ENAM GBEWONYO

WORKS | STORY



To buy the works of, commission, work with or feature Enam Gbewonyo - contact us here: enam.gbewonyo@mtart.agency

Enam Gbewonyo portrait

Enam’s enchantment with textile making begun as a little girl with a visit to a small weaving community somewhere in her ancestral home of Eweland, Ghana. Weaving is intrinsic to the Ewe tribe’s way of life; forming part of their story telling, their ceremony and celebration. Its processes are heralded as meditative and healing and its origins cosmic - bedded in the myth that spiders taught the Ewe’s to weave. A tale she learnt in later years on artistic pilgrimage, a lightbulb moment which justified her long held obsession with the spider’s web. An obsession which has unveiled itself in numerous works, including her final year BA Textile Design body of work.

Enam’s journey is an ever-spinning web of self-discovery. Her latest chapter, the revelation of her talent for performance. A skill uncovered through current body of work, Nude me/ Under the Skin. Nude Me investigates hosiery, particularly how this seemingly simple garment, a staple of western women’s wardrobe has for the black woman been another mode of marginalisation, ostracisation and castration. Finding she needed another vehicle to tell the stories and personal epiphanies she was unearthing, performance became fundamental. Each Nude Me performance activates Enam’s artwork through movement and spoken word. These activations create powerful live spaces for healing both for the artist and her audience.

It is these personal experiences of craft’s healing power that fuels her advocacy. With her work, Enam seeks to deliver our collective consciousness to a positive place of awareness by creating live spaces of healing. Particularly addressing our global violent history, which prohibits us as a humanity from moving forward in a positive light. By using craft as her portal she pushes us to face the truth of our dark history and the emotions it brings forth, learn acceptance and heal. Through this process she brings us to a point of spiritual awareness both of self and humanity.

CV

 

CURRICULUM VITAE

 

EDUCATION

1998 - 2001 || BA Honours Textile Design, Bradford College of Art & Design, Bradford

  

EXHIBITIONS – Group Shows (selected)

2019 || Diaspora Exhibition, New Ashgate Gallery, Surrey                               

2019 - 2020 || A Nice Cup of Tea? (collaborative commission), Ashmolean Museum, Oxford               

2018 || BBFA Presents, TAFETA Gallery, London                                                                               

2018 || The Gallery of Small Things (BBFA), Centre Culturel Douta Seck, Dakar

2018 || WE FACE FORWARD! A Celebration of Modern & Contemporary Ghanaian Art, Bonhams, London

2017 || The Gallery of Small Things: at ACDF (BBFA), Federal Palace, Lagos, Nigeria                            

2017 || Sankofa (incl. panellist) with Black British Art (BBA), Latham and Watkins LLP, London

2017 || DISPERSED: cross cultural exchange exhibition (BBFA), Nubuke Foundation, Accra, Ghana 

2017 || A Seat at the Table (BBFA), 198 Gallery, London         

2016 || Untitled (incl. panellist) with Black British Art (BBA), Latham and Watkins LLP, London

2016 || Artist Project Contemporary Art Fair, Better Living Centre, Toronto, Canada                   

2016 || African Routes Exhibition, Lacey Contemporary Gallery, London                                   

2015 || AACDD Festival 2015 (BBFA), Bargehouse, OXO Tower, London                                 

2015 || TEDxEuston ‘Vision to Reality’ Conference, The Mermaid Conference Centre, London              

2014 || AACDD Festival, Bargehouse, OXO Tower, London                                         

2013 || Tribal Africa Exhibition, Sulger-Buel Lovell Gallery, London                                                       

2012 || Art Takes Times Square Billboard Premiere, Broadway, Times Square, New York                     

2011 || WELOVELIKE Exhibition, Adam Street Private Members Club, London                                     

2010 || Sugar and Spice Le Premier, Los Angeles, California                                                               

 

PERFORMANCES

2019 || Nude Me/ Under the Skin: The Awakening of Black Women’s Visibility one Pantyhose at a time, Part II - Christie’s Lates: Women in the Arts event, Christie’s, London

