G.A.S. Welcomes Tilga Art Fund Resident, Katesi Kalange

G.A.S. Welcomes Tilga Art Fund Resident, Katesi Kalange

Jacqueline Katesi Kalange, a multidisciplinary artist based in Kampala has begun her 10-week residency at G.A.S. Lagos.  Her artistic practice encompasses visual art, traditional crafts, sculpture, performance, architecture, and research. She plans to use the period in Lagos to expand her current practice which focuses on upcycling single-use plastics and second-hand clothes to create diverse and often monumental sculptures. Community engagement is a cornerstone of her residency plans and she intends to foster collaborations with local communities through workshops and convenings. 


Katesi Kalange, Nature Invasion 1, Kla Art Festival 2021, Spearhotors House, Jinja Road.

What is the current focus of your creative practice?
My work draws from African indigenous wisdom, weaving together sculpture, architecture, research, installation and performance art.  In today's swiftly changing world, where modernity often overshadows traditional wisdom, our existence confronts unparalleled challenges. My work archives ancestral knowledge by interrogating the profound interconnectedness our predecessors shared with the environment. My creations invite contemplation on unlearning prevailing views that treat nature as mere exploitable resources and seek reverence for all life forms by echoing indigenous knowledge.


My practice aligns with Goal 7 of the African Union's Agenda 2063, which emphasizes fostering environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient economies and communities. Additionally, it aligns with Goal 1, which aims to achieve a high standard of living, quality of life, and well-being for all citizens. By connecting these goals to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals 13 and 11, my practice contributes to global efforts for climate action and the development of sustainable cities and communities.


Communities interacting with a recent iteration of Nature Invasion.


What drew you to apply for this residency and how do you think it will inform your wider practice?    
I found inspiration to apply for this residency as a pivotal step in expanding my artistic career beyond its current boundaries. Understanding the invaluable role of residencies in artistic development, I actively sought out spaces offering supportive and mentorship-driven environments. G.A.S. stood out for its reputation for providing exceptional support to artists. During my research, I also became acquainted with the work of Yinka Shonibare, whose artistic vision resonates deeply with artists worldwide, myself included. Learning about his philanthropic efforts in establishing G.A.S in Nigeria further fueled my desire to one day benefit from the enriching environment cultivated by this esteemed institution.


The Cry of Maama Butonde, performance. KLA Art Festival 2021.

Can you give us an insight into how you hope to use the opportunity?  
I'm thrilled to dedicate myself to exploring innovative upcycling practices. This uninterrupted time allows me to experiment with unconventional materials like single-use plastics and second-hand clothes, pushing the boundaries of my art while collaborating with the local community.  Through workshops and presentations, I aim to share my knowledge, draw inspiration from Nigerian culture, and ultimately create versatile upcycled tiles that might incorporate local design elements.

I'm also eager to advance my ongoing research initiated during my residency at Nubuke Foundation in Ghana last year. I plan to delve deeper into the potential of upcycling fossil-based polymers such as second-hand clothes and single-use plastic into versatile tiles. These tiles can serve various functions, including construction, interior or exterior decoration and even as canvases for my visual artwork. I'm particularly excited to possibly incorporate imagery/designs inspired by the Nigerian artisanal community and culture onto these tiles. Additionally, I'm looking forward to sourcing household items like decorative furniture or tabletops to further expand the scope of my creative endeavours.


About Katesi

Katesi Jacqueline Kalange, is a process-focused visual artist from Uganda. A master’s degree holder in Art and Industrial Design from Kyambogo University, Kalange's work weaves together sculpture, architecture, research, installation and performance art. Drawing from African indigenous wisdom, she is fascinated by its historical role in nurturing harmonious coexistence among humans and other beings within shared ecosystems.

Her work has shown in exhibitions such as: Kla Art Festival 2021 in Uganda, Pink Flame exhibition at the village market, Kenya in 2022, Silent Invasions, Amasaka gallery, Uganda in 2023, etc. She received the Prince Claus Mentorship Award in 2021, emerged as the second alternate in the inaugural El Anatsui Fellowship 2023, and was a participant in the inaugural Venice Architecture Biennale College 2023. She was a recipient of the Tilga Art Fund in 2023, and undertook a residency at G.A.S. Foundation as a result of the award.


Tilga Art Fund

Tilga Art Fund is an art-focused reiteration of the Tilga Scholarship, a philanthropic initiative of Wally Bakare, which acts as a vehicle to provide opportunities for minority students to complete their collegiate education. An avid collector of arts from the African continent and the diaspora, Wally created The Tilga Art Fund to support and foster criticality, broaden artistic practice and engage new and exciting modes of art-making among young contemporary African artists. 

In May 2023 Yinka Shonibare Foundation and Guest Artists Space Foundation announced a new collaborative open call with Tilga Art Fund, a philanthropic initiative launched by our residency Patron, Wally Bakare, to foster criticality, broaden artistic practice and engage new and exciting modes of art-making among young contemporary African artists. The 2023 edition of the prize was targeted at young artists across all creative disciplines working and living in Uganda, or of Ugandan descent.

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