September recipients: black artists grant!

We’re excited to announce the September recipients for the Creative Debuts Black Artist’s Grant! Scroll down to find out!


Ashrah Suudy is a 20-year-old student, freelance photographer and creative living in Cardiff. ‘East in Colour’ is a photo series dedicated to Somali Culture, focusing on the ‘dirac’. It’s a series that signifies Suudy’s identity and showcases a narrative she is proud of.

“Receiving the email that Halcyon has selected me to be one of the recipients of the Creative Debuts Black Artists Grant was truly a shock and honestly meant the world to me. I’m deeply appreciative for this support and thankful for Creative Debuts, Umbrella Studios, Most Wanted Wines, Fabrix as well as Halcyon for a creating a space for Muslim women to connect and share their work. A space that is truly needed!”


Marcus Forde is a writer and director from south-east London making whimsical Black imagination projects. His short film, Our Largest, was commissioned by the BBC New Creatives project.

“I beamed ear to ear when I found out! It’s very tight that things like this exist. Thank you Halcyon, Creative Debuts, Umbrella Studios, Most Wanted Wines and Fabrix!”


Ione is a singer songwriter from Manchester who started singing from the tender age of three. From a young age Ione wrote her own songs and started working as a session singer and backing vocalist. Ione has performed in musicals including “Beautiful-A Carole King Musical” and has toured the UK, Europe and North and South America with various artists. Ione is now dedicated to releasing her own music and is doing independently and her first offering in over a year and a half “Tell Me” which has had support from BBC introducing Manchester and was one of Mike Skinner’s selections on radio 1. Ione is releasing her next single Loved By You on the 23rd of October and will release her E.P The Tide is Changing later in the year.

“I’m so proud and happy to have received this grant, I’ve never won anything like this and as an independent artist everything is self-funded so I can’t express how helpful this especially as the tour I was on was cancelled due to Covid.”


“My name is Jaffar Aly, a Lewisham brother. As an artist, I’ve managed to become a jack of most trades. Whether it be from the abstract expressionism I’ve acquired from being a Black body on the streets of London embellishing my anxiety and angst on plywood and M.D.F found on the roadside, to graphic designing, or writing a forthcoming publication titled ‘Four Wings and Chips’, this Black body from the blue borough can probably do most things if the mind is right.

Truly grateful for this. This opportunity needs to be spread around the community, this is a grant that looks out for us, the unrecognised and silenced. This grant will help me pay for my first solo exhibition as well as help me purchase tools for my freelance work. £500 is a lot you know and money like this doesn’t come around too often so thank you for supporting me and my vision. I am spreading the word so my people could also get a chance like me!”


If you want to apply for this grant, applications are still open! Click here to find out more:

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