Price、Studio Voltaire工作室及駐場計劃策展人Maggie Matić以及Studio Voltaire總監 Joe Scotland。
Studio Voltaire工作室及駐場計劃策展人Maggie Matić表示：「今次收到的申請數量之多及質素之高令人感動，從招募到評審申請的過程中，我們感受到不少藝術工作者在疫情下及藝術圈子以至整個社會不平等的環境下掙扎求存的困境，可見他們亟需可持續的長期支援。本獎項能解其燃眉之急，令人深感安慰。七位得獎者都處於事業發展的關鍵階段，我們歡迎他們加入Studio Voltaire藝術社群，並為他們繼續下一段藝術旅程提供適當支持。」
Ayo Akingbade現居倫敦，從事電影、裝置及版畫創作。她的作品以都市文化、權力與立場、以及她自己的生活點滴為題材。她曾於London College of Communication 及 Royal Academy Schools就讀。
Nnena Kalu是雕塑家兼視覺藝術家，自1999年起與ActionSpace合作，是ActionSpace及Studio Voltaire的中流砥柱，並以創作室領袖的身份名列倫敦多元化藝術社群模範。她與ActionSpace合作逾二十年，建立了獨特創作手法，並以大型裝置與觀眾分享其創作過程。她曾於英國及海外展出作品，當中包括三個大型個人作品展，分別為與Project Ability 合作、假2018年Glasgow International藝術節舉行的「Nnena Kalu」展覽，2019年在侯城Humber Street Gallery舉行的「Wrapping」展覽，以及2020年她首個在倫敦舉行的大型個人作品展，後者由Studio Voltaire elsewhere 在場藝術計劃委約。
Djofray Makumbu是英藉剛果裔藝術家，在倫敦東區出生及成長。他經常與朋友及家人一起創作，靈感來自個人經歷及與身邊的人，其近作環繞精神病人的羞恥感及困境、年輕人眼中的城市生活壓力及暴力，以及音樂及舞蹈帶來的歡樂。他喜歡混合不同技術，結合定格動畫、錄像、活動影像的手繪元素，有時會將之置於舞蹈或劇本場境等現場表演中。每種媒介元素皆為自製，例如布景、黏土人像的手縫服裝，而配樂是與他的兄弟攜手製作。2020年Djofray Makumbu獲London Community Film and Video Commission委約創作《Hello Mr Officer》活動影像項目，內容環繞倫敦不同地區的年輕黑人分享被警察騷擾的經驗。他運用的素材包括定格動畫、水彩、轉描、LCVA檔案珍藏由Ceddo Film Collective拍攝的紀錄片《The People’s Account》(1987年)的片段等。這作品訂於2021年夏季在倫敦大學金匠學院Exhibitions Hub展出。他2019年於倫敦Brixton Library舉行個人作品展。他2018年畢業於倫敦大學金匠學院，得藝術學士學位，並憑畢業作品展贏得Alumno/SPACE Studio Bursary獎助金。
Josiah Moktar曾在戲院大堂及畫廊工作，亦曾為朋友做過畫作人體模特兒，正式投身攝影創作後以觀眾及攝影對象的身份探索，而攝影、電影及繪畫的關係亦貫穿於其作品中，質疑西方文學及藝術框架中對欲望的雜亂矛盾欲望的定調。今年3月Josiah Moktar加盟London Creative Network旗下，由ERDF資助的Photofusion攝影藝術中心。
Curtly Thomas為視覺藝術家，現居倫敦，主要從事攝影、音效及表演藝術，環繞神話及身體轉化等題材，曾經於倫敦Auto Italia、漢堡 Kampnagel 、倫敦 Café OTO 及倫敦The South London Gallery作個人表演。
Ufuoma Essi 是來自倫敦東南部Lewisham的錄像藝術家兼電影製作人，主要從事電影、活動影像、攝影及音效創作，題材多環繞黑人女性主義及難民歷史。她視檔案文獻為重要創作媒介，通過檔案資料研究打破沉默以及政治與歷史論述的鴻溝。她曾於倫敦Barbican Centre、洛杉磯Museum of Contemporary Art、費城Black Star FilmFestival、紐約 Maysles Documentary Center、South London Gallery、倫敦Lisson Gallery及倫敦 Chisenhale Studios舉行展覽及放映會。
LOEWE FOUNDATION / Studio Voltaire Award was established to celebrate talent, individuality and original thinking within contemporary art practice. The programme aims to increase and strengthen equitable representation and access, and amplify artistic voices across class, race, gender, sexuality and disability. the seven artists receiving the awards will benefit them with two years of support through rent–free studio space, professional development opportunities and a bursary.
The 2021–2023 awardees are: Ayo Akingbade, Ufuoma Essi, Adam Farah, Nnena Kalu, Djofray Makumbu, Josiah Moktar and Curtly Thomas. The selected artists work across a range of disciplines and mediums, encompassing a diverse set of interests, experiences and modes of working.
‘I have been humbled by the experience of being part of the selection process. We are at an incredibly difficult crossroads in the arts whereby artists, who are the creative lifeblood of the artistic landscape, are struggling to make work because they don’t have the space to do so. This initiative has been met with an overwhelming response. The calibre of creativity in London is incredible – we need to continue to invest in the development of artists in order to sustain vital and necessary space for art, artists and their communities.’ - Panelist Sepake Angiama, Artistic Director of Iniva
Awarded artists were selected by a panel of leading curators and artists: Sepake Angiama, Artistic Director of Iniva; Andrew Bonacina, Chief Curator of The Hepworth Wakefield; artists Anthea Hamilton and Elizabeth Price; and Studio Voltaire’s Curator (Studios & Residencies), Maggie Matić and Director, Joe Scotland.
