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A Benon Lutaaya Sponsored Artist Residency

To commemorate his upcoming exhibition, Benon Lutaaya is sponsoring a Bag Factory Visiting Artist Residency.

On the 5th May 2016 Affinity, a two-person exhibition by Benon Lutaaya and photographic artist Justin Dingwall will open at Lizamore and Associates. Through two bodies of work, both artists will expose their insights about the human condition.

To commemorate this exhibition Lutaaya will be sponsoring a residency as part of the Bag Factory’s Visiting Artist Programme. According to Lutaaya “The opportunity to be a studio artist at the Bag Factory was crucial in helping me to establish the networks and professional support that has enabled me to build my career thus far I believe that it will provide the same to an artist at the right time in their career. Without an industry and art community, I would be unable to have a career. It is hence crucial to support the industry that supports us as artist”

A Benon Lutaaya Sponsored Artist Residency
Hold on (detail). Acrylics on Canvas, 93cmx113cm, 2016

The programme will offer an emerging Johannesburg based artists of between two and four years of practice experience, working in the field of drawing, painting, printmaking, collage or sculpture a 4- month residency at the Bag Factory. The residency will offer the selected artist an opportunity to interact with local artists, develop and grow their creative practice, to expand their network internationally and to experience a climate of cultural diversity.

The successful applicant is required to participate in the full programme starting on 01 June and ending on 14 October 2016.

The philosophies of inclusion, community, critical analysis of the factors that make up a life, career and society are ones that Lutaaya promotes strongly in his approach to his career as well as in his work itself. The principles that see him support the broader industry through initiatives such as this, are also evident in his artmaking.

Lutaaya’s work, heavily in demand by collectors is a collage and paint based practice that layers the papers of old and discarded paintings to create new visual material. He says “The waste paper material in my work remains a communication metaphor for the vulnerability of human life, the fragility and resilience of the subjects.”

A Benon Lutaaya Sponsored Artist Residency
Distant regards. Paper collage on canvas, 164x148cm, 2016.

In the body of work, Lutaaya explores the concept of freedom in the journey of search to find a freer self against a backdrop of the relevance of a lived experience. Known for his immense and compelling portraits, Lutaaya’s concept may seem fraught with ambiguity and complexity from both a subjective and objective point of view, but in this work, Lutaaya references his own lived personal experiences as an artist to explore the relationship between freedom and development, the ways in which a heightened desire and search for freedom is both a basic constituent in itself and a catalyst for unlocking creative potential. And, he is inviting the viewer to not only see, but experience the feelings this relationship provokes through his work.

He internalises and breaks open the figures and emotions he is depicting, aiming to capture the innermost essence of the minds of his subjects. While he continues to allow the quirkiness, the peculiarities of his subjects to shine through, this exhibition signals a conceptual shift in his creative approach. It is organically evolving beyond his signature portraiture paintings.

Born in Uganda, Benon Lutaaya is a Johannesburg-based visual artist. He holds many accolades including The Face of African Youth Foundation 2015 at the ADLER Entrepreneurship Awards in Frankfurt -Germany, Benon is also a winner of the South African Arts and Culture Trust Impact Award 2015. He’s a 2016 recipient of a 5 months European-based international Artist residency award by the Southern African Foundation for Contemporary Art (SAFFCA) Alongside Strauss & Co auctioneers and Artist William Kentridge, Benon is a Co-sponsor of the prestigious – 2015 Reinhold Cassirer Award that supports talented young South African visual artists. As well as an annual contributor to Ithuba Arts Fund that supports emerging artists in Johannesburg. Benon is a past winner of the Lovell Tranyr Art Trophy -2012, the Ithuba Arts Fund Grant -2011, the Bag Factory artist residence award -2011 and Finalist of the BBC MyWorld documentary global competition, London 2010

Affinity opens on 5th May at 18h00 at Lizamore and Associates, 155 Jan Smuts Avenue, Rosebank. The winner of the residency will be announced at the opening of the exhibition

To find out more about the residency application please contact The Bag Factory on

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