Kobi Onyame Versus the Artist
Artists: Bumi Thomas (England), Hakeem Adam (Ghana), Selorm Jay (Ghana), Ashanti Harris (Scotland), Ayo Akinwande (Nigeria), Sulaïman Majali (Scotland).
Exhibition open: 3 March – 1 April 2018, Thurs - Sun 12 - 5pm
Live Performances: 28 March 2018, 6pm - 9pm new performance work by Ashanti Harris: Kobi Onyame Versus Ashanti Harris
Podcast series: Episode 1 Kobi Onyame Versus M.anifest and Sulaïman Majali | Episode 2 Kobi Onyame Versus Ashanti Harris
Address: The Gallow Gate at Many Studios, 3 Ross Street, Barras, Glasgow, G1 5AR.
In November 2017, Glasgow based, Ghanaian musician, Kobi Onyame, approached The Gallow Gate to develop a project that responded to his new album, Gold. Gold is Onyame's third ablum and was released in September 2017 following a staggered, online reveal where the artist unveiled the album track by track over six months. This album draws from Onyame's Ghanaian heritage, influenced by highlife music which he would hear his mum and dad play in his childhood.
Following an open call for creative practitioners, we selected six artists who responded to 1-2 tracks from Onyame's album. The artists are Ashanti Harris (Scotland), Ayo Akinwande (Nigeria), Bumi Thomas (England), Hakeem Adam (Ghana), Sulaïman Majali (Scotland), Selorm Jay (Ghana). Over the last two months, the artists have created new work that responds to the themes; making process; narratives of the tracks from the album, through video, photography, writing, performance.
This project explores the process of making music and the subsequent interconnectivity between art forms. The album presents a complex collection of reflections that consider globalisation, hope, identity, privilege, and post-colonialism. Onyame was interested in exploring ways in which the songs could be unpacked and distorted by handing them over to another artist, simultaneously exploring where music overlaps with literature, literature overlaps with dance and beyond through a dialogue that not only uses the album as a point of departure for discussion, but also the artists’ own identities and the ways in which collaboration can bolster, challenge and inspire one another.
UK-based, Ghanaian artist, Kobi Onyame's music has been creating music for over ten years, releasing his third album Gold in late 2017. His music is a melting pot of traditional hip-hop and Ghanaian rhythms such as highlife and hiplife, creating uplifting music that draws heavily on West African culture — both sonically and visually. Onyame is an award winning artist and has collaborated internationally with artists including M3nsa, Wanlov the Kubalor, whilst also supporting musical greats such as Kanye West, Nas, Wu Tang Clan and De La Soul. GOld is available to buy via http://www.kobionyame.com/
Hakeem Adam (Ghana)
Hakeem Adam is an artist in learning and instinctive creative exploring the power of narrative as a tool for deconstructing society through various mediums. He is also the founder and creative director of DANDANO, a Pan-African cultural platform for African film and music criticism. His prose and poetry have been featured in African literary magazines, Afreada, Brittle Paper and as part of an anthology of short stories by Flash Fiction Ghana. He recently completed a degree in Psychology and English at the University of Ghana, focusing on Creative Writing. His work is fixated on the fabrics of contemporary Ghanaian society and is exploring ways to unravel the threads that bind through storytelling.
hakeemadam.wordpress.com / africanfilmandmusicclassic.wordpress.com
www.twitter.com/mansah_hakeem / www.instagram.com/mansah_hakeem
Bumi Thomas (England)
Bumi Thomas is a dynamic contemporary Nigerian, acoustic Jazz-folk-soul singer and songwriter whose style is inspired by her multicultural heritage. Her music explores identity, displacement, sensuality, Love, spirituality, nostalgia, cross-culturism and Afro Futurism.
With a background in Fine Art Media & Visual Communication, her making practice represents the journey of a modern African creative in the Diaspora, encapsulating her evolution as a woman in the 21st century. The ethos of her creative and social policy is deeply rooted in transcending boundaries and the opportunities to drive positive change using art and music as the mechanism of empowerment by facilitating inter-cultural dialogue.
