Saturday 30 November 2013

At a national art competition, ‘non-artists’ call the shots

With the emergence of a First Prize winner, last night, at the grand finale of African Artists Foundation (AAF)-organised National Art Competition, in Lagos, it appears that artists in Nigeria may have been losing grip on the future of art in the country.

First Prize Winner, I-DentitiTrees by Sesu Tilley-Gyado

This much was echoed in the controversial First Prize I-DentitiTrees by Sesu Tilley-Gyado. Few minutes before the announcement of the three winners, the leader of the jury, Prof El Anatsui, in his speech disclosed that the winner was arrived at through “a democratic process”. The votes of the three artists in the jury, he stated, were “overwhelmed” by that of “the non-artists”.  

Tagged, IDENTITY: Who Do You Think You Are?, the competition has First Place, Tilley-Gyado gets N2 million naira; First Runners up, a collaboration of Halima Abubaker and Zemaye Okediji, N1m Naira for Outstanding Concept; and Victoria Udondian’s Arti-tude, N1m for Outstanding Production.

Other members of the jury were Bisi Silva, Oliver Enwonwu, Francois Sastourne, Maki Osakwe, Yasue Maetake, Caline Chagoury, Yvonne Ike, Michelle Okocha and Prof Peju Layiwola.
(Full report soon).

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