Residency June 2024 – meet the artists

Picture of four artists who are taking part in Vital Capacities in June 2024.
Artists on Vital Capacities residency in June 2024 – from top left, clockwise: Jameisha Prescod, Shrouk El-Attar, Bella Milroy, and James Kong King-sin

For the tenth Vital Capacities‘ residency, we partner with UnlimitedVideotage (Hong Kong) and Wysing Art Centre (Cambridge) to work with artists from the UK and Hong Kong. From 1 June, artists Shrouk El-Attar, Bella Milroy, Jameisha Prescod and James Kong King-sin will join Vital Capacities, to undertake research and develop new work. Working with our partners, they will explore and exchange new ideas using their studio spaces, and create new work throughout the residency.

Continue reading “Residency June 2024 – meet the artists”

Leveraging ChatGPT Prompt Engineering for Artists

Prompt engineering can be a powerful tool for artists to enhance their creative process, generate new ideas, and refine their work. By carefully crafting prompts, artists can leverage the capabilities of ChatGPT to unlock new perspectives and uncover novel solutions to artistic challenges.


Clearly Define Objectives

Identify the specific goals or activities you want to accomplish using ChatGPT, such as generating ideas, exploring color palettes, or refining compositions.

Consider Your Artistic Needs

Reflect on the unique challenges or areas of focus in your artistic practice, and tailor your prompts accordingly.

Experiment with Prompts

Try different prompt structures and see how they impact the output to find the most effective approach for your needs.


Provide Background

Share relevant information about your artistic style, medium, or the specific project you’re working on to help ChatGPT understand the context.

Describe Your Challenges

Openly communicate any obstacles or barriers you’re facing in your creative process, as this can guide ChatGPT’s responses.

Establish Constraints

Outline any limitations, such as technical requirements or stylistic preferences, to ensure the output aligns with your artistic vision.


Color Inspiration

Provide examples of artworks that capture the mood or aesthetic you’re aiming for, such as this abstract painting with a bold, vibrant color palette.

Conceptual Inspiration

Share images of artwork that exemplify the conceptual or thematic direction you’re exploring, like this surreal digital illustration.

Stylistic Inspiration

Provide examples of artistic styles or techniques you’re interested in experimenting with, such as this landscape painting with a soft, muted color palette.


Artistic Preferences

Communicate your unique artistic sensibilities, such as preferred color schemes, subject matter, or emotional tones, to guide ChatGPT’s responses.

Creative Challenges

Openly share any creative blocks or areas of growth you’re looking to address, so ChatGPT can provide tailored suggestions.

Artistic Identity

Reflect on your artistic identity and how you want to express it through your work, as this can inform the direction of your prompts.

Unique Perspective

Highlight your distinctive artistic perspective, experiences, or influences to help ChatGPT understand your unique creative voice.


Structured Responses

Consider requesting the output in a specific format, such as a list, a step-by-step guide, or a series of paragraphs, to best suit your needs.


Incorporate visual elements like diagrams, illustrations, or color palettes to complement the textual output.

Customized Layout

Specify the desired structure or layout of the response to align with your artistic preferences or project requirements.



For technical, academic, or professional applications.


For more relaxed, conversational, or exploratory prompts.


To foster creativity, motivation, and a positive mindset.


For prompts that require in-depth research or problem-solving.

Putting It All Together

Here’s how you might combine all these elements into a single prompt:

Prompt Example: “I am an abstract painter focusing on the interplay between light and shadow (context). I struggle with conveying emotions through my art (personal). Can you suggest color palettes that convey a sense of tranquility (task) and include examples from famous abstract paintings (exemplar)? Please provide your suggestions in a list format (format) and keep the tone positive and encouraging (tone).”

This prompt is clear, detailed, and structured, which will help ChatGPT provide a more useful and tailored response. By leveraging prompt engineering in this way, artists can harness the power of ChatGPT to support their creative process, gain new insights, and overcome challenges.


