A Retrospective Look at Female Residents at G.A.S.

In honor of International Women's Day, we're highlighting the female artists, curators and researchers who have stayed with us at G.A.S. Foundation. From Lagos to London, Germany and further afield, they have each made significant contributions to contemporary art, culture, heritage and environment. Their respective practices explore themes of identity, culture, and community. We are pleased to reintroduce you to Antoinette Yetunde Oni, Mariam Aslam, Emma Prempeh, Seyi Adelakun, and Portia Zvavahera.

Emma Prempeh

United Kingdom | Aug - Sep 2022


Emma Prempeh is a London-based British artist of Ghanaian and Vincentian heritage. Her paintings feature warm, earthly tones and a strong presence of blackness, evoking memories of events, people, and places and exploring themes of ancestral time, selfhood, and transformation. 


Prempeh studied at Goldsmiths University of London, winning the Alumno/Space bursary award for 2020. She also won 1st place for the Ingram Collection Purchase Prize and became a participating artist in Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2019. Emma recently completed her MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art under the LeverHulme Trust Arts Scholarship, winning the Valerie Beston Trust Arts award for 2022.




Mariam Hava Aslam

UKSep 2022


Mariam Hava Aslam is an activist and spatial designer who works with community groups and organisations. Her focus is on urban climate action and designing for emergent socio-environmental futures. She is interested in the intersections between climate, ecology, design and agriculture and is currently exploring design as a tool to kickstart growing and ecological living in the city.

Mariam was awarded her residency through the University of the Arts London (UAL) Art for the Environment (AER) residency programme. 




Miriam Bettin

Germany | Oct - Dec 2022


Miriam Bettin is a Cologne based curator and writer with a focus on intersectional queer feminism and postcolonial narratives. Previously, she worked at Kölnischer Kunstverein, where she curated solo shows by José Montealegre and Emma LaMorte with accompanying publications and has contributed to the realization of several projects including Daniela Ortiz, Melike Kara, Juliette Blightman, and Dorothy Iannone. At Kunstverein Braunschweig, she curated solo exhibitions of Jasmin Werner, Marvin Luvualu António, and Hannah Weinberger, and worked with artists like Leda Bourgogne, Margaret Raspé, and Hassan Khan. Regularly, she writes for online magazines such as Conceptual Fine Arts and KubaParis. She is an alumna of the Curatorial Studies program at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main.



Dr. Mahret Ifeoma Kupka

Germany Jan - Feb 2023


Dr. Mahret Ifeoma Kupka is a respected art scholar and writer. With a focus on decolonizing art and cultural practices, she addresses issues of racism, representation, and memory culture in Europe and on the African continent. She is a member of several organizations, including the Initiative of Black People in Germany and TEXTE ZUR KUNST magazine, and has served on international juries and search committees. Dr. Kupka received her doctorate in art and media theory from the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design in 2015..


Photo via Institute of Contemporary Art Indian Ocean © 2019


Portia Zvavahera

Zimbabwe | Oct - Nov 2022


Portia Zvavahera (b. 1985) is a Zimbabwean artist whose paintings draw on traditional figuration styles in Zimbabwe, while also examining the human condition.  Her works are vivid depictions of life and death, pain and pleasure, isolation and connection, and love and loss, all manifested in colorful ornate patterns that are built up through expressive brushwork and printmaking techniques.


Zvavahera studied fine arts at Harare Polytechnic after completing a program at the BAT Visual Arts Studio, National Gallery of Zimbabwe. Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Stevenson in Cape Town and Johannesburg, and Marc Foxx Gallery in Los Angeles. Her work is held in several collections including the Tate, Johannesburg Art Gallery, and Pérez Art Museum Miami. In 2022, Zvavahera was part of the 59th Venice Biennale.


Seyi Adelakun

UK | Oct - Nov 2022


Seyi Adelekun, a multidisciplinary artist and designer of Nigerian descent, creates public installations that promote ecological awareness, biodiversity, and environmental stewardship. Using natural materials and regenerative circular economy principles, she highlights the vital role of ecosystems and their interconnectedness between land, water, and people. Seyi's notable work includes Plastic Pavilion, a colorful mosaic canopy made from recycled plastic bottles that reimagines waste as a valuable material. She also facilitates creative workshops with young people, promoting collective making and nurturing healthier relationships with the environment. Algae Meadow, another installation, showcases the importance of algae as a nutrient-rich biofertilizer for plants.




Antoinette Yetunde Oni
UK, Nigeria | Jan - Feb 2023


Antoinette Yetunde Oni is an award-winning architectural designer and multidisciplinary artist working between London and Lagos, Nigeria. Focusing on the Global South, her work addresses postcolonialism, resource degradation and the climate emergency in the urban environment through speculative collage and assemblage installations.


She holds a BA (honours) in architecture from the Manchester School of Architecture and is also an alumna of the Delft University of Technology. Oni was awarded her residency through the University of the Arts London (UAL)  Art for the Environment (AER) residency programme.




Lynhan Balatbat Helbock

Berlin | May - Jun 2022


Lynhan Balatbat-Helbock is a curator and researcher at SAVVY Contemporary where she is part of the participatory archive project Colonial Neighbours. She received her MA in Postcolonial Cultures and Global Policy at Goldsmiths University of London. In her work within the permanent collection of SAVVY Contemporary she looks for colonial traces that are manifested in our present.Lately she was co-curating the yearlong research and exhibition program HERE HISTORY BEGAN. TRACING THE RE/VERBERATIONS OF HALIM EL-DABH (2020-2021).



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