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Arthouse Foundation Featured in Guardian Newspaper

"Expanding Future with Four Artists at Arthouse Foundation," The Guardian Newspaper, April 17, 2016.

[Text by Tajudeen Sowole] Dipo Doherty, Olumide Onadipe, Tyna Adebowale and Jelili Atiku are the recipients of Arthouse Foundation’s 2016 Residency. To expand the scope of their skills, the artists will start arriving for a two-month residency programme from tomorrow.

Arthouse Foundation, which was announced two years ago, appears to be blazing another trail in re-energising the Nigerian, perhaps, by extension, African visual arts space. It is a branch of West Africa’s premiere art auction house, Arthouse Contemporary Limited.

A not-for-profit initiative, the Foundation comes at a period when the Nigerian art is finding new levels on the international art space.

The residency, according to curator at Arthouse Foundation, Joseph Gergel, is sectionalised into two phases: Doherty and Onadipe for April 18 to June 22, while Adebowale and Atiku will enjoy theirs from September 12 to December 16.

Quietly, the Foundation has sponsored Nigerian artists to residency outside Nigeria. Tayo Olayode and Uche Joel Chima are beneficiaries of such gesture, which had the artists on residency to Vermont, U.S. Currently, the first Arthouse Resident artist, Victor Ekpuk, is showing his solo titled, Coming Home, an exhibition from the residency programme. Ekpuk had his residency in Lagos last year at a temporary facility of Arthouse near the promoters’ office.

“With a newly renovated building in the heart of Ikoyi, it offers live/work residencies for two artists throughout the year in three-month sessions,” Gergel disclosed. “The Foundation aims to encourage creative development of contemporary art in Nigeria by providing a platform for artists to expand their practice and experiment with new forms and ideas.”

Details of the residency include, offer of a live/work studio, art materials and logistical support for the creation of a new artistic project, for each artist, during their residency. Other benefits include an intensive public initiative throughout each residency, including an artist’s talk, workshop, open studios and roundtable discussion.

For each of the artists, the big one is an opportunity to share the proceeds of the residency with the public in art exhibition to be organised by the Foundation. The exhibition is expected to hold at the end of the year.

Ahead of the residency proper, the first public event is Meet the Artists, holding on Saturday, April 23, at the Foundation house, off Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. Described as informal gathering, Meet the Artists, “will allow the public to learn about the residents’ artistic practice and plans for their project during the residency.”

Excerpts from Doherty’s biography shows that he was born in 1991. He is a painter whose work explores the language of spatial geometry, with a focus on the depiction of the self and the human form.

Binding together a dynamic set of styles and motifs, Doherty creates abstracted figures that give expression to emotional, cultural and scientific energies. A graduate of the University of Virginia, Doherty has held recent solo exhibitions at Red Door Gallery and Nike Art Gallery in Lagos.

Onadipe was born in 1982. He is a sculptor, who engages experimental processes that involve the manipulation of tactile materials. His recent work incorporates materials such as plastic bags, metal, wood, jute bags and glass, using a process of twisting and melting to create amorphous shapes that play with sculptural balance.A graduate of Fine Art from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Onadipe has held two solo exhibitions at Pan Atlantic University, Lagos.

Adebowale was also born in 1982. He is a mixed media artist, who utilises texts, pigments and found materials to explore issues of gender, sexuality and identity. Her work comments on topics spanning Nigeria’s dysfunctional political landscape and the impact of social media in contemporary society. A graduate of painting from Auchi Polytechnic, Adebowale has completed residencies at the Instituto de Arte E Cultura Yuroba in Brazil and Asiko Art School in Ghana.

Born in 1968, Atiku is a performance and multi-media artist, who examines political concerns for human rights and justice. Through drawing, installation, sculpture, photography, video and performance art, he comments on the psychological and emotional effects of traumatic events including violence, war, poverty, corruption and climate change. A graduate of University of Lagos and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Atiku was the recipient of the prestigious Prince Claus Award in 2015.

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