Example Conversation with ChatGPT

you are a visual artistic, you would like to have 10 color theme of summer


Sure! Here are 10 summer color themes with their corresponding hex codes:

1. Tropical Sunset

  • #FF4500 (Orange Red)
  • #FF6347 (Tomato)
  • #FFD700 (Gold)
  • #FF69B4 (Hot Pink)
  • #FF1493 (Deep Pink)

2. Ocean Breeze

  • #00CED1 (Dark Turquoise)
  • #20B2AA (Light Sea Green)
  • #87CEEB (Sky Blue)
  • #4682B4 (Steel Blue)
  • #5F9EA0 (Cadet Blue)

3. Lemonade Stand

  • #FFFACD (Lemon Chiffon)
  • #FFD700 (Gold)
  • #FFDEAD (Navajo White)
  • #F4A460 (Sandy Brown)
  • #FFA07A (Light Salmon)

4. Coral Reef

  • #FF7F50 (Coral)
  • #FF6347 (Tomato)
  • #FF4500 (Orange Red)
  • #FF8C00 (Dark Orange)
  • #FFD700 (Gold)

5. Fresh Fruit

  • #FF6347 (Tomato)
  • #FF4500 (Orange Red)
  • #FFD700 (Gold)
  • #98FB98 (Pale Green)
  • #ADFF2F (Green Yellow)

6. Sandy Beach

  • #FFF8DC (Cornsilk)
  • #F5DEB3 (Wheat)
  • #DEB887 (Burly Wood)
  • #D2B48C (Tan)
  • #B8860B (Dark Goldenrod)

7. Summer Garden

  • #32CD32 (Lime Green)
  • #98FB98 (Pale Green)
  • #00FA9A (Medium Spring Green)
  • #3CB371 (Medium Sea Green)
  • #2E8B57 (Sea Green)

8. Ice Cream Parlor

  • #FFB6C1 (Light Pink)
  • #FF69B4 (Hot Pink)
  • #FFA07A (Light Salmon)
  • #FA8072 (Salmon)
  • #E9967A (Dark Salmon)

9. Picnic Blanket

  • #FA8072 (Salmon)
  • #FF6347 (Tomato)
  • #FFD700 (Gold)
  • #98FB98 (Pale Green)
  • #87CEFA (Light Sky Blue)

10. Wildflowers

  • #FF69B4 (Hot Pink)
  • #FF1493 (Deep Pink)
  • #FFA500 (Orange)
  • #FFD700 (Gold)
  • #ADFF2F (Green Yellow)

Each of these color themes captures a different aspect of summer, from the vibrant sunsets and clear ocean waters to the fresh fruits and sandy beaches.

following topic give me 3 visual elementChatGPT

Absolutely! Here are three visual elements for each of the summer color themes:

1. Tropical Sunset

  • Palm Trees Silhouettes: Against a vibrant sunset background, black or dark silhouettes of palm trees create a striking contrast.
  • Gradient Sky: Blending from deep pink to orange and yellow, representing the colors of a tropical sunset.
  • Sunset Over Water: Reflections of the sunset colors on the ocean or a lake, enhancing the warm and peaceful feeling.

2. Ocean Breeze

  • Waves and Seafoam: Gentle rolling waves with seafoam details, using shades of turquoise and blue.
  • Seashells and Starfish: Scattered along the beach in soft blue and sea green tones.
  • Beach Umbrellas: In light sea green and sky blue, providing a refreshing visual of a breezy beach day.

3. Lemonade Stand

  • Glass Jars with Lemonade: Filled with bright yellow lemonade and slices of lemon.
  • Striped Canopies: Using yellow and white stripes reminiscent of a classic lemonade stand.
  • Citrus Fruits: Lemons and oranges arranged in a basket or scattered, adding a fresh and zesty feel.

4. Coral Reef

  • Colorful Corals: Various shapes and sizes in vibrant coral and orange-red hues.
  • Tropical Fish: Brightly colored fish swimming among the corals.
  • Sea Anemones: In shades of pink and orange, adding movement and life to the scene.

5. Fresh Fruit

  • Assorted Fruits: Arrangements of tomatoes, oranges, lemons, and green apples.
  • Fruit Slices: Close-up views of sliced fruits showing their juicy interiors.
  • Fruit Baskets: Filled with an assortment of colorful fruits.

