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KLA ART ’24 Festival Artist-in-Residence Seyi Adelekun

01 May-31 Jul 2024

iniva and 32° East are excited to announce that artist Seyi Adelekun has been selected as the KLA ART ’24 Artist-in-Residence. This residency is a partnership opportunity through British Council’s Biennials Connect for an artist based in the UK to take part in KLA ART ’24 Festival in Kampala, Uganda.

KLA ART, Kampala Contemporary Art Festival, is a non-commercial venture with an emphasis on the commission of new works of an experimental nature. Through an extensive professional development programme for artists and curators, KLA ART is currently focusing on strengthening the visual art scene within Uganda and East Africa. The theme for KLA ART ’24, Care Instructions, invites artists and the public to look at cultural heritage through the lens of care.

Selected through a popular open call, Seyi’s project aims to create an abstract sculptural installation of The Tree of Life, symbolizing spiritual wisdom rooted in nature. It will highlight the importance of African traditional herbal medicine in caring for the spirit, mind, and body, fostering a deep connection with plant spirits and reverence for the land.

Seyi will be in residence at 32° East art centre over a three-month period from May to July 2024, immersing themselves in local herbal knowledge to create a new work of art for KLA ART ’24 Festival in August 2024.

Teesa Bahana, Director at 32° East said, “We are very pleased to welcome Seyi to Kampala and our purpose-built art centre. Seyi’s project stood out because of its direct connection to the KLA ART ’24 theme ‘Care Instructions’. We are excited to see the ways making public art for Kampala will expand Seyi’s existing art/community practice while contributing timely work to the festival”.

Sepake Angiama, Artistic Director at iniva said, “We were excited in Seyi’s interest in embracing indigenous connections with the land and thinking through embodied knowledge as well as their interest in movement, ritual and craft. During Seyi’s residency the artist will explore local ecologies by gathering stories of medicinal purposes of plants. We are excited to see how this research through her residency will be manifest into sculptural installation as part of Care Instructions KLA ART ‘24 festival in Kampala this year”.

About Seyi Adelekun

Seyi Adelekun is a London-based multidisciplinary artist with Nigerian heritage. Their practice focuses on creating installations and performance art rooted in nature’s spiritual wisdom, with the aim to foster introspection and ecological awareness. Seyi’s workshops provide space for deep healing and connection, especially for BIPOC communities, centering embodied knowledge through movement, rituals, and craft to embrace ancestral connections with the environment.

Seyi’s work has shown at South London Gallery, London Festival of Architecture, Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail and London Design Festival. They are a G.A.S Foundation Fellow, a member of the Bloom Collective and have contributed to projects for Assemble Studio, Artangel and A New Direction.

About 32° East

32° East is an independent non-profit organisation, focused on the creation and exploration of contemporary art in Uganda. The multi-purpose resource centre is based in the capital city Kampala and includes studios, accommodation for artists in residence, a contemporary art library, computers & editing suites, meeting areas and outdoor workshop space.

The programme offers artists in residence and members one on one drop in sessions for critique and professional development, workshops for practical skills and our regular discussion series, Artachat, for social engagement.

About Biennials Connect Grants

Biennials Connect Grants are part of British Council Visual Arts’ Biennials Connect Programme which facilitates long-term, sustainable partnerships between curators and biennials based in the UK and across the globe. These grants directly benefit artists through biennial and festival partners by facilitating opportunities for travel, the production of new work, networking, skills building and showcasing. The programme promotes cross-cultural exchange and collaboration by providing opportunities for artists and biennials to connect, collaborate and build meaningful partnerships across the globe.

About British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide. We do this through our work in arts and culture, education and the English language. We work with people in over 200 countries and territories and are on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2022–23 we reached 600 million people.

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