An emerging artist from Nigeria, Dafe Oboro, has made the country proud after being announced as omen of the winners at the Access Art X Prize.
The Access Art X Prize, an annual award for emerging artists in Nigeria, Africa and the Diaspora, and the leading art prize in Nigeria, was recently awarded to two winners – one from Nigeria and one from Africa/the Diaspora – as part of the 2022/23 edition, at a press conference, which held in Lagos on Friday, November 25, 2022.
The Access ART X Prize was created by ART X, the organisers of the ART X Lagos Art Fair, and is sponsored by Access Corporation, the parent company of Access Bank Plc.
Formerly opened only to Nigerian artists, the Access ART X Prize evolved in 2022 to include an additional award for emerging artists from the rest of Africa and the Diaspora, to strengthen its commitment to bolster the careers of a broader range of artists of African descent.
The prize-winnings for each artist in the 2022/23 edition include: $10,000 Grant towards an exhibition at ART X Lagos 2023, 3-month residency at Gasworks, London (for the Nigeria winner) and Yinka Shonibare’s GAS Foundation, Lagos (for the Africa/Diaspora winner) Mentoring, Support and Cultural Exchange opportunities.
The prize, which closed entries for its 2022/23 edition on November 6, 2022, received thousands of applications from early-career artists resident in Nigeria as well as over 50 other countries around the world.
The winners, who were announced at the November 25 event, were Dafe Oboro (Nigeria Winner) and Belinda Kazeem-Kaminski (Africa/Diaspora Winner).
Dafe Oboro is a 28-year-old artist, who works predominantly in photography and film.
Drawing motifs from fashion and popular culture, Dafe uses evocative sound and imagery to contemplate questions of masculinity, movement across time and space, and the socio-political state of contemporary Nigeria and greater Africa.
Dafe was the 2020 recipient of the Film Prize at The Future Awards Africa, and a 2020 nominee for Dazed Magazine’s Dazed100 List of people shaping youth culture. Dafe’s film work has been screened at various venues and festivals internationally.
While Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński (the Africa/Diaspora Winner) is a Vienna-based writer, artist, and researcher, whose works manifest themselves through a variety of media.
Rooted in Black feminist theory, she has developed a research-based and process-oriented investigative practice that deals with the condition of Black life in the African diaspora. Belinda has exhibited at various solo and group exhibitions globally and has won several notable international prizes.
Both artists were selected by an international jury which included Professor Peju Layiwola, artist, art historian and writer; Victor Ehikhamenor, multimedia artist, writer and Founder of Angels and Muse; Dr Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Founder and Artistic Director of SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin and Sonsbeek 20–24; Maria Varnava, Founder and Director of Tiwani Contemporary; Gabi Ngcobo, artist, educator and Curatorial Director of the Javett Art Center at the University of Pretoria (Javett-UP), and Alessio Antoniolli, Director of Gasworks & Triangle Network, London.
Honourable mention was made to the four other finalists for the Nigeria Award: Tolulope Ami-Williams, Kingsley Ayogu, Neec Nonso and Matthew Eguavoen; as well as the four other finalists for the Africa/ Diaspora Award: Lois Arde-Acquah (Ghana); Louisa Marajo (France/Martinique); Mallory Lowe Mpoka (Canada), and Yetunde Olagbaju (United States).
Tokini Peterside-Schwebig, Founder and CEO of ART X said: “We are delighted to present this prized opportunity to these two exceptional artists – Dafe and Belinda – who are unique in their perspectives but are united in their ambition to shift narratives about Africa and its global Diaspora.
“Our shared objective with Access Corporation, through this Prize, is to reinforce emerging artists at this pivotal stage in their careers, and we aspire over time to build a core group of artists for Nigeria, Africa and the Diaspora, with the potential to become truly transformational, not just within the arts ecosystem, but within our broader communities at a social, national, continental and global level.
“We look forward to working closely with these artists on their development in the coming months, and anticipate that they will make the most of this opportunity, which culminates in their exhibitions at ART X Lagos 2023.”