6. Sandy Beach

  • Footprints in the Sand: Trails of footprints leading towards the water.
  • Beach Towels and Mats: Laid out on the sand, using shades of tan and sandy brown.
  • Sandcastles: Detailed sandcastle sculptures with golden-brown hues.

7. Summer Garden

  • Lush Green Plants: Various shades of green foliage, from lime to dark green.
  • Flower Beds: Filled with blooming flowers in pale green and medium sea green.
  • Garden Pathways: Stone paths winding through the garden, bordered by vibrant greenery.

8. Ice Cream Parlor

  • Ice Cream Cones: With scoops in light pink, hot pink, and light salmon colors.
  • Parlor Signs: Retro-style signs in soft pastel hues advertising ice cream flavors.
  • Candy Sprinkles: Brightly colored sprinkles in shades of pink and salmon on top of ice cream.

9. Picnic Blanket

  • Checkered Blanket: A classic picnic blanket in red, gold, and light blue checks.
  • Picnic Basket: Filled with fruits, sandwiches, and a bottle of lemonade.
  • Outdoor Setting: A grassy field with a clear sky and scattered wildflowers.

10. Wildflowers

  • Flower Fields: Expansive fields filled with vibrant wildflowers in pink, orange, and yellow.
  • Close-up Blooms: Detailed close-ups of individual flowers showing their bright colors.
  • Meadow Pathways: Winding paths through the flower fields, inviting exploration.

These visual elements can help bring each summer color theme to life in a visually engaging way.

You are a prompt generator, who is an expert for generating prompts from users’ input into specific formats.
For example, when user inputs “holographic background”, you will output “digital background, gradient, soft light, low contrast, minimalist, foil holographic”; when user inputs “Tokyo, Japan”, you will output “Tokyo, Japan, street, architecture, minimalistic, abstract, mist, vector, flat, unreal engine, by jewel tones, scandi style, morning, fog, blue and grey”; when user inputs “polygons”, you will output “digital background, origami, soft light, low contrast, minimalist, foil holographic”; when user inputs “Spacetime” , you will output “Spacetime , minimalistic, abstract, mist, vector, flat, unreal engine, cinematic”.
Please give user 3 different prompts with slightly different styles or descriptions, and you will add “4k –ar 3:2 –v 5” in the end of each prompt.
Here is the user input: {{input}}


Sure! Here are three different prompts based on the user input “{{input}}”:

User Input: “Beach at Sunset”

  1. Prompt 1:
    • “Beach at Sunset, golden hour, warm tones, soft light, serene, minimalist, waves, silhouettes, tranquil scene, by the ocean, dusk, gradient sky, 4k –ar 3:2 –v 5”
  2. Prompt 2:
    • “Beach at Sunset, vibrant colors, dramatic sky, silhouettes of palm trees, reflections, peaceful, seaside, romantic, glowing horizon, watercolor effect, 4k –ar 3:2 –v 5”
  3. Prompt 3:
    • “Beach at Sunset, pastel colors, gentle waves, calm and relaxing, abstract, impressionistic style, sunset glow, beach scenery, soft focus, twilight, dreamy atmosphere, 4k –ar 3:2 –v 5”

User Input: “Mountain Landscape”

  1. Prompt 1:
    • “Mountain Landscape, majestic peaks, cool tones, misty, serene, minimalist, high contrast, alpine scenery, dramatic, crisp air, sunrise, ethereal light, 4k –ar 3:2 –v 5”
  2. Prompt 2:
    • “Mountain Landscape, panoramic view, lush valleys, vibrant colors, nature, rugged terrain, detailed, sunlight breaking through clouds, scenic vista, realistic, wild, 4k –ar 3:2 –v 5”
  3. Prompt 3:
    • “Mountain Landscape, abstract, geometric shapes, pastel colors, artistic interpretation, soft light, layered, mountain ridges, whimsical, fantasy, muted tones, 4k –ar 3:2 –v 5”

