Our newest G.A.S. Fellowship resident Samuel Nnorom had a busy year in 2022 showing his work extensively in Nigeria at Kó Gallery, Alexis Galleries, and ART X Lagos as well as further afield at AKAA Art Fair in France. In the latter half of the year, he completed a residency in the UK at The Art House before being announced as the overall winner of the M&C Saatchi Group and Saatchi Gallery Art for Change Prize.
2023 looks set to be an equally exciting year for the artist and the first chapter of that journey lies in his one-month residency at G.A.S. Lagos. It will be the first time that Nnorom, typically based in Nsukka, will be able to make work in and in response to Nigeria's biggest city.
What is the current focus of your practice?
I’m currently interested in the social statement contained in fabrics, focusing in particular on locally consumed cloth. I translate this 'social research' into the visual language of sculptural bubbles and bundles that I've spent much of my career honing. I try to relate the final forms to my experience and my learnings of contemporary society.
What drew you to apply for this residency and how do you think it will inform your wider practice?
I'm approaching this residency programme as a time to rethink, theorise, and further conceptualise my practice. I'm hoping it will also be a time to introduce my work to a new global audience of curators, dealers, collectors and the art world as a whole.
Can you give us an insight into how you hope to use the opportunity?
Through engagement with the staff at G.A.S. I hope to be able to organise conversations with professional artists and curators. I want to build my network whilst also beginning to make work that responds to themes of migration specific to Lagos.
Photographer credit: Jen Garrick
Samuel Nnorom (b.1990) hails from Abia, Nigeria. He discovered his talent at the age of 9 whilst assisting his father at his shoe workshop where he started making life drawings of customers who visited the shop whilst also being influenced by his mother's tailoring workshop.
His body of work is typically constructed from pieces of Ankara/African wax print fabric scraps collected from tailors, or cast-off clothes from homes along with waste foam from furniture workshops that are wrapped and stitched into bubbles of various colours and sizes. Through actions like sewing, rolling, tying, stringing, and suspending he navigates the boundaries between textiles, painting and sculpture in a poetic fashion.
Samuel is currently studying for an MFA in sculpture at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. His work has been recognised through various awards, exhibitions, and residencies. Most recently he was the global prize winner of the M&C Saatchi and Saatchi Group Art for Change Award 2022.