Maggie Matić, Curator (Studios & Residencies) at Studio Voltaire said: ‘We were incredibly moved by the volume of high–quality applications we received. The process of receiving and reviewing the applications really surfaced how many artists are struggling to support their practice in the wake of the pandemic and due to structural inequalities within the sector and our wider communities. The level of need for opportunities like this, providing sustained and longitudinal support to artists is really pronounced. We are so pleased that through the award, we can go some way in catering to that need. The seven awardees are all at exciting and pivotal stages in their journeys, and we are honoured to welcome them into the artist community at Studio Voltaire, and support them as they take their vital next steps.’
Ayo Akingbade is a London–based artist whose current practice comprises film, installation and printmaking. Her work is rooted in notions of urbanism, power and stance, as well as personal occurrences informed by Akingbade’s interests. She previously studied at London College of Communication and Royal Academy Schools.
Ufuoma Essi is a video artist and filmmaker from Lewisham, South East London. She works predominantly with film and moving image as well as photography and sound. Her work revolves around Black feminist epistemology and the configuration of displaced histories. The archive forms an essential medium for her and it’s through explorations with the archive that she aims to interrogate and disrupt the silences and gaps of political and historical narratives. Previous exhibitions and screenings include Barbican Centre, London; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Black Star Film Festival, Philadelphia; Maysles Documentary Center, New York, South London Gallery; Lisson Gallery, London; and Chisenhale Studios, London.
Adam Farah is an artist, composer and sauce–maker who was born ‘n’ raised in London. They are a Capricorn Sun, Leo Moon and Cancer Rising. They also practice under/ within the name free.yard – a project set up to engage with and merge curatorial, research, artistic and equitable communal practices; with a focus on the ever expansive and nuanced creative endeavours/potentials that emerge from endz*. free.yard casts a side–eye onto the oppressive and supremacist structures upheld within the complacent and performative liberal bubbles of the artworld/s, and in the long term desires to create collaborative moments for artists to connect, manifest and exhale under such weight.
*endz is a slang term originating in London meaning neighbourhood, but carries its own contextual nuances, mainly referring to working class communities with larger ethnic–minority populations.
Nnena Kalu is a sculptor and visual artist who has worked with ActionSpace since 1999. Nnena is not only an integral member of ActionSpace and Studio Voltaire, but also a creative role model for London’s neurodivergent artistic community through her work as a creative workshop leader. Working with ActionSpace for over 20 years, Nnena has developed a unique practice that shares her process with the viewer by creating performative, large–scale installations insitu. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, including three major solo exhibitions: Nnena Kalu at Glasgow International in 2018 with Project Ability, Wrapping at Humber Street Gallery, Hull in 2019 and Nnena’s first major London based solo commission for Studio Voltaire elsewhere, Studio Voltaire’s offsite programme in 2020.
Djofray Makumbu is a British Congolese artist born and based in East London. He often works with friends and family when making his work which draws on his personal experiences and that of the people close to him. Recent works have focused on the shame and stigma of mental health difficulties, the pressures and violence of inner city life from the perspective of young people and the joy of music and dancing. Djofray loves to mix up different techniques combining stop motion animation, video footage, hand drawn and painted elements in moving image which are sometimes presented alongside live performances such as dance or scripted scenes. Each element in the work is carefully self–made from hand built sets and hand stitched garments for Claymation characters to soundtracks that are developed closely with Djofray’s brother.
In 2020, Djofray won a London Community Film and Video Commission to make Hello Mr Officer a moving image work that sees young Black men from across London share their experiences of being harassed by the Police. The work uses stop motion, watercolour and rotoscope alongside archive material from The People’s Account (1987) by Ceddo Film Collective held in the LCVA archive. The work is due to be exhibited in Summer 2021 at the Exhibitions Hub, Goldsmiths, London. Recent solo shows include Brixton Library, London in 2019. Djofray graduated from BA Fine Art programme at Goldsmiths in 2018 and was awarded the Alumno/SPACE Studio Bursary as a result of his degree show exhibition.
Josiah Moktar makes photographs to track desire’s movements through the everyday. Meditations after queer encounters, their images record contemporary British life with an observational style that is at once playful and elegiac. Through their camera’s devotional lens, objects glow with a person’s presence in their absence. Nude studies hinge on ephemeral moments, like screenshots of a scene. Moktar started taking photography seriously after working front of house in a cinema, a gallery and sitting for a friend’s paintings, exploring these forms as both viewer and subject. This interest in the symbiotic relationship between photography, cinematography and painting is a throughline in Moktar’s work, seeking to question and complicate the sprawling, contradictory taxonomies of desire within a Western literary and artistic canon.
In March, Moktar was accepted onto the professional development programme at Photofusion, as part of the London Creative Network consortium, funded by the ERDF. They live and work in London.
Curtly Thomas is a visual artist living in London. His creative practice focuses on photography, sound and performance. Creating narratives around myths and the transformational body, Curtly has performed solo and in different collaborative settings at Auto Italia (London), Kampnagel (Hamburg), Café OTO (London) and The South London Gallery (London).