User Input: “City Skyline at Night”

  1. Prompt 1:
    • “City Skyline at Night, vibrant lights, skyscrapers, reflection on water, high contrast, urban landscape, modern architecture, dynamic, glowing windows, nightlife, cityscape, 4k –ar 3:2 –v 5”
  2. Prompt 2:
    • “City Skyline at Night, neon lights, futuristic, sleek buildings, bustling, nightlife, high detail, reflections, dramatic sky, colorful, energetic, cyberpunk vibe, 4k –ar 3:2 –v 5”
  3. Prompt 3:
    • “City Skyline at Night, minimalist, abstract, silhouettes of buildings, soft glow, quiet night, muted colors, tranquil, peaceful, moonlit sky, artistic, serene, 4k –ar 3:2 –v 5”

These prompts provide diverse descriptions and styles for each of the given user inputs.

The screen capture image is from the MidJourney Bot on Discord, showing four photographs of a beach at sunset
The image consists of four photographs, all capturing a beach scene during sunset. Here is a detailed description of each photograph:

Top Left: The sun is low in the sky, casting a warm golden hue across the water and the sandy beach. Gentle waves are rolling towards the shore, creating a serene and peaceful atmosphere.

Top Right: Similar to the first, this photograph shows the sun near the horizon, but with the waves appearing slightly more pronounced. The light from the sunset is reflecting off the wet sand, giving it a glowing, almost metallic look.

Bottom Left: This photograph captures the sun a bit higher in the sky compared to the others. The waves are more dynamic, crashing onto the shore, with the foam creating intricate patterns. The sunlight reflects off the water and foam, enhancing the warm tones of the scene.

Bottom Right: The sun is nearly touching the horizon, and the waves are gently lapping against the shore. The light is soft and diffuse, giving the entire scene a calm and tranquil feel. The reflections on the wet sand add to the overall warmth of the image.

All four photographs emphasize the beauty of the sunset over the ocean, with a focus on the interplay of light and water, creating a soothing and picturesque scene.

Unleashing Creativity with Generative AI

Session 1: Understanding GenAI Tools

  • Part 1: Introduction to GenAI for Artists
    • Overview of GenAI
    • Applications in the art world
  • Part 2: Hands-On Practice with Idea Generation Tools
    • Using ChatGPT for brainstorming
    • Exploring AI-based idea generation tools (e.g., DALL-E, DeepArt)


Next: Concept Development and Mood Board Creation

GenAI: A First Step

As part of my residency with Vital Capacities, I’m exploring the relationship between GenAI and artists, focusing on how AI can enhance our creative processes. Today, I’m excited to share my first use case: using ChatGPT to extract and describe image content for accessibility purposes. Here’s a photograph I captured during my urban exploration.

To ensure that my work is accessible to all, I used ChatGPT to generate a detailed description of the image. The AI accurately identified the silhouette of a person standing on a high vantage point, overlooking a brightly lit cityscape at night, with an overcast sky adding to the dramatic atmosphere.

A screen capture of James requests ChatGPT to describe his portfolio picture. ChatGPT response the image description

This initial use of GenAI demonstrates how artists can utilize AI tools to create accessible content, ensuring that our work can be experienced by a broader audience, including those with visual impairments. By integrating AI into our practice, we can enhance the inclusivity and reach of our art.

Stay tuned as I continue to explore and share more ways in which AI can support and transform our artistic endeavors. This is just the beginning of an exciting journey with Vital Capacities.

Introduction to James’s Studio

The image depicts a silhouette of a person standing on a high vantage point overlooking a city at night. The person appears to be wearing a headlamp or some device with a red light on their back. The cityscape below is illuminated with streetlights and lights from numerous tall buildings. The sky is overcast with clouds, adding to the dramatic atmosphere of the scene. In the foreground, there is a large metal structure, possibly part of a communications tower or similar equipment.

