The Commonwealth Foundation has announced winners of the 2011 Commonwealth Connections International Arts Residencies. Jamaican dancer and choreographer, Neila-Ann Ebanks was awarded the first dance residency, which will take place in Canada later this year. Other winners from a diverse selection of artists include the first winner from the Pitcairn Islands, Meralda Warren, who wishes to engage with tapa makers across the Pacific; and Trinidadian photographer, Rodell Warner, who will travel to South Africa to immerse himself in its dynamic arts scene and to work alongside the renowned photographer Pieter Hugo.
Commonwealth Connections International Arts Residencies enable artists from Commonwealth countries to work alongside artists in another Commonwealth country in a two-way cultural exchange. Twelve international judges, all experts in their fields, took part in the rigorous judging process, where seven artists were selected from nearly 200 applications to receive awards of up to £8,000 to spend time living and working in another Commonwealth country. The winners will undertake original and innovative projects that promise to be of benefit not only to themselves, but to their countries of origin and their host communities.
• Ruth Feukoua, installation art, Cameroon
• Olaniyi Rasheed Akindiya (Akirash), installation art, Nigeria
• Pradeep Thalawatta, installation art, Sri Lanka
• Rodell Warner, photography, T&T
• Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa, installation art, United Kingdom
• Meralda Warren, painting, Pitcairn Islands
• Neila Ann Ebanks, dance, Jamaica
A photographer and graphic designer who works in T&T, Rodell Warner's photographs range from images of Community-based Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme workers, to an exploration between public and private spaces. Filled with energy, creativity and excitement, Rodell's photographs provide a specific take on memory and experience. Often working collaboratively, Rodell also creates and executes his own projects, consistently exploring and presenting new conversations about the ways we see ourselves. He plans to travel to South Africa to work alongside the South African photographer Pieter Hugo, as well as engage with the wider artistic community in South Africa.