Mead Fellowship winner Annie-Marie Akussah
How did winning the Mead Fellowship help you?
Financially it enabled me to execute a project I wanted to bring to life after university. Running workshops in a marginalised community wasn't alien to me, but because the project related to the part of my practice that deals with inter-African migration it was a fresh challenge.
As artists, we are project managers; we just don’t attribute making paintings, objects and films to project management. We work on ideas, research, make budgets for material costs, meet deadlines and manage our personal admin. Winning the Mead Fellowship helped me to realise this.
Would you advise others to apply for a Mead award? If so, why?
I definitely would. The entire application process gave me confidence, while also highlighting areas in my ability to write and articulate projects that needed to be improved.
Writing applications for funding in itself is great practice, so take this as an opportunity - not only apply for funding - but also learn how to articulate your ideas when applying for funding.
Making a project happen, meeting deadlines and creating means you’re working towards targets each day. When you leave university, it may take a while to find a routine or structure within your practice. Having to execute this project gave me a structure because I dedicated time regularly to working on it.
One piece of advice I would give is to spend time on your application and be clear about what you would like the project to entail. You are about to invest your time and funding into something or a community you are passionate about.
What have you been up to since completing your Mead project?
I have carried on making work in a studio which I share with four Wimbledon alumni. I work full time and have been balancing work and my studio practice by making a conscious decision to be in the studio five times a week.
I have taken part in different group shows such as the 2019 Bloomberg New Contemporaries at South London Gallery, ‘Reimagined’ at Orleans House Gallery and ‘Diaspora’ at New Ashgate Gallery.
I will be taking up the AER (The Art for the Environment International Artist Residency Programme) four-week residency in Senegal at Thread. I hope to use this period to digest, develop and pay attention to my practice even further. There were new questions and observations during my Mead Fellowship and I hope to resolve them during my residency in Senegal.