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Art Connects Us: Meet Yemi Awosile

Yemi Awosile, ‘Orishirishi’ (2017), installation view, Stanley Picker Gallery at Kingston University London © ELLIE LAYCOCK

© ELLIE LAYCOCK

Yemi Awosile, ‘Orishirishi’ (2017), installation view, Stanley Picker Gallery at Kingston University London
Yemi Awosile, ‘Orishirishi’ (2017), installation view, Stanley Picker Gallery at Kingston University London © ELLIE LAYCOCK

© ELLIE LAYCOCK

Yemi Awosile, ‘Orishirishi’ (2017), installation view, Stanley Picker Gallery at Kingston University London
Yemi Awosile, ‘Orishirishi’ (2017), installation view, Stanley Picker Gallery at Kingston University London © ELLIE LAYCOCK

© ELLIE LAYCOCK

Yemi Awosile, ‘Orishirishi’ (2017), installation view, Stanley Picker Gallery at Kingston University London
Yemi Awosile, ‘Orishirishi’ (2017), installation view, Stanley Picker Gallery at Kingston University London © ELLIE LAYCOCK

© ELLIE LAYCOCK

Yemi Awosile, ‘Orishirishi’ (2017), installation view, Stanley Picker Gallery at Kingston University London
 © AKEMI KUROSAKA

© AKEMI KUROSAKA

8 February 2018
by Yemi Awosile

The Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University is one of the 6 recipients of the British Council Art Connects Us research grant. Yemi Awosile (former Design Fellow recipient) will be leading on this research project in West Africa (Senegal). Read more about her work and ambitions with this research opportunity 

Please tell us about you and your work

I am a Textile Designer and a recent Fellow at the Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University, London (2015). As part of my working practice I re-purpose everyday materials to create fabrics which evoke a sense of place. My aim is to examine relationships between people and materials by experimenting with manufacturing processes and raw materials. For me ‘cloth’ acts as an important catalyst to enable conversations about collective narratives and identity, especially as in todays manufactured world it is less common to look at a piece of cloth and identify its geographical origin. The broader scope of my practice bridges design and visual arts through social interventions. Recent projects include collaborations with the De La Warr Pavilion & Thornwood Care Home, Mosaic Community Trust & The Showroom, Tent Rotterdam, Tate Gallery, Contemporary And (C&) magazine, South Bank Centre (Africa Utopia 2014) Design Museum, ICA, Crafts Council; and Victoria and Albert Museum. Public facing activities and workshops are an important part of my practice as it facilitates research and dissemination through collaborative partnerships. I use these encounters to develop my practice and I often look back to these experiences for insight and inspiration. I have a keen interest in learning about the different approaches to arts education around the world. I trained as a Textile Designer at the Royal College of Art and Chelsea College of Art, and I was an Artist Associate in the founding year of Open School East (2013). I am currently a Textile Tutor at Loughborough University and Artist-in-Residence on the Tate Britain and Tate Modern Schools and Education programme (2017-18).

Why did you apply for Arts Connects Us?

This opportunity was granted and supported by the Stanley Picker Gallery to conduct field research in West Africa. The gallery has a strong focus on supporting international practitioners who work at the intersection of contemporary art and design. This research trip builds on the research I started at the Stanley Picker Gallery as part of my 2015 fellowship. I am interested in developing new relations across continents with other creative practitioners in Africa.

Where are you going and what are you researching?

I am planning to visit Senegalese organisations doing outstanding work with international artists, such as Raw Material Company in Dakar as well as practicing designers based in the region. 

What are you looking forward to most about your trip?

I look forward to this trip as a learning experience; interacting with the local context and meeting artists and designers to create new connections. I also hope this experience will give a new perspective on my work and highlight the different ways that I can collaborate with other artists and designers whose work share similar themes.

Art Connects Us is the British Council strategy that supports our vision to develop stronger creative sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa that are better connected to the UK. We are aiming to achieve this hrough commissioning research, new work and programmes that will enable the UK to connect with young Africans creatives. Find out more about  Art Connects Us research grant opportunity here