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.



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.


Photo via Institute of Contemporary Art Indian Ocean © 2019



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.


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).




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.




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..


Laeïla Adjovi

Senegal | Apr - May 2023


Laeïla Adjovi is a Beninese-French multidisciplinary artist based in Dakar, Senegal. Her work has been exhibited in Senegal, Ethiopia, Morocco, Benin, France, South Africa, the UK, the US, and Cuba. In 2018, she was the recipient of the Leopold Sedar prize for her poem and photographic series Malaïka Dotou Sankofa, done in collaboration with French photographer Loïc Hoquet. In 2019, thanks to an artistic residency in Benin with the Zinsou Foundation, she started her ongoing project The Roads of Yemoja about African spirituality in Nigeria, Benin, and Cuba. In 2020, she received a grant from the Musagetes Foundation to pursue this work, and in 2021, she started a PhD titled: The Roads of Yemoja. Nomad spirituality, oral transmission, and cultural resistance.




UK | Apr - May 2023


Chiizii is an interdisciplinary artist, designer and researcher. Born in London, raised in New York and Igbo. Working heavily with but not limited to, painting, collage and textile design. Her work centres on the specificities of Igbo, Nigerian and African experiences and histories.

Her current research aims to establish the significance of art in the communication and maintenance of Igbo food culture. As well as the use of making art as a learning method and presenting art as a teaching method. Recent shows include 1-54 London, Somerset House 2022, RA Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy 2021, and Collective Processes Gucci Circolo 2021.



Miranda Hagborg

UK | May 2023


Miranda is one of two recipients of the inaugural Yinka Shonibare Thesis Scholarship, granted to students in the Master in Finance programme at the Stockholm School of Economics. She has studied for a Bachelor of Business Administration at Stockholm University and a Bachelor of Real Estate and Finance at the Royal Institute of Technology. She has professional experience in investment banking and private equity.



Monica Narula (Raqs Media Collective)

India | Jun 2023


Monica Narula is a multidisciplinary artist, and one of three members of Raqs Media Collective. She holds a MA in English Literature, and is trained in cinematography and filmmaking. Raqs Media Collective was found in 1992 and is best known for its contribution to contemporary art. They have curated exhibitions, made films, edited books, staged situations, and collaborated with architects, computer programmers, writers, curators, and theatre directors.

Raqs' residency came as part of their contribution to the World Weather Network, where they were investigating water in the context of the 28th parallel north – the circle of latitude 28 degrees north of the equator that takes in Africa, Asia, the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and North America. Their research began in the northern Indian city of Rajasthan through fellow WWN station Khoj, and continued at the G.A.S. Ecology Green Farm .  



CCA Nested Residencies

Meri Linna (Finland) | Alison Naturale (Canada) | Rosie Olang’ Odhiambo (Kenya) | Jun 2023


CCA's takeover of G.A.S. Lagos has employed the space to host three mini residencies. The practitioners occupying the building include Nairobi-based curator, Rosie Olang’ of I Continue to Continue - a collective borne out of the 8th edition of the Asiko Art School in Cape Verde  Also in residence are Finnish artist and researcher, Meri Linna, and Alison Naturale, a Quebec-based multidisciplinary artist and printmaker.

These residencies come as part of a larger group in residence at CCA Lagos, consisting of Asiko alumni, and partners from Nordic Studios and the University of the Arts, Helsinki.  



Okiki Akinfe

UK | Aug - Sep 2023


Okiki Akinfe (b. 1999) is a London-based artist whose painting practice focuses on imagining an alternative to the conventional Western archive by encompassing othered experiences and foregrounding 'the Black lens', a subversive tool (of her own creation), that works towards avoiding stereotypes by demonstrating their absurdity. The figures in her paintings are rendered in various stages of visibility and exist on their own terms within a non-social and geographical space paused in their own time agency, resting, in perseverance of time.


This residency was supported by our Residency Patron Programme.



Naima Hassan

UK | Aug - Sep 2023


Naima Hassan’s research-based practice spans multiple forms, including archival practice, curatorial writing, publishing, and sound. She is cataloguing the Picton Collection, held at G.A.S. Foundation Lagos and tectonik.TOMBWA archive with composer Victor Gama. Together with Leyla Degan she forms SITAAD, an artistic-research collaboration focused on epistemological habitations of colonial archives.