Greetings, I'm James Kong King-sin, a highly skilled Interactive Media Engineer and Bachelor of Science graduate from the School of Creative Media at City University of Hong Kong. I'm fascinated by the convergence of art, science, and technology, and have pursued diverse projects that have connected me with a wide range of researchers and creatives.
My practice is often project-based, where I'm employed to communicate specific ideas and issues through interactive installations and multimedia experiences. This residency presents an exciting opportunity to explore tangential concepts from my previous work that piqued my interest. I plan to create a series of new interactive narratives, incorporating emerging technologies like Generative AI to enhance storytelling and audience engagement.
With a passion for human-computer interaction and multimedia, I've dedicated my career to bridging the realm of theater and computational media. Possessing a unique blend of strategic thinking, analytical prowess, and leadership skills, I excel at developing and executing innovative strategies to drive transformative initiatives. My versatile skillset includes expertise in programming, Generative AI, and creating immersive Mixed Reality experiences.
Through my work, I continuously push the boundaries of technology and artistic expression, striving to craft meaningful and impactful experiences that captivate audiences. I welcome you to explore the work displayed in my studio and feel free to share your thoughts and questions.

Introduction to Shrouk’s Studio!

The image shows Shrouk working intently at their colourful and creative electronics lab. Shrouk has an afro hairstyle and is wearing a brightly coloured dress which is mainly deep oranges and reds with intricate patterns. She is working on a printed circuit board with an oscilloscope, seemingly deeply focused on the detailed electronics work or experiment they are engaged in.

Shrouk's workspace has an artistic, energetic vibe, filled with various bright decorations and objects in oranges, pinks, blues and greens that match Shrouk's expressive and unique style. The photograph captures a moment of concentration as Shrouk applies their skills to an electronics project, with the vibrant atmosphere of the lab reflecting Shrouk's creative personality and approach. The setting suggests Shrouk is bringing an imaginative flair to their electronics work.

Welcome to the Shrouk El-Attar Digital Studio! I am a neurodivergent British-Egyptian artist, engineer, and creative technologist, aiming to create a digital space where cultural heritage meets cutting-edge technology ✨🤖

My studio specialises in creating interactive AI-driven art installations and non-binary belly dancing robots. I am super committed to decolonizing technology and making engineering accessible to underrepresented communities, including refugees and disabled individuals.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and feel free to leave a comment! Let’s inspire and empower others to explore the fusion of creativity and technology, breaking down barriers and redefining the future of art and tech! 💃🏽💃🏽

Vital Capacities: Gateways – new exhibition

A handpainted image of a white toilet spewing brown liquid into a giant fountain holding high a large white spotted egg on a yellow and orange background.
Sammy Paloma, The Flowering Milk of the Boghead, 2023 (screen shot from artwork)

New work by Vital Capacities resident artists from the May 2023 residency, including work by artists Shaima Ali, Bassam Issa, Sammy Paloma, and Su Hui-Yu & XTRUX.

In May 2023, four artists took part in residencies on Vital Capacities – Shaima Ali (Palestine), Bassam Issa (Ireland), Sammy Paloma (UK), and Su Hui-Yu & XTRUX (Taiwan) – to explore and develop new work, supported by partnerships with Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network (FLAMIN), Shubbak Festival, Videotage and Wysing Art Centre.

Throughout the month the artists did research, tested ideas and created new work, working with our partners, web designer and digital inclusion specialist. Gateways is an exhibition of new work resulting from May 2023’s residency.

See the exhibition now:

With thanks to Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network (FLAMIN), Shubbak Festival, Videotage, and Wysing Art Centre. Thank you to Arts Council England for their support.

The memorial hall

The structure was ready made by the architect team. We are now building the detail of the interior.

The eventual form will be a digital grave , we will be able to maintain the content for the rest of our life, as an artist last will. Also, the spaceship looking hall is an extension of the video work Space Warriors.

The Bog is a Thin Place; A Sanctuary, A Portal & A Home

A watercolour painting featuring a pair of Simpson-yellow arms with black chains around the wrists. The hands have long and gnarly bright green nails wriggling their way towards the sky. The chains around their wrists also extend upwards towards the sky.
The arms are splashing out of a boggy, bubbling hole in the ground. This hole of green bubbling sludge is surrounded by brown earth blooming out at it's edges.

