Kensal Rise artist nominated for Man of the Year award

Eugene Ankomah

Visual artist Eugene Ankomah - Credit: Stefon Grant

There is no stopping Eugene Ankomah who has scooped up yet another award for his groundbreaking art.

The Kensal Rise artist, who lives in Mount Pleasant, has won a Multi-media Visual Artist and Performer of the Year award from Flame International Fashion and Art Festival (FIFAF).

He has also been nominated by BEFFTA (Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Arts) for Man of the Year along with Anthony Joshua, Lewis Hamilton and "a whole group of influential people".

FIFAF has also made him artist and director for its shows, the first of which takes place online next month.

Eugene Ankomah

Visual artist Eugene Ankomah in his studio - Credit: Stefon Grant

The father-of-three said: "It's incredible. Since I've won awards they've obviously kept an eye on what I do and things I'm making and also the sort of work I do for different communities, including my continuous knife crime work - I mentor youngsters. All this was recognised."

In December 2017, Eugene won the Best Creative Artist category at the Black British Entertainment (BBE) Awards.

A year later he was awarded the BEFFTA (Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Arts) People's Choice Award 2018.

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At the end of 2019, he began a three-month residency at Capital City Academy in Doyle Gardens, working with pupils to recreate his ground-breaking project Re-Claim: Memories LiveD, which was launched in Southwark in 2018.

His installation on eradicating knife crime looked like a scene in chaos, but on closer inspection, there were flower bouquets, drawings, paintings, handwritten notes and photographs.

He added:  "Since the lockdown started, I have focused just as much as I have always done, maybe I have been even more intense with making work and expressing myself.

"Whenever I feel something is threatening or about to threaten what I am and what I do, I make sure to go harder, to intensify the making of my work. That is how I keep the balance of still achieving."

He added: "I hope my progress is an encouragement to all. Something to say with focus: 'We can survive this pandemic and even come out stronger.'

"To young people, especially those who research shows are feeling pessimistic about the future, do not slow down or give up.

"Keep moving, keep going. You never know, the product of your expressions could help lift someone else. It could also become part of history - of these times."