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Artist Biography

Enam Gbewonyo (b. 1980, London) is a British Ghanaian artist and curator who lives and works in London. She is also the founder of the Black British Female Artist (BBFA) Collective – a platform that supports Black women artists. Gbewonyo studied BA European Textile Design at Bradford School of Art and Design and began her career as a knitwear designer in New York. Following six years in the industry, redundancy prompted her return to the UK and subsequent career change.

Her practice investigates identity, womanhood, and humanity through the mediums of textiles and performance. Gbewonyo’s work also advocates the healing benefits of craft. She is represented by the London gallery, TAFETA and presented her first solo exhibition there in July 2021. Gbewonyo’s recent accolades include; Dentons Art Prize 2021/22 winner, New Art Exchange Future Exhibition Prize winner (2022), Black Rock Senegal Artist in Residence 2022-23 selection, , and the Janome Fine Art Textile Award 2021 shortlists.

In September 2021, Gbewonyo was also selected for Arts&Heritage’s Meeting Point commission, responding to the heritage site God’s House Tower. The yearlong project culminated in her solo presentation Gardez L’Eau which included an exhibition, live performance and unveiling the eponymously titled new performance film.

Recent group exhibitions include; Transforming LegaciesBlack Cultural Archives, London, UK (2022-23); What Lies Beneath: Women, Power, Politics, New Hall Art Collection, Murray Edwards College, Cambridge University, UK (2022); Temporary Atlas: Cartographies of the Self in Today’s Art, Fondazione Imago Mundi, Gallerie delle Prigoni, Treviso, Italy and MOSTYN, Llandudno, Wales, UK(2022); RA Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK (2021); Memoria, Frac Nouvelle-Aquitaine MÉCA, Bordeaux, France (2021) and MuCAT, Abidjan, Ivory Coast (2022); Antisocial Isolation, presented by Delphian Gallery at Saatchi Gallery, London, UK (2020); GOSSAMER, Carl Freedman Gallery, Margate, UK (2019).

Select performances include; the Arts&Heritage commissioned performance, Under the Skin of a Guild: Wake of Lost Souls, performed in collaboration with Liz Gre at London Guildhall, UK (2022), We Invoke the Black. To Rest, an activation of the Lynette Yiadom-Boakye exhibition in collaboration with sound artist Liz Gre, Tate Britain, London, UK (2020); 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); and agbegbɔgbɔ, an activation of the Senga Nengudi exhibition at Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, UK (2019) in partnership with International Curators Forum (ICF).

Her debut performance film, Nude Me/Under the Skin: A Resurrection of Black Women’s Visibility, premiered on Artsy’s Instagram and has since been selected for Portland Dance Film Festival, Aesthetica Short Film Festival (2021), Alchemy Film Festival and AVIFF Cannes (2022).

Gbewonyo’s curatorial work is dedicated to highlighting artists from Africa and its diaspora. Exhibitions include; Hapticity: A Theory of Touch and Identity, co-curated with Marcelle Joseph, Lychee One, UK (2020); Crossroads, delivered for Black Shade Projects, Ozwald Boateng store, London, UK (2019); DISPERSED, cross-cultural exchange project/exhibition for BBFA funded by Arts Council England, Nubuke Foundation, Accra, Ghana (2017); No Room for Fear, co-curated with SMO Contemporary, presented by Hogan Lovells LL in partnership with the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Hogan Lovells, London, UK, (2019); BBFA projects for TEDxEuston, The Mermaid, London, UK (2015); The African and African-Caribbean Design Diaspora Festival, co-curated with Abi Wright, Bargehouse OXO Tower, London, UK (2015).

Recent press coverage includes; Guardian Saturday, Roundtable Journal, Le Courrier D’Atlas, Beaux Arts and Harper’s Bazaar UK.

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