Being an artist in residence at the Whitworth and collaborating with WYC (Whitworth Young Contemporaries) and Manchester City of Sanctuary had a great impact on Ibukun’s life. She has grown so much as a person and as an artist and, as for many other people part of WYC, she has become very passionate about helping refugees and asylum seekers. Now, she wants to dedicate part of her life to help and empower them.
My time on this residency has been such an amazing time of personal and professional growth. I started as a sympathiser of refugee and asylum seekers and the issues they face. But during the course of this residency I’ve find myself exposed to the needs of the community and the injustices they have faced in way I cannot ignore. I’ve immersed from this residency as an activist, determined to do what I can to better the lives of the marginalised within my community. I’m so grateful for the example artists like Alice Kettle, organisation like Manchester City of Sanctuary and Galleries like The Whitworth have shown me, that there’s so much the arts and community initiatives can do to aid the marginalised in society, and there’s no excuse to not constantly be fighting for positive societal change. It’s this example that will carry me forward in my career as an artist and a business woman, always looking over my shoulder for anyone pull along that I may have otherwise been leaving behind.
She is now working with Journeys Festival and Revive UK Women’s group to creating textile banners to share their story and raise awareness on refugee issues.
Ibukun has also recently launched her own business venture in the fashion industry:
Bukky Baldwin is flipping the script on the ethics of the fashion industry. Through the integration of hand-crafted design techniques, the fashion label creates employment opportunities for all in society. Established by textile designer Ibukun Jesusanmi, the company trains, pays and values the work of its collaborators. Each garment is made to order with production beginning at the point of purchase, championing the sustainable creation of clothes.