The Jhalak Art Residency
In early 2018, the best-selling novelist Dorothy Koomson reached out to the prize team with the idea of sponsoring the very first Jhalak Prize trophy. She offered not only to pay for that inaugural trophy but also to find an artist of colour in the UK to create a unique work of art.
That first trophy was designed by the ceramic artist Chris Bramble who drew on the decolonising ethos of the prize and created a powerful defiant figure who ‘stood on our books the colonisers burnt and held up the stories we continue to create.’
From that first sculpture – and conversations with Chris and other artists of colour in the UK – was born the idea of the Jhalak Art Residency, an annual art commission to create a unique work that addresses the ethos, principles and goals of the Jhalak Prize and serves as the trophy for the year.
The aim, as with the Jhalak Prize, is to shine a light on artists of colour in contemporary Britain, to recognise their creative output and celebrate their works.
The 2019 trophy was created by artist, activist and writer, Tashmia Owen, who worked in resin to create a piece she titled ‘The Library’ in resin. Battling a life-threatening illness, Owen worked on the sculpture in her kitchen, creating a piece that embodies the creativity, talent, passion and struggle required for creation.
The Jhalak Art Residency will continue to reach out to artists of colour in Britain to commission unique works in a range of styles and media.
The next Jhalak Art Resident will be announced in January 2020.
We invite interested artists and potential sponsors to contact us.
Tashmia Owen is a visual artist, writer, activist and scriptwriter. Owen studied at Central St. Martins and works in various mediums to explore life as a woman of colour in contemporary Britain. She writes on a host of issues and her work has appeared at sisterhood.com, Women’s Republic, Media Diversified, gal-dem and more. She can be found at www.dancinginshadows.com but is more often on twitter: @dancinginshado
Chris Bramble studied Art and Design at Glasgow School of Art and spent ten years working in the city. In 1985 he took two years out to go and work in Zimbabwe as the Exhibitions Officer at the National Gallery in Harare. On moving to London in 1989 he set up a studio at Kingsgate Workshops in Kilburn.
Chris creates hand-crafted pots and ceramic sculptures that bring together his interest in the European sculptural tradition and the love of African craftsmanship, shape and form. Sculpted faces and torsos emerge from the wheel-thrown vessels and shapes. Each of his pieces is a meditation, and a spiritual and emotional activity that is shared with everyone.
Chris runs workshops in schools across London, teaches in colleges and has regular classes at his workshop.