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The Contemporary Art Space Project Year 2

We are very excited to announce the newly appointed artists for Year 2 of the Contemporary Art Space project 2020 – 2021, a partnership with RSA Academies. Each artist will work closely with a collective of students in three schools in the West Midlands.

Haseebah Ali

Haseebah Ali is an artist and print maker based in Birmingham. Her work centres around cultural themes and occasionally political circumstances. Her artistic aim is to create work that educates: both herself and the audience that views and/or engages with it. Having having obtained a BA in illustration, Haseebah has the background of both digital and traditional mediums. Since graduating Haseebah has embarked on many opportunities including facilitating art workshops, collaborating with other creatives, and more recently exhibiting her work in a solo exhibition in Birmingham. Future goals include exhibiting work on an international scale and helping educate and support young people in their creative journey.


De’Anne Crooks

As an artist-educator, much of De’Anne’s practice considers the collaborative and collective experiences of others. Considering their practice as a form of activism rather than a teacher of art, De’Anne’s relationship with pedagogy and contemporary art has cultivated a strong sense of play with political, moral and emotional themes. During her fellowship with the Black Hole Club and within her recent commissions for the Film and Video Umbrella, Vivid Projects and ReFramed network, De’Anne has been testing the praxis of contemporary art adjacent to and in harmony with Blackness. Using video, performative and fine art, De’Anne continues to address cultural pedagogy with a focus on the oracy of marginalised persons.

With an unapologetic and deliberate approach to both education and art, De’Anne continues to challenge the authenticity and inclusivity of her own artistic processes and the culture within British institutions. Now working with Iniva for The Contemporary Art Space Project, De’Anne intends on unearthing the role of identity politics within schools, prioritising the voices of marginalised young people. De’Anne has a commitment to creating an energised learning environment, employing this to explore what it means to take up space, cement a sense of belonging and use artistic tools to enable pivotal conversations.



Toni Lewis 

Toni is an artist and producer based in Birmingham and works predominantly in Live Art. Toni makes work that explores the nuances of the human experience as it relates to race, culture and identity. 

“I am an interdisciplinary artist & producer; I was born in and live in Birmingham. My work is autobiographical & socially conscious; rooted in my lived experience as working class/2nd generation migrant/neurodivergent/fat/queer/woman of colour. As such, the work I make examines ‘race’ & culture, intersectional feminism, identity and the body politic & mental health. Often transgressive, subversive, humorous & quietly activist, I ‘make’ work through an afrofuturist lens for the absolute liberation and celebration of people of colour and their histories; to create for myself & others permission & frameworks in which belonging, in our bodies, in ANY context is possible. 

I make work as resistance & for survival. When I start making any piece of work, it is always the content that dictates the form. Inspiration sparks, the initial idea comes… and with it, often, a gut instinct or visualisation of the medium through which that ‘story’ should be told. I envisage the ‘end result’ and work towards it.” 

Examples of work: 

– ‘CACHE Converters’ with artist Demi Nandhra, a public art project re-patronising objects donated by communities as a means to address disposable culture/regeneration part of Alternative Village Fete 

– ‘The White Man Project’ with the Live Art Development Agency: a 3-day retreat on race relations entitled ‘A Seat at the Table’ (see below) – In commissioned R&D: ‘The Van Project’ will explore ideas of visibility and blackness within outdoor contexts (travel, outdoor sports etc) global citizenship and social mobility In a post-Brexit landscape. This project more locally focused also speaks about declining manufacturing industries in the West Midlands/wider UK and the relationship between this type of manual labour and working-class black Britons. 

Art Therapists for Year 2

Joining the team to deliver an initial CPD workshop that explores art and art therapy in combination will be artist and art therapist Farah Bajull. Farah has a long history with Iniva, with the exhibitions Untying the Knot and Veil. Farah will work closely with the artists to create connections and build understandings around working with art therapy and contemporary art practice.


Josephine Reichert continues as curator for Year 2 of the project.

Find out more about the CAS project here.

The artworks from year 1, by artists Nilupa Yasmin, Rudy Loewe and Laurie Ramsell will continue to engage new students and school communities through the launch of CAS Touring. To find out more about how your school can take part in hosting these commissioned artworks get in touch.