Multi-dimensional visual artist, Chigozie Obi, has been revealed as the winner of the Access Bank 2021 Art X Prize.
For her victory, she went home with the grand prize of a N1.8m grant towards a solo presentation at ART X Lagos, a three-month residency at Gasworks, London plus mentorship and support.
Obi was announced at the official launch of the sixth edition of ART X Lagos, which was held on the 28th of September 2021.
Obi, whose experimental artworks are created through the layering of multiple materials was selected by a jury from five shortlisted finalists, which included: Chukwudi Onwumere, Mobolaji Ogunrosoye, Nyancho NwaNri, and Omoregie Osakpolor.
Prior to the announcement, the finalists had participated in the Finalists’ Forum, a two-day intensive program designed to support their creative practice and prepare them for their final presentations to the jury.
Her works consistently feature vibrant colours and figures to portray emotions and stories, and focuses on the representation of Black/African people in their diversity have been featured in several group exhibitions and auctions including ‘Real Life Is Fragile’; Thinkspace Projects, Los Angeles; MoCada Museum’s silent auction (2019) and Collective Renditions, African Artists Foundation, Lagos (2019).
Speaking at the event, the Group Head, Corporate Communications at Access Bank Plc, Amaechi Okobi, stated that the initiative has shown that “good can come out of Nigeria, and Africa,” reaffirming that Access Bank “would continue to support the Access Bank Art X prize and Art X Lagos.”
Addressing the finalists, Okobi declared, “You’re all winners; you are all incredibly talented, so be assured that whatever happens after today, your future is bright. Remember that you are all ambassadors of our great country. Wherever you go, wherever you find yourself, remember that people will be looking to you as storytellers, so tell stories about where you come from.”
The winner, Chigozie Obi, showing much gratitude for the platform and expressing her joy, stated that, “The residency is so amazing, particularly working with new materials. I am very excited about that and just connecting with people because my work is very much about human connection. I am excited about the reach; a lot of people are going to see my work. I am also excited to experiment in a new space.”
Themed “Forward Ever”, this year’s Art X Lagos edition speaks to the youth generation’s increased understanding of their role as engaged citizens, navigating their presence and trying to become active instigators in the creation of their futures.
Access Bank, Africa’s leading retail Bank, has shown great commitment to the Nigerian economy by playing a critical role in the art sector’s booming and flourishing status. In addition to supporting the Art X initiative, the Bank has continued to offer its continued support to act as a catalyst for the growth and extension of Nigerian art and culture.