Akeelah Bertram is a cross-disciplinary artist specialising in making immersive experiences. Materially her work blends light, sound, sculpture and interactions to create hybrid immersive environments that prioritise emotional experiences. Conceptually she is interested in collective narratives, challenging perspectives and innovating modes of communication.
Akeelah has worked with a range of institutions, practitioners and audiences, often shifting between the roles of artist and director. In doing so she has developed an inclusive and responsive approach to collaboration and pooling insight. She has exhibited nationally and internationally since studying at the University of Leeds, Hochschule für Bildende Künste, (Dresden) and the Royal College of Art (London). Previous projects include exhibitions in Bangalore (IN, 2019), Silvia (IT, 2017) and Puebla (MX, 2013) as well as residencies in Lagos (PT, 2020) Berlin (GE, 2015), Munich (GE, 2015) and London (UK, 2013).
She has spoken at a range of events including the Northernlands Data Summit, Brighton Digital Festival and The Meet Up: Women in Tech. Her work has been supported by Arts Council England, Leeds City Council, The Aziz Foundation, The British Council, Frequency Festival and many more.
From 2020-21 Akeelah will be one of two artists representing the UK as part of the international project Contested Desires. This capacity-building project will explore the role of heritage spaces in navigating shared colonial histories, consisting of workshops and residencies in Portugal, Spain, the UK and Cyprus.
In 2019 Akeelah became Artist in Residence at the Leeds-based interactive art studio, Invisible Flock.
During this residency, she began a long-term international project entitled ‘Return’. After a prototype run of the project in 2019, Akeelah has partnered with York Mediale to further explore cultural exchange through technological innovation. The artistic development has been informed by community engagement and remote residencies.