2019 || Nude Me/ Under the Skin: The Awakening of Black Women’s Visibility one Pantyhose at a time, Private performance for The Future of African Art: An Evening with the Smithsonian, Hogan Lovells, London

2019 || Nude Me/ Under the Skin: The Awakening of Black Women’s Visibility one Pantyhose at a time, The Palace of Ritual, Palazzo Donà, Venice Biennale, Italy

2019 || agbegbɔgbɔ: an activation of Senga Nengudi’s, Sandmining - Henry Moore Institute, Leeds     

2018 || Nude Me/ Under the Skin: Reclaiming Back Women’s Visibility one Pantyhose at a time, Costume Institute of the African Diaspora, London College of Fashion, London

 

CURATION

2017 || DISPERSED Exhibition: BBFA Collective Cross Cultural Exchange, Ghana                               

2016 - 2018 || International Curators Forum (ICF) – Beyond the Frame Development Programme, London

2015 || TEDxEuston ‘Vision to Reality’ Conference, The Mermaid Conference Centre, London  

2015 ||  AACDD Festival 2015 (Co-Curator), Bargehouse, OXO Tower, London 

2011 || WELOVELIKE Exhibition, Adam Street Private Members Club, London             

 

TALKS/ EDUCATIONAL WORKSHOPS (selected)

2019 ||  WISH Africa Expo, ‘Investing in African Art’ panel, Kensington Olympia, London

2019 || Historias Inmersas: A Storytelling Workshop, Skype Lecture, Columbia, South America              

2018 || Visiting Artist Talk - School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Leeds 

2018 || Decorating Dissidence: MAKING, PLACE & PROTEST: SYMPOSIUM 2018, Queen Mary University of London

2018 || Critical Practice as Play, 3-day Teacher’s Course (Performance & Workshop), Tate Britain, London

2018 || The Hate U Give Movie Workshop (BBFA in partnership with TNBFC), Fazeley Studios, Birmingham

2018 || HER STORIES presents Women for Women Collecting Art Panel, Sketch, London                   

2018 || Voices in Design: Nigerian Women’s Perspective on Postpartum Haemorrhage Research, Delivered print design workshop, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London

2018 || Widening Participation Careers Talk , UAL London College of Fashion, London             

2018 || Calling All Creators Conference: delivered talk titled, ‘BBFA Collective as my Dynamic Duo: Art for Change’, Adidas America, USA       

2018 || Black Women’s Networking Evening - Oxford African and Caribbean Society, Oxford University 

2017 || Caribbean In/Securities and Creativity: Diasporic Dialogues: BBFA Collective panel discussion titled “The Value of Black British Female Artists in Western Art’, British Library, London

2017 || Widening Participation Careers Talk, UAL London College of Fashion, London              

2017 || Kuenyehia Art Prize Development Session: Delivered BBFA branded marketing session on ‘The Artist as a Brand’, ANO Gallery, Ghana

 

WRITING

2018 || Interview – Curator Nontobeko Ntombela gives women artists a voice with ICTAF’s SOLO!, Woman Paper Visa Journal

2017 || Venice Biennale review article - Viva Arte Viva the unbeknownst celebration of the black female, Something We Africans Got, ISSUE 2

 

AWARDS AND COMMENDATIONS

1999 || Worshipful Company of Woolmen Award for Outstanding Achievement  

 

PRESS

2019 || NATAAL, Venice Biennale 2019

2019 || ALT Africa, SheCAN Interview

2019 || BBC Radio London, Sunny and Shay Show

2019 || Lowercase, White Voices, Black Art: the Search for Black Curators

2018 || BRICKS, Brown Girls in the Art World

2018 || Demur Magazine Interview, March Issue, Pgs 12-13

2018 || Afronoire Interview

2017 || Blueprint Africa Interview

2017 || Shine Out Loud Show Podcast Interview with Lillian Ogbonoh

2016 || Art Discussion Interview with Adelaide Damoah

2016 || Reuters TV, TRT Showcase Interview

Enam Gbewonyo portrait