AFFA 2021 Visual Arts Finalists Announced!

Ayo AkingbadeSonya Dyer, Tanoa Sasraku and Rosa-Johan Uddoh have been selected from a long list of nominated artists as finalists for the £10,000 Arts Foundation Futures Award in Visual Arts 2021, supported by The David Collins Foundation! The award celebrates emerging artists based on both their work to date, and their demonstrated potential.

This recipient of the 2021 Fellowship will be announced at the Arts Foundation Futures Awards on the 27th Jan, 2021 at an online evening of celebration from 7pm. The three runners-up will receive £1,000 awards towards their practice.

The judges for this years award were Editor of Frieze magazine Andrew Durbin, Turner Prize winner Lubaina Himid, and curator and writer Fatoş Üstek, who said:

“The pool of nominations provided a real insight to the contemporary practices of emerging artists in the UK today. We unanimously agreed on shortlisting four exciting artists for the awards. From documentary film making to installations, their practices span a wide breadth of interest, including voices that are charged by social concerns, personal narratives, historic alliances and humour. We hereby celebrate all of the artists for their ingenuity.”

The four artists selected this year are all women who engage with Black experiences and perspectives. Ayo Akingbade’s video interrogations of life in the shifting landscape of London oscillate between document and performance to enact lived experiences, while Tanoa Sasraku’s highly referential works examine the intersections of her identity as a young, mixed-race, gay woman raised in Plymouth, and the endeavors to draw these senses of self together as one in 21st century England. Rosa-Johan Uddoh uses humor to explore our obsessions with places, objects and celebrities, and their influence on our formations of self, while Sonya Dyer projects Black women of science and legend into a fictitious future in which she questions whose image it will be built in.

We are delighted to be including these four artists in our list of finalists, that include previous winners of our Visual Arts Awards Jamila Johnson-Small, Hannah Starkey, Thompson & Craighead, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and Simon Fujiwara.

The £10,000 Arts Foundation Futures Awards 2021 in Choral Composition, Materials Innovation, Environmental Writing and Theatre-Makers will be announced over the coming weeks.

Image above by Rosa-Johan Uddoh. Still from ‘Performing Whiteness 3 (Private Life Drama)’. Photo ELC & Rosa-Johan Uddoh