Gallerist and curator, Oliver Enwonwu; winner, Bolatito Aderemi-Ibitola; venerable artist, Bruce Onobrakpeya and visual artist, Wura-Natasha Ogunji at the announcement of the 2018 ‘ART X Prize with Access’ winner in Lagos
Art X Lagos, in conjunction with Access Bank, has named Bolatito Aderemi-Ibitola as the winner of the 2018 edition of the ‘ART X Prize with Access’, instituted to recognise and support the best of emerging Nigerian visual art talent. Access Bank’s collaboration with ART X Lagos stems from a mandate to support and contribute to the development of the art sector in Nigeria by investing in Nigerian talent. The sponsorship of the Prize will celebrate, empower and provide vital professional development for a new generation of emerging Nigerian talent
Bolatito was selected by a jury of five renowned artists comprising, Professor Bruce Onobrakpeya; Turner Prize nominee Yinka Shonibare MBE; highly regarded visual artist Wura-Natasha Ogunji, Honorary Fellow of the University of the Arts, London Sokari Douglas-Camp; and gallerist and curator Oliver Enwonwu. Founder and Director of ART X Lagos, Tokini Peterside, said, “the extraordinarily high quality of work we received speaks volumes of the potential of the art sector in Nigeria. We are delighted to have the privilege to support the prizewinner, Bolatito Aderemi-Ibitola, at this pivotal stage in her career.
“With certainty that this will propel her forward towards a successful future within the African and global art industry, we look forward to unveiling Bolatito’s ambitious project at ART X Lagos 2018 in November. The project will introduce Bolatito to our international audience of critics, collectors and curators from renowned institutions around the world.”
Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc. Herbert Wigwe, said, “beyond our (the bank) vast collection of established artists, we believe that we are also responsible for empowering emerging artists. This is why we continue to support the ART X Prize – to celebrate the ingenuity of Nigeria’s emerging art talent. I can see the recipient of the ART X Prize with Access being the next great artist of our time, endowing us with the potential and the privilege to shape the most relevant art that will come out of the African continent.”
Ibitola emerged as the winner of the Prize, after live presentations to the jury members, alongside a shortlist that also included two other artists – Ayo Akinwande and Williams Chechet as finalists.Bolatito is a trans-disciplinary artist working primarily in time-based art, interactivity and performance. She lives and works in Lagos, and earned her master’s in Performance Studies from Tisch School of the Performing Arts, New York University and holds a bachelor’s in Communication Arts with a focus in Television/Film Production and a minor in Political Science from Allegheny College.
Ibitola couldn’t hold back her joy when she was announced winner. “This prize is really amazing to the emerging artist. This is something we wouldn’t have been able to do due to funding issues,” she said.Describing the nature of art she produces, Ibitola explained, “it’s quite a huge undertaken because the screen I want to use is large. As of now, it’s about 15 feet depending on how the project develops; it may be bigger than that. The piece I proposed is called ‘scraps from mama’s screen’. The artists said her mum who made her dresses as a child inspired her.”
On the selection process, Onobrakpeya pointed, “the finalists have demonstrated far-sighted maturity in their presentations, in varied media, with demonstrable projects and feasible proposals. ART X Lagos must be congratulated for its professionalism in organising an international jury to deliberate on the Prize.”
Jury-member Shonibare also said, “Aderemi-Ibitola, Chechet and Akinwande have all expressed contemporary cultural concerns in Nigeria through their work. All of the finalists are very strong, so you can imagine what an impossible decision it has been for us! I am very proud to have been part of this exciting process.”The winner will receive invaluable opportunities for networking and mentoring to realize, promote, and contextualize her art project. She will also receive a ₦1million grant towards her project, which will be exhibited in a solo presentation at ART X Lagos 2018 from November 2 to 4.