The 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair launched a new residency programme during the 3rd edition of their art fair at the La Mamounia hotel in Morocco. Lakin Ogunbanwo was announced as the first Nigerian artist to be awarded the residency programme in collaboration with the Thami Mnyele Foundation in Amsterdam.
He was given the residency as a response to a rise in residencies seeking out African artists in recent years. The founding director of 1-54, Touria El Glaoui, explained that “They wanted more African artists to take part in their programmes but they didn’t know how to go about it as they didn’t have access to artists from the continent.” She added that as African artists are becoming more visible, it has also become more apparent that certain residency programmes had no artists from the continent.
The emphasis of the Thami Mnyele Foundation’s residencies is on slow research and cultural exchange between Dutch artists and those from Africa and the diaspora. It started 30 years ago in memory of the foundation which was founded 30 years ago in December 1990 in memory of Thami Mnyele, the South African artist and freedom fighter.
Lakin’s 3-month residency will be in Amsterdam as he joins the ranks of artists like Zanele Muholi and Haroon Gunn-Salie who have also benefited from the fully-funded residency that covers artists’ transportation, accommodation, living costs and museum passes. In May, Lakin Ogunbanwo will exhibit at the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair in New York with Whatiftheworld gallery from Cape Town (which has so far sold six editions of his “E wa wo mi” series).
Featured Image Credits: Instagram/lakinogunbanwo
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