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Meet the ‘Brits’ at ART X Lagos: Ayesha Feisal – Joy Labinjo – Adelaide Damoah – Enam Gbewonyo

Meet the ‘Brits’ at ART X Lagos: Ayesha Feisal – Joy Labinjo – Adelaide Damoah – Enam Gbewonyo

ART X Lagos is West Africa’s premier international art fair, designed to showcase the best and most innovative contemporary and modern art from the African continent and its Diaspora. More info below.

Ayesha Feisal (main image) is a UK-based visual artist of Sierra Leonean descent who creates semi-abstract paintings that use the human form as a means to explore psychological states. Her work is an ongoing emotive response to events and situations, and is influenced and informed by her interest in consciousness, universal law, balance and truth. Feisal derives stylistic inspiration from artists of the expressionist and futurist movements, particularly regarding the manner in which they depicted meaning, experience, movement and time. Where expressionists used distortion and exaggeration for heightened emotional effect, Feisal employs unnatural colours, portraying characters who move beyond the impact of circumstance, environment and social condition. Her recent work explores personal transition and the philosophy of inner transformation.

Recent group shows include BBFA Presents, TAFETA, London, 2018; Dakar Biennale, OFF Dak’Art, Douta Seck Cultural Centre, Dakar, 2018; and Marrakech Off the Tracks! 1:54 Contemporary Art Fair, Morocco, 2018.


Joy Labinjo’s – “depicts scenes of contemporary family life

Joy Labinjo’s paintings draw on her British-Nigerian heritage and question our idea of belonging and notion of identity. She invites us to rethink these concepts as more fluid constructions premised on subjectivities past and present, personal and collective. Taking inspiration from family photographs, Labinjo transcribes her personal imagery into a bright and vibrant composition of colour and patterns. Her recent large-scale paintings depict intimate scenes of contemporary family life: family members reclining on sofas and chatting after a family gathering, a child and his grandmother posing for a snapshot, a bride and groom’s stolen moments before the official wedding portrait.

Labinjo was awarded the Woon Art Prize in 2017. Recent and forthcoming exhibitions include Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK (2019); Bloc Projects, Sheffield, UK (2019); Tiwani Contemporary, London, UK, (2018); Gallery North, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK (2018); Cafe Gallery Projects, London, UK (2018); Bonington Gallery, Nottingham, UK (2018).


Adelaide Damoah is a painter and performance artist of Ghanaian descent who often uses her body as the starting point for her work. Recurring themes in her creations include gendered subjectivity, sexuality, colonialism and spirituality. Damoah initially studied applied biology at Kingston University, Surrey, graduating with honours in 1999. But her career in the pharmaceutical industry was cut short following a diagnosis of endometriosis. While convalescing, she turned her attention to art. Of her work, Damoah says: “I am interested in generating a spontaneous communi(cati)on between myself and an audience using a performance in which I function as a channel by which a recorded history of what was previously known but became unknown in the past becomes uncannily known again in the present, only to become unknown again at the end of the performance.”

Her recent solo exhibitions and performances include Genesis, London (2018) and #MYFACE, Cannes Lions Festival (2019)

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Enam Gbewonyo 

Enam Gbewonyo  is a textile and performance artist Gbewonyo’s practice investigates identity, womanhood and humanity while also advocating crafting traditions. Her recent performances include Christie’s Lates ‘Women in the Arts’ event and The Palace of Ritual programme for the opening week of the Venice Biennale.

For ART X Lagos, Enam is exhibiting pieces from her current series, Nude me/Under the Skin, which investigates hosiery, particularly with respect to how this simple garment, a staple of western women’s wardrobe, has for the black woman been another means of marginalisation, ostracization and castration. The works manifest their engagement by repurposing tights into new and interesting forms. Some of the works are then activated through performance, becoming a fundamental channel of translation for the works’ layered stories and encouraging the creation of live spaces for healing.

ART X Lagos
runs from 1st November to Sunday 3rd November 2019, it was launched in 2016 and has since become a cornerstone of the Lagos art calendar, drawing local patrons and a host of international collectors, curators, and critics annually. Since ART X Lagos has welcomed over 22,000 visitors to see the works of Africa’s leading established and emerging artists, including representatives of institutions such as the Tate Modern, Zeitz MOCAA, the National Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian, the Art Institute of Chicago and Centre Pompidou. These attendees and the satellite exhibitions that have emerged in response to the fair, are undoubtedly indicators of Lagos’ position as a fast-emerging and exciting cultural hub.

Where:  The Federal Palace in Victoria Island, Lagos

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