Nayab Noor Ikram selected for 2024 Finnish Institute in the UK and Ireland X Acme London Residency

Nayab Noor Ikram selected for 2024 Finnish Institute in the UK and Ireland X Acme London Residency

We are pleased to announce Turku-based visual artist and photographer Nayab Noor Ikram as the recipient of the 2024 Finnish Institute in the UK & Ireland X Acme London Residency, taking place from June to August 2024.

Hosted by Acme as part of their ongoing international residency programme and continued partnership with the Finnish Institute in the UK and Ireland, the opportunity is intended for a Finnish or Finland-based artist whose practice would benefit from time in London to explore and research new ideas, and who feels that they face additional barriers in pursuing their artistic practice.

“Having a residency at Acme in London will be a great opportunity for me to connect with the art scene and community of the British-Pakistani diaspora. I’m interested to see the similarities, as well as the differences in navigating the diaspora through the various artistic expressions and how it will develop my artistic practice.”

Nayab Noor Ikram, Finnish Institute UK and Ireland X Acme London Resident 2024

“Nayab’s application for the residency stood out because of her energy and curiosity to explore London. She was very specific about how the residency would benefit her development as an artist, including the communities, artists, and organisations she wanted to meet. Acme is really looking forward to supporting Nayab at this moment in her career and helping her to make the most of this opportunity.”

Jon Opie, Head of Artist Support, Acme

“Nayab’s artistic practice centres around her identity between different cultures, as a Swedish-speaking Finn of Pakistani diaspora. In her practice, Ikram explores cultural identity, the feeling of in-betweenship and notions of care and being cared for. Nayab’s art reflects togetherness and belonging through Pakistani rituals and Nordic traditions. The Finnish Institute in the UK and Ireland is delighted to support Nayab in exploring all of this within the context of the London art scene.”

Karoliina Korpilahti, Programme Director, Finnish Institute in the UK and Ireland

About the artist

Nayab Noor Ikram is a Turku-based visual artist and photographer of the Pakistani diaspora born on the Åland Island, an autonomous, demilitarised, Swedish-speaking region of Finland.

In her artistic practice, Ikram works with moving image, photography, performances, and installations exploring concepts dealing with the feeling of in-betweenship, cultural identity, and memory through rituals and symbolism.

The City of Helsinki commissioned Ikram a series of photographs titled ‘Symbiosis’ (2022) for Puotila Comprehensive School’s new building, in Puotila, Finland. The photographs depict caring hands in coexistence with salt dough made of ingredients found at home, creating endless worlds on the concept of play and its rules, roles, and agencies. The public art commission was curated by Helsinki Art Museum under The Percent for Art programme.

Ikram has exhibited in Finland and internationally. Her work can be found in public and private collections of the City of Helsinki managed by the Helsinki Art Museum and The Åland Art Museum. In 2019 she was the recipient of a Culture Award from the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland and the Anna-Lena Dreijer Art Fund on The Åland Islands in 2022.

About the residency

The 2024 Finnish Institute in the UK and Ireland X Acme residency is research focused and no outcome is expected. The aim is to nurture co-creation, dialogue, care and sustainability, both psychologically and ecologically. The residency includes:

  • A 3-month work/live residency in a furnished, self-contained studio at Acme’s Fire Station building in Poplar, London.
  • An artist stipend of €4,800 (€1,600 per month), provided by the Finnish Institute in the UK and Ireland.
  • Support from Acme and Finnish Institute in the UK and Ireland’s teams for the artist to develop their creative and professional networks in London.

Located in east London, the Fire Station building is a former LCC Fire Brigade Station, built in 1910. The upper four floors were originally designed as twelve firemen’s flats which have been converted into the work/live units. The Acme Fire Station has housed artists in a close-knit community since 1997.

About Acme

London-based charity Acme has been supporting artists in need since 1972. Over this time, Acme has provided thousands of artists at all stages of career with affordable studios, work/live space and a programme of artist support through residencies and awards. Acme supports the development and production of art by reducing the practical challenges that artists face, increasing their ability to take creative risks.

Acme is the single largest provider of permanent affordable artist studios in England, supporting over 800 individual artists across 15 buildings in Greater London each year.

Photo: Sonja Hyytiäinen

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