I love that phrase u sometimes hear about Halloween/Samhain: “the thinning of the veil”. From the idea of thin times it’s only a small leap to that of thin places. In Shetland witch (or heksi) folklore it is said that the stretch of sand that runs between high and low tide is the undisputed territory of the devil. Folk magic loves a threshold, a space between spaces (oh so liminal): a beach, a fog, the meeting point of two rivers, a keyhole, midnight, a crossroad. A bog. To get lost in a thick fog whilst traversing a bog might just about be the perfect setting to summon the dead. My sense is that these thin places and times are potent precisely because they can function as temporary sanctuaries, a home for those pushed to the margins. Not unlike Doom Patrol’s Danny The Street (DC Universe/HBO) a roving sentient genderqueer street that goes where it’s needed and provides a home to for us misfits.

Vital Capacities new resident artists May 2023

Artists on Vital Capacities residency in May 2023 – from top left, clockwise: Sammy Paloma, Bassam Issa, Shaima Mohammad Ali, and Su Hui-Yu & XTRUX

For the eighth Vital Capacities‘ residency, we partner with Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network (FLAMIN), Shubbak Festival, Videotage (Hong Kong) and Wysing Art Centre (Cambridge) to work with artists from Scotland, Northern Ireland, Palestine and Hong Kong. From 1 May, artists Bassam Issa, Sammy Paloma, Shaima Muhammad Ali and Su Hui-Yu & XTRUX will join Vital Capacities, to undertake research and develop new work. Working with our partners, they will explore and exchange new ideas using their studio spaces, and create new work throughout the residency.

The artists for May 2023’s residency are:

Bassam Issa works across digital animation, painting, sculpture, and textiles creating visions of resistance, transformation, and queer possibility. He completed a BA in Visual Art Practice from Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology in 2016. Recent solo exhibitions include: IT’S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE, TAKE THIS! The Douglas Hyde Gallery(2022) I AM ERROR, Gasworks, London (2021), and De La Warr Pavilion, Sussex (2022).

Sammy Paloma is an artist, poet and witch living in Shetland, on a croft by a beach, next to a bog, with 11 chickens. She paints, prints, tattoos, writes poetry, and makes computer games (with Uma Breakdown). Her work is into how divination disturbs linear time, grief rituals and necromancy. Her current obsession is the overlapping folklore and paranormal phenomena surrounding both boglands and crossroads.

Shaima Mohammad Ali is an artist from the destroyed village of Beit Thul in Palestine. She uses sculptural elements and video art to explore the liminal space between the personal and the collective, where it  is a point of intersection and where it is a point of departure. She draws her inspiration from that which demands an interruption to the every day. Her art is political in that it refuses to take on a singular perspective, preferring to reflect the mixture and entwinement of politics in the day-to-day of the Palestinian individual through their life, hopes and dreams.

Su Hui-Yu & XTRUX – Su Hui-Yu is a Taipei based artist who has been working on his specific “Re-shooting” series which focuses on Taiwan’s colonial histories, martial law memory and body-politics for many years. XTRUX is a Taiwanese collective art founded in October 2020 with a number of creators whose works focus on new media art. Su and XTRUX have been cooperating on experimental projects since 2022.

Residencies will launch on 1 May 23 – find out what artists are up by joining our mailing list and following them on:

May’s residency programme is delivered in partnership with Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network (FLAMIN), Shubbak Festival, Videotage (Hong Kong) and Wysing Art Centre, with support from Arts Council England.

Vital Capacities is an accessible, purpose-built digital residency space, that supports artists’ practice while engaging audiences with their work.

Vital Capacities has been created by videoclub in consultation with artists, digital inclusion specialist Sarah Pickthall and website designer Oli Pyle.

