AMUK Announces Shortlisted Artists for London’s First Permanent HIV/AIDS Memorial

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AIDS Memory UK (AMUK) proudly reveals the artists shortlisted to create London’s first HIV/AIDS memorial. 

Anya Gallaccio, Ryan Gander, Harold Offeh, Shahpour Pouyan, and Diana Punter have been shortlisted to help carve out a space for shared remembrance and solidarity, honouring those affected by HIV & AIDS and supporting our continued fight against discrimination through education.

Our final artist selection will be supported by a panel of esteemed judges and announced this summer. Imagery can be downloaded here. 

The selection process involves a panel of judges chaired by AMUK trustee and CEO of Arts & Heritage, Stephanie Allen and including: British physician Professor Jane Anderson, writer and director Neil Bartlett, Jo Baxendale, Senior Policy Officer, Visual Art and Public Realm, Greater London Authority, artist Rana Begum, director of the Delfina Foundation Aaron Cezar, author and the Mayor’s Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm member, Jack Guinness, AIDS Memory UK founder and Artistic Director Ash Kotak, writer Olivia Laing, curator Michael Morris, and art historian Satish Padiyar.

Our shortlisted artists:

Anya Gallaccio lives and works in London and in San Diego, USA. She is known for employing organic materials to create site-specific installations that transform and decay over time. Her more recent work reflects on impermanence by creating organic objects in more enduring forms.

Ryan Gander lives and works in Suffolk and London. His practice, which has been informed by his own experiences of hospitalisation, breaks down boundaries and stigmas. He challenges the assumptions around what art is, how it is made and who it is for, particularly in the realm of public art. 

Harold Offeh was born in Ghana and lives in Cambridge. His work is generally performance based, drawing from collaborative, social and participatory contexts. He’s interested in generational disconnect and the space created by the inhabiting or embodying of histories. 

Shahpour Pouyan was born in Isfahan, Iran, educated in the USA and now lives and works in London. He collaborates with a diverse team of architects, computer designers, programmers, and artists. His work invites viewers to reflect on the complex relationships between power, memory and the human condition.

Diana Puntar is a London based artist and educator originally from New York. Her research driven work includes sculpture, installation, and collaboration, often exploring how capitalist structures are embedded into contemporary life. 

The purpose of our memorial

The memorial aims to raise awareness and end stigma, reflecting the resilience of communities impacted by HIV & AIDS. With the support of Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, commissioned by Modus Operandi, the memorial will stand as a monument for remembrance, and is the current primary focus of AMUK.

Working with affected communities

Since setting up the AIDS Memory UK Campaign in 2016, Ash Kotak has been working closely with our four affected communities. Bringing together key organisations, activists, campaigners and individuals from these communities.

Ash has also included significant sub-communities such as the trans community, sex workers, BAME LGBTQ, women and young people. 

Ahead of our judging day on 18th March, our Affected Communities Advisory Board (ACAB) – either in person or via zoom – were briefed on each shortlisted artists proposals. This feedback was also provided for our judges’ consideration.

The winning artist will be announced in summer 2024. 

For more information, contact Alethea Norman-Rhodes ([email protected]) or Lily O’Brien-Mead ([email protected]).

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