The Access Art X Prize 2023 is here, and it offers a unique opportunity for emerging African artists to showcase their talent and potentially launch their careers on a global scale. ArtX Lagos established the prestigious competition, sponsored by Access Corporation in partnership with Gasworks London and the Yinka Shonibare Gas Foundation.
The jurors for this year include:
1. Babajide Adeniyi-Jones (Documentary Photographer): Babajide Adeniyi-Jones, a native of Nigeria, discovered his passion for photography at a young age. He specializes in capturing documentary images that highlight social issues, cultural diversity, and everyday life in Africa. He has also exhibited his photographs in numerous locations worldwide, offering a glimpse into dynamic and multifaceted African communities.
2. Daudi Karungi (Founder of Afriart Gallery): Daudi Karungi, a renowned figure in the African art scene hailing from Uganda, is the founder of the Afriart Gallery located in Kampala. The gallery serves as a platform for both emerging and established African artists. Additionally, Karungi is an accomplished painter who utilizes his art to explore themes pertaining to identity and African heritage.
3. Gabi Ngcobo (Artist, Educator, and Curatorial Director of the Javett Art Centre): Gabi Ngcobo is a respected artist and educator hailing from South Africa. She is renowned for her artistic focus on socio-political issues, utilizing mediums such as performance, video, and installation. Her exhibits at the Javett Art Centre are designed to promote constructive dialogue and challenge established narratives.
4. Emeka Ogboh (Sound and Installation Artist): Born in Nigeria, Emeka Ogboh is well-known for his unique style of incorporating sound into his artwork, which often involves combining audio recordings with visual elements to create installations that are both captivating and thought-provoking. Through his work, he explores the cultural impact of globalization and migration, highlighting how sound can shape our understanding of place and identity.
5. Barthélémy Toguo (Painter, Visual, and Performing Artist): Cameroon-born Barthélémy Toguo portrays displacement, cultural exchange, and the human condition powerfully in mediums like painting, sculpture, and performance. His works also reflect human identity and convey important messages that inspire many.
6. Yesomi Umolu (Director of Curatorial Affairs and Public Practice for the Serpentine Galleries): Yesomi Umolu, a British curator and scholar with a background in art history, has gained recognition for her unique approach to contemporary art curation. She has held esteemed positions at various institutions and currently works as a curator at the Serpentine Galleries. In addition, Umolu curates projects sparking public discourse, and exploring race, identity, and social justice themes in exhibitions and programs. Her work plays a crucial role in shaping the modern art scene from a critical and thought-provoking perspective.
Past winners include Dafe Oboro, Belinda Kazeem-Kaminski, Chigozie Obi, and Etinosa Yvonne, amongst others. They received cash prizes, a three-month London residency at Gasworks, mentoring, support, and cultural exchange opportunities.
The Access Art X Prize empowers emerging African artists, fostering global exposure and artistic growth for early-career talents. The prize has expanded its scope beyond emerging Nigerian artists to encompass emerging talents from across Africa and its diaspora. Both the Nigerian and the African/Diasporan prize winners will receive a residency at Gasworks in London and the Yinka Shonibare’s GAS Foundation in Lagos (respectively), an exhibition at ART X Lagos 2024, a $10,000 grant, and an invaluable chance for cultural exchange.