The MASK PRIZE is an annual competition for young people under the age of 25 living in Africa and its Diasporas. Predominantly engaging schools in Kenya, the prize is now in its third year and challenges the creative skills of children, teenagers and young adults from the continent to think about ways of celebrating, imagining and reflecting on the places they live in and the people they live with.
The works on show at the Saatchi Gallery from December 15th presents multifarious views of the continent, which together offer an image of the vitality and diversity of African culture as seen by its young people, collectively exploring the interwoven relationships between landscape, wildlife, cities and technologies.
Themed ‘The Creative Nation’, the competition has been judged by creative professionals from a number of the world’s leading art institutions and has awarded prizes of 300,000 KSH (approx. $3,500) in total across four categories – ‘Under 13’, ‘Visual Art’, ‘Schools’ and ‘Music’. The Prize-giving Ceremony took place earlier this year in Nairobi in June 2015.
Selected works from the general submission on show at Saatchi Gallery will later be shown at the Royal Overseas League and the University for the Creative Arts in early 2016.
Praising the outcomes of the project, its director Alla Tkachuk, commented:
It’s always such a privilege to be able to work with young children to support them in imagining their futures. The MASK PRIZE is a non-for-profit programme pioneered by the UK creativity education charity ‘MASK School for Creativity and Innovation’ and aims to show the energy and vision of young people in Africa.
Dr Terry Perk from the University for the Creative Arts, whose MA Curatorial Practice students are installing the show at the Saatchi Gallery, said:
We’re really excited to be involved in such an inspiring project. The range of work on show, from collages by four year-old nursery children through to musical performances developed by leading local musicians in their early twenties, demonstrates the value of art as a tool for enabling us to enjoy, reflect on and critique the places we live in.
– Harry Dougall
The 2015 MASK PRIZE, ‘YOUNG PEOPLE – THE CREATIVE NATION’, The Saatchi Gallery, Education Gallery (Lower Ground Floor), King’s Road, London SW3 4RY, Exhibition Open to the public from Tuesday 15th – 30th December