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2020 Residents: Africa Edition

Since its inception, Art Dubai’s Residents section has presented a vibrant proposition for the diverse group of artists who have been invited to the UAE from different geographies to conceive and construct work within a unique context to be unveiled for the first time during Art Dubai.

Residents returns in 2020 for its third iteration with a focus on the African continent and is curated by Johannesburg-based Kabelo Malatsie. A.R.M. Holding is the home of Residents and the programme is supported by Tashkeel. The programme invites six dynamic young artists — represented by galleries from Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe — to participate in a Dubai-based residency, encouraging them to explore and engage with the local art and culture scene.

Interested in ‘internal logic’ Kabelo’s approach will be to look at “why some people naturally work on the left, or why/if being left-handed means you have a natural disposition to seeing the world in relation to your left-handedness…how we pick out certain colours and experience colour, how our individual and collective experiences creates biases in how we see and experience the world.”


Gideon Appah, Untitled (Diptych), 2019, Gallery 1957

Gideon Appah (represented by Gallery 1957, Accra)

Gideon Appah is a Ghanian mixed media artist who draws from personal experiences of life in the capital of Accra. In recent work, Appah responds directly to his upbringing through collaged layers of prints, posters and photographs that are direct references to his familial history and personal relationships, creating a narrative to his personal family archive. Growing up in a large family, the works are reflective of a life characterised by strong emotional bonds, religious activities and folklore.

Wallen Mapondera, Tales from the Dumpsite, 2017, SMAC

Wallen Mapondera (represented by SMAC, Johannesburg / Stellenbosch)

Wallen Mapondera is a Zimbabwean artist known for work that explores social and societal relationships using livestock imagery. The artist received formal art training from Zimbabwe’s National Gallery School of Visual Arts and Design from 2005 to 2007 and is currently completing his masters degree in Fine Art from Rhodes University in Makhanda, South Africa. In 2015, he was the recipient of Zimbabwe’s prestigious National Arts Merit Award – in the Visual Arts Two-Dimensional Work category – given by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe in recognition of outstanding achievements in arts and culture.

Tizta Berhanu, Sweet, 2019, Addis Fine Art

Tizta Berhanu (represented by Addis Fine Art, Addis Ababa/London)

Tizta Berhanu developed her passion for painting and drawing at an early age. Born in Ethiopia, she has worked as a full-time studio artist since her graduation and is constantly experimenting and searching for new ways to find her voice. During her undergraduate degree, Berhanu became fascinated by notions of ‘love’ and began exploring all the facets of this emotion in her work. Inspired by human emotions, subjects in her work most commonly portray love, hate, and sadness.

Yadichinma Ukoha-Kalu, At Work, 2019, Arthouse – The Space

Yadichinma Ukoha-Kalu (represented by kó, Lagos)

Yadichinma Ukoha-Kalu is a Nigerian experimental artist, who utilises varied mediums including digital media, film, painting, photography and sculpture to produce conceptual and thematic works. Her process is in a constant state of flux, as the artist finds the theme of change to be a foundational aspect of her work.

Longinos Nagila, Untitled I (Fictional Memory) 2018, Circle Art Gallery

Longinos Nagila (represented by Circle Art Gallery, Nairobi)

Longinos Nagila is an experimental multimedia visual artist living and working in Nairobi, Kenya. Focusing primarily on video art and the exploration of digital imagery, Longinos’ work is influenced by a deep love of early cinema and black and white photography, which he blends with paint and transferred images on paper and canvas. Nagila’s practice investigates the process and implications of mass production, industrialization, and rapid urbanisation. In Nagila’s more recent work, he has been examining the relationship between shapes and surfaces.

Tonia Nneji, Night Series (2), 2019, Rele Gallery

Tonia Nneji (Rele Gallery, Lagos)

Tonia Nneji is a Nigerian visual artist, photographer, art blogger, and graffiti artist. Coming from a family of traditional carvers who carved totems and figurines used for traditional worship, Anthonia has always had a natural interest in the arts. A graduate of visual arts from the University of Lagos, some of her work addresses societal issues that lack general awareness, namely health issues that negatively impact women and children.

A.R.M. Holding is the home to 2020 Residents.

To learn more about Art Dubai’s Residents programme, click here.

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