Spotlight Multidisciplinary Artist Favour Jonathan
A multidisciplinary artist born in Benin City, Nigeria, Favour Jonathan explores themes of identity and womanhood from the perspective of an African woman living in London across sculpture, painting, photography and installation.
“Welding patchwork pieces of metal together, sparks flying, Jonathan creates powerful sculptures to express ideas about representation and identity drawing on her heritage – the artist was born in Benin City, known for its artistic culture and use of bronze for elaborate plaques, heads and royal regalia.
“Her graduation piece for her BA degree at Central Saint Martins, ‘Ododo and Divinity’, was astonishing – a towering, proud female figure with a leopard spoke to the artist’s belief in the strength and resilience of Black women in society.”
Boseley adds: “Describing herself as ‘an explorer in arts’, Jonathan’s strength and commitment to share stories that are important to her, shines out in her work.”
Jonathan says: “My inspiration comes from history – I enjoy connecting the dots and seeing how our everyday lives reflect the history we’ve had. From hidden figures who opened up spaces for us, paved the way, and inspire the good we do today.”
An inspiration to the next generation of artists herself, Jonathan was the winner of the 2021 Sky Arts Landmark competition, where artists across the country compete to create the UK’s next major landmark. Her sculpture in honour of Ira Frederick Aldridge, a manager at the Coventry Theatre in 1828, is now on permanent display in Coventry.
Jonathan says: “My biggest achievement to date is, at the age of 24, I created a landmark in the centre of England. A permanent sculpture that my future children and family will get to see and the sculpture dates my growth and beginnings of my journey.”
Next, she hopes to publish a book that time stamps and displays growth in the diversity of Black women’s hair to liberate women around the world.
About the champion
Caroline Boseley left her former career as a lawyer to study at Christie’s Education and the Royal College of Art, before opening her own exhibition space, Studio West, in November 2021. In addition to platforming emerging artistic talent, working with the most exciting newly established and graduate artists in London and around the UK, the gallery offers a varied programme of talks, performances and events. Boseley is also a patron of Serpentine Gallery and Artangel, and sits on the advisory board of Kensington + Chelsea Art Festival.
“Jonathan’s strength and commitment to share stories that are important to her, shines out in her work.”
Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.
I tried my best in school but I only really excelled at university where I was introduced to workshops and making spaces.
I have a permanent landmark in England.
For spiritual guidance, I’ll naturally go for Ogun, the god of metal, as my hometown in Benin kingdom is known for its 16th-century bronze work.