The Guest Artists Space (G.A.S) Foundation was announced in 2019 shortly before the seismic global shifts in consciousness and the world around us that have dominated the last 12 months. These changes amplified the urgency and confirmed the need of the project during a time when contemporary creative practitioners are living the effects of funding limitations, a challenging financial landscape and physical barriers to collaboration.
It is therefore with great pleasure that we’re able to share with you the construction progress of the two buildings located in Lagos and Ijebu that will house the G.A.S. residencies. The ambition to create a space to ‘encourage critical and engaging practices in the fields of contemporary art, design, architecture, agriculture and ecology’ has been realised by the renowned international practice Elsie Owusu Architects in collaboration with Lagos based NS Design Consult. The striking modernist structure that will develop into the Lagos Guest Artist Space housing a gallery, studios and accommodation has transformed in a matter of months from a forest of steel reinforcements and concrete formwork to a fully poured concrete shell. Installation has now begun on key services including air conditioning and water with electrics and plastering to follow.
A visualisation of the Lagos Guest Artist Space by NS Design (L), A visualisation of the Ijebu Farm House by MOE+ Art Architecture (R).
Work on the Ijebu Farm House building located in a private lush 54-acre farm just two hours from Lagos is also progressing well. A contrast to the vibrant energy of Lagos this space will provide an opportunity for practitioners whose process requires quieter and more contemplative surroundings to blossom. With foundations laid work has begun forming the main walls, using bricks made on-site with earth from the farm. The farm itself on the other hand already employs 12 staff and the installation of ten greenhouses has allowed for the growing of fruit, vegetables and maize.
Shonibare speaks of his ambitions for the Ijebu space: ‘The point of all this is to help develop food security and sustainability in an area where unemployment is high and food supply is precarious. Bringing people to the farm, for arts events as well as residencies, should also provide a boost for the local economy.’
While we wait to update you on further exciting developments we wanted to leave you with this short build progress video of the Lagos Guest Artists Space building.