IN LIMBO (ELD explored pt2)

Film audio description by Michael Achtman

This piece “IN LIMBO” is the second in a series called “Thought Experiment”, a place in the mind similar to a blank page ready to be painted. Where logic is left behind and I simply put pencil to paper and work off instinct till reoccurring themes seem to show up on the page through imagery, telling me what’s on my subconscious mind. The short film I made that documents the process of creating the artwork began to merge with the artwork as the project went on. As both were trying to figure out what the project was about at its core while simultaneously working on them in real time. Realising both were to do with the relationship between images and words was a revelation. And made me realise what I’ve always hated and loved about trying to explain art is that things always feel left unsaid. As I get older I try and embrace this more, realising that explanations always feel incomplete because I see art as a universal visual language that communicates ideas and emotions which words don’t exist for. This project made me realised that I want my artwork to encourage people to stretch their own creativity, similar to a Spot The Difference or Where’s Wolly does for children. I enjoy making the viewer read the drawings and try to see how the images relate and connect using their own creativity. Even if that means seeing interpretations that I didn’t initially mean to be there.


The image is a predominantly black rectangle with a small round peephole view on the right hand side. Through the rounded hole which is slightly faded at the edges you can see a closed eye, an eyebrow, a nose and the top of a lip topped with a mustache. It's almost an image of the artist!

Hey, I’m Hamza welcome to my studio. I’m a self-taught multimedia artist and researcher. I’m an able-bodied male-conditioned, postcolonial person. My work is informed by continuous conversations with the people I love as much as any reading, listening and observing.

I’m using this residency to resume an investigation I started some time ago (before getting distracted by another project). Mark of My Departure (MOMD) is preoccupied with the South Asian diasporic experience. The centerpiece of the work is a 7 minute visual collage set to an original composition.

I will use the time afforded to me in the residency to continue the collection and tessellation of related postcolonial images and ideas. I am aiming to produce a supporting body of work so that the video is held within an expanded context.

When you step into my studio, you should smell my aunties homemade garam masala slowly infusing into fried onions on the stovetop. Poke around the work you find and if you have any questions or comments do not hesitate to leave them in the comments section.

Sending love,


A Holy Place

Black and White Pyramid. Kofi is inscribed inside the pyramid.

I am Amaqhawekazi Emafini Malamlela(She/They), a Ghanaian-South African multidisciplinary Artist. Welcome to my shrine. As an artist, what influences my work is the deep sense of spirituality, identity and sexuality. 

Dance, Theatre, Performance Art, visual art and sound previously shaped the artwork I created. I am currently interested in exploring ideas of Space-Time and what it is to have a body and ritual as a process of creating sacred spaces. This residency is the opportunity to further experiment with film and how to translate sacred space onto digital platforms. 

This is a sacred space where I will reinvigorate my creative practice, taking a leap on new concepts and digging deeper with research. I will share with you Trumu Fetish, an artwork dedicated to bringing forth a Transgender deity. Trumu Fetish is a multidisciplinary artwork building a world of faithfulness. Visual art is key to the longevity of the belief and the castration of patriarchal symbols. Durational Performance Art: through the body summon the spirit of the deity. And through literature give rise to intimate comprehension.

Please, take a moment and join me as I unpack my creative process with you. You can expect video, text, images and weekly updates throughout this residency. You are welcome to leave comments and questions. Again, welcome to my shrine.


If I told you that my name should be spelt Istabraq but that at the borders of this country, those deciding the status of my family using a language which struggles to identify it, didn’t have patience enough to actually…

Would you believe me?

Estabrak. It’s official. I mean, English tongues can say it.

Iss-tub-bruq is how it’s pronounced. And A rough silk only found in heaven is it’s meaning.

>> a reading of the text above for those who need it<<


mixed media collage artwork of multiple figures, objects and symbols interacting in a visual poetry.