Hassan has undertaken residencies and convenings in international settings such as Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistoletto, Research Centre for Material Culture, District Six Museum, Iniva, Nottingham Contemporary, Paris Peace Forum, British Institute in Eastern Africa, International Curators Forum, British Institute in Eastern Africa, and National Maritime Museum. She is a 2022 alumna of TheMuseumsLab jointly organised by the DAAD, HTW Berlin and Museum für Naturkunde. She has undertaken studies at the University of Oxford and Goldsmiths, University of London. In 2023-24 she is a Soomaal House Fellow in association with the University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts Hub Residencies.



Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński

Austria | Sep - Nov 2023


​​Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński 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. Doing so, she interlaces varying spaces and temporalities, thereby resisting a clean-cut separation between documentary and speculation.


Solo and Group Exhibitions: FotoRio (26.8.-15.11.2023), Liverpool Biennial (9.6.-17.9.2023), You are awaited but never as equals (2023) Coalmine Winterthur, Seven Scenes (2022) Camera Austria Graz, If A Tree Falls In A Forest (2022), Les Recontres d’Arles, Emplotment (2022) Museum Ludwig Budapest, KAS (2022) Centrale Fies, Solo-Exhibition (2021) Kunsthalle Wien e.g. She is represented by Gallery Wonnerth Dejaco in Vienna/Austria. In November 2022, she was the recipient of the first edition of the ART X Diaspora prize and will be presenting new work at this year's edition of the fair.


Riikka Kassinen (Lagos Studio Archives)

Finland | Jun 2023


Riikka Kassinen(FIN/UK), is one half of Lagos Studio Archives, an ongoing curatorial and cultural preservation project by Karl Ohiri (UK/NIG) and Riikka, consisting of thousands of film negatives documenting Lagos studio portraiture and vernacular photography from the 1970s to post-millennium.


The project started in 2015 when Ohiri discovered that many archives were being destroyed, discarded, and stored away in humid conditions by a generation of photographers who were part of a shift from analog to digital photography. Working with local photographers Ohiri started acquiring the endangered negatives over a number of years in an attempt to ensure that this precious cultural heritage was not lost over time.



Alberta Whittle  

Scotland | Nov - Dec 2023


Alberta was born in 1980 in Bridgetown, Barbados. She lives and works in Glasgow. Her extensive range of solo and group shows includes amongst others a comprehensive solo show at the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh; Holburne Museum, Bath and the Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju (all 2023). Tate Britain, London; Fotografiska, New York; Moderna Museet, Malmo and Kunsthall, Trondheim (all 2022). Alberta represented Scotland at the world’s largest international festival the 59th Venice Biennale. In 2020, she was awarded a Turner Bursary, the Frieze Artist Award and a Henry Moore Foundation Artist Award. She was the Margaret Tait Award winner for 2018-19.


In November 2022, our partner organisation Yinka Shonibare Foundation joined the Big Give Christmas Challenge; the UK’s biggest coordinated fundraising campaign. The purpose of the project was to crowdfund two six-week residencies at G.A.S. for a UK-based African Diaspora artist and/or a curator, with the intention of supporting the careers of practitioners of African descent. Alberta Whittle is the second recipient of the prize.  



Elsa James  

UK | Nov - Dec 2023


Elsa James (born in London, England) is a British African-Caribbean conceptual artist and activist living in Essex, England, since 1999. Her artistic practice is rooted in contemporary Black activism and invested in an ongoing questioning of visibility and belonging that centres Blackness as a methodology for liberation. Through an interdisciplinary, collaborative and research-based practice, she currently works across live performance, film, prints, spoken word, neon, and sound. 


She was a finalist for the prestigious Freelands Award with Focal Point Gallery in 2021 and, this year, a nominated recipient of the Henry Moore Foundation Artists Award. Her work is held in private and public collections, including the Government Art Collection and Beecroft Art Gallery, for which she became the first Black British artist to be acquired into the gallery's collection. In 2022, she was named one of the 50 Most Influential People in Essex.



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