Bumi received the Womatt Best of British (BOB) Award for Best Solo Newcomer in 2011for pioneering achievements in the United Kingdom presenting African music and culture. She is an ambassador for FORWARD UK a charity set up to safeguard women’s rights. Her debut EP Feather Pearl was released in 2014. Bumi's more recent collaborations include work with Moroccan Photographer Hassan Hajjaj as part of the 'La Caravane' Exhibition currently on Display at Somerset House till 7th Jan 2018.
Sulaiman Majali (Scotland)
Sulaïman Majali (b. 1991; London) is a Glasgow based artist, writer and film-maker exhibiting internationally. Majali has been referenced in Tohu Magazine (Occupied Palestine) as an emerging thinker in the critique and investigation of materialising speculative futurities. Sulaïman Majali appeared as a notable figure in Dr Reynaldo Anderson’s keynote lecture ‘Dark Speculative Futurity and the Rise of Neo-Nationalism/Afrofuturism, Arabfuturism and the Search for New Dimensions’ at the first conference on futurity in “the region” and continues to collaboratively establish new thought on the diasporic within Europe and the Global North. An examination of the object both through the lens and space extends to a play between relationships, questionings and tensions of object, image and space as a way of thinking on and around diasporic space, the diasporan and the diasporic.
The work considers its context as an age of crises, collapse and multiplicities, in which a poetics of the strange(r) form an interrogation of our relationships with the political. Majali is one part of research platform and collaborative practice ‘bokra ya hbb’ and the ‘Forum for Quantum Diasporics’; - ‘a cache and archive and self-assembling part of a dispersed virtual research apparatus’ with Sharif El-Sabbagh. Current research is focused on strategies for disrupting the temporal logics of the colonial and the role of quantum diasporics in the remembering of collective futurities. Past exhibitions include ‘(towards a possible manifesto)’, Kunsthalle Exnergasse Vienna, ‘as if we were strangers; that strangeness was ours’, CCA Glasgow; Wysing Arts Centre, Glasgow International 2016, and the 8th Cairo Video Arts Festival.
Ayo Akinwande (Nigeria)
Ayo Akinwande is a trained architect, photographer and multimedia artist whose growing practice involves experimentation with photography, installation, performance, video and sound in exploring the concepts of identity, perception, duality and the multi-faceted layers of human reality. His most recent work, a site-specific installation piece with sculptures and sound titled “Deaf vs. Dumb” takes its point of entry from the unending “Fight against Corruption” campaign by the Nigerian government.
Akinwande co-curated the 1st Lagos Biennial of Contemporary Arts and was also one of the participating artists at the show which was held at the Nigerian Railway Museum. He was selected for the 2nd Changjiang International Photography and Video Biennial and was also part of the “Chinafrika-under construction” exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Arts, Leipzig. His works have been exhibited in solo and group shows across Africa and beyond.
He was born in Lagos, Nigeria and he is an almnus of the Center for Contemporary Arts, Lagos International Art School (ASIKO) and was a participant at the Art Action Academy workshop organized by the Centre for Artistic Activism after which he was conferred with the title “Creative Artist” by the academy.
Selorm Jay (Ghana)
Selorm Jay is a freelance, self-taught photographer, filmmaker and producer based in Accra, Ghana. He is naturally drawn to photography and fueled to create photos and films that respond to his environment and the beauty in it.
As a response to a vibrant creative sector in his home-city, Selorm Jay created a hip hop platform called yoyo tinz. It is aimed at documenting, archiving and promoting creative culture in Ghana. Jay also runs a photography and video business called Fullish art, where he expresses himself through challenges, mistakes, love and fun, working with clients locally and internationally, including UNICEF Ghana, Aljazeera, Sam Sam Magazine (NL), Accra Dot Alt (Ghana), Alliance Française Accra.
Ashanti Harris (Scotland)
Ashanti Harris is an artist, teacher and community activist, working with dance, performance and installation. Harris' work focuses on themes of mobilities - the movement of people, ideas and things as well as the broader social implications of these movements, specifically in relation to the diaspora of West Africa and The Caribbean.
Harris' current research is concerned with the body as a repository of incorporated histories which are communicated through dance and movement practices. As part of her creative practice, she also works collaboratively as part of the collective Glasgow Open Dance School (G.O.D.S) – facilitating movement workshops, research groups and collaborative performances; and as co-lead artist for Project X – a creative education programme, platforming the dances of the African diaspora.
This exhibition is supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland and Glasgow Connected Arts Network.