Often before starting a piece I’ll do a rough sketch with notes of ideas for it. Looking through these rough sketches I felt the end piece always lost some sincere venerableness that the early sketches had, as if I was uninhibited  knowing no one would ever see these rough takes. I wondered what a balance between the sincere sketches and polished final artwork would look like. Which is where the sketchy erratic almost unfinished feel to the piece came from. This piece is like a visual diary, a live stream of my thoughts at the time, even going as far as including the tools I used to create the piece, as if this was a blank canvas I was projecting my thoughts on to. While creating this piece I felt off balance, thinking back to regrets of the past, or worrying about the future instead of being balanced in the present moment. being a self employed artist comes with many pros and cons which I explored in this piece. The main type of commission I work on are album artworks for musicians, these artworks need to be the perfect square to fit the size of the album cover, I started to feel boxed in my this same type of canvas with fears of repeating myself, using up my creativity on others work, losing love for what I do, but needing to make money. Even with my personal artworks, I wondered if I was creating as a distraction so I didn’t have to stop, be still and just think. I felt I was in a never ending cycle with all these different versions of myself (the freelancer, the artist, past and future) all colliding in an anxiety filled mess. despite this piece being personal, I felt drawing myself would instantly make the piece about one thing. me. But I wanted anyone to be able to project themselves onto these figures, which is why I often leave faces quite abstract to detach any one identity.  Identity was another thing I was thinking a lot about, and how being a POC growing up in England is a kind of psychological obstacle everyone has to go through. Growing up being taught to love and respect a culture that doesn’t do the same back, and how it can create inner conflict from early ages. Despite going to some fairly dark and painful places with this piece, It still has a fun childish energy about it. Often when I’m working I feel I’m doing a balancing act between my inner child who’s the artist and my inner adult who’s the editor that cuts the fat and gives the piece more intention. So I think this childish optimistic feel comes from me naturally not taking myself too seriously, wanting to create art to be fun, enjoyed and give the viewer the feeling of being a child looking at something with curious wide eyes. Despite art being tired up with all these different aspects of my life like my work, passion, self worth, identity. Creating this piece reminded me to just enjoy/embrace the process and have fun with it. 


I am interested exploring darkroom printing with AR. Furthering on my work from the other week I’ve carried on exploring Anna Atkins cyanotype printed and edited them to create into an AR artwork.

Anna Atkins cyanotype print which has a blue background and white outline of leaves on top.
Anna Atkins cyanotype print which has a blue background and white outline of a plant on top
Anna Atkins cyanotype print which has a blue background and white outline of a leaf on top
Anna Atkins cyanotype print which has a blue background and white outline of a plant on top
Anna Atkins cyanotype print which has a blue background and white outline of 3 fern leaves on top
Anna Atkins cyanotype print which has a blue background and white outline of 9 ferns on top.
“Anna Atkins, Ferns. Specimen of Cyanotype, 1840s, cyanotype, overall: 26.3 x 20.8 cm (10 3/8 x 8 3/16 in.), R. K. Mellon Family Foundation, 2007.15.1”


Scan the QR codes to see further AR works.

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One of Anna Atkins leaves created in Adobe Illustrator and Vectary with the Anna Atkins print used as a material. Photograph taken over rhubarb leaves.
One of Anna Atkins leaves created in Adobe Illustrator and Vectary with the Anna Atkins print used as a material. Photo is of the leaf placed over grass with a fence and a dog in the background.
One of Anna Atkins leaves created in Adobe Illustrator and Vectary with the Anna Atkins print used as a material. Photo is of the leaf placed in a bed of dying tulips.
One of Anna Atkins leaves created in Adobe Illustrator and Vectary with the Anna Atkins print used as a material. Photo is of the leaf placed in a bed of little blue flowers.
One of Anna Atkins leaves created in Adobe Illustrator and Vectary with the Anna Atkins print used as a material. Photo is of the leaf placed in a rose bush with one tiny yellow rose that is currently growing.

Adobe Aero

Scan the QR codes to open your Adobe Aero app to see further works.

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A cut out of an Anna Atkins cyanotype that is floating in the air with a garden behind it. If you click on the link it will take you to footage on YouTube of me walking around the work.
Photo of one of the Adobe Illustrator works with a garden behind and a dog in the distance.
Anna Atkins cyanotype that I've edited in Adobe Illustrator is sitting on grass with a garden behind it. If you click on the link it will take you to footage on YouTube where the work in bouncing.
Anna Atkins cyanotype that I've edited in Adobe Illustrator and now in Vectary with the print of the outline of the plant as a material. If you click on the link you should be able to see it in Vectary.