Guest Projects Digital 2021

After successfully launching in Spring 2020, Guest Projects Digital, the digital artist residency programme borne out of Shonibare Studio’s long-standing physical residency scheme, returned for a second season on 9th August 2021. A collaborative venture with Guests Artists Space Foundation, the 2021 edition was generously supported by the British Council SSA Arts Digital Catalyst Fund.


Following a curated shortlisting process, five emerging creative practitioners based across the UK and Ghana were selected by a panel comprising of the International Curators Forum, Foundation for Contemporary Art Ghana, G.A.S. Director Tayo Ogunbiyi and, Y.S.F. Trustee Doug Fishbone.


The programme was segmented into two types of awards supporting participation with a wide number of creatives. The first award titled Artist in Focus ran for two-week blocks from 9th August. It offered the artists mentoring support and an opportunity to showcase existing work on the Guest Projects, Yinka Shonibare Foundation and G.A.S Foundation digital channels and website culminating in a participatory event.


The second award was a two-month digital residency the latter half of which was public. This allowed unparalleled insight and access into the working process of the selected artists through virtual discussions, tours and other events aimed at connecting with a diverse range of online communities. 

Akwasi Bediako Afrane

Artist in Focus | Ghana | August 2021


Akwasi Bediako Afrane (b. 1990) is a Ghanaian artist living and working in Kumasi, Ghana. His works explore the idea of augmentation and extensions between technological gadgets and humans.


He works with discarded electronic gadgets which he refers to as “amputees”. He refashions and repurposes these amputees into machines and micro-organisms described as “TRONS”, that become potential platforms and media for reflection, engagement and interactions around the globe through varied available physical and virtual platforms. These TRONS are created physically, and also converted into digital models, allowing for experimentations in VR, AR, video, animation, and gaming technologies.



Photographer credit: Adama Jalloh


Baff Akoto

Artist in Focus | UK / Ghana | September 2021


Baff Akoto’s conceptual practice spans performance, sculpture and moving image. Most recently Akoto has been exploring the artistic potential of Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies in the hope that the digital revolution might avoid the same prejudices, exclusions and inequalities that arose from our industrial and colonial eras.


Akoto was awarded the Main Prize at the Aesthetica Art Prize 2022 for his moving image work LEAVE THE EDGES which was exhibited in a solo installation at BOM in Birmingham, as part of The London Open triennial at Whitechapel Gallery and next will be included in the 13th Bamako Biennial of African Photography.


In July 2022 Akoto's poignant three-channel moving image work, THE LOVE AND… THE MAGIC was installed in the uniquely modernist space of Saint Boniface German Catholic Church as part of the Nocturnal Creatures art festival presented by Whitechapel Gallery. The installation featured performance interventions by acclaimed artists ESKA and Dave Okumu.



Denyse Gawu-Mensah

Artist in Focus | Ghana | Sept 2021


Denyse Gawu-Mensah, is a female artist currently living and working in Ghana. A natural-born adventurer, she spends a lot of her time exploring and immersing herself in new experiences. When she isn’t out exploring, the artist’s wild imagination serves as the springboard for her creations. She believes curiosity and wonder is what fuels her wild imagination.


Gawu-Mensah is a member of the Asafo Black art collective. Together they have participated internationally in exhibitions like the Stellenbosch Triennale in South Africa and have held their own local exhibitions in Ghana. She has also exhibited in events hosted by institutions such as the 2020 Ake Arts and Book festival hosted in Nigeria.



Djofray Makumbu

Digital Resident | UK | October 2021


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. Makumbu loves to mix different techniques combining stop motion animation, video footage, hand-drawn and painted elements in moving image 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 set to soundtracks that are developed closely with Makumbu's brother.


In 2020, Djofray won a Goldsmiths Exhibitions Hub commission, in partnership with the London Community Video Archive. Djofray graduated from the BA Fine Art programme at Goldsmiths University in 2018 and was awarded the Alumno/SPACE Studio Bursary as a result of his degree show exhibition.




Digital Resident | Ghana | November 2021


Steloolive is a Ghanaian performance artist who works and lives in Accra, Ghana. Known as a sound and Electronic Music DJ, Steloolive’s body of work consists of a mixture of experimental sound performances, fashion, art, and photography.


In 2018, Steloolive worked with Dr. Katharina Fink which he further explored on his Smell of the City in a Soundscape where he presented a listening performance and a visual presentation of his smell findings installation in the city centre.



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