Exhibition—Sonia Boyce: Feeling Her Way

“Sonia Boyce: Feeling Her Way” will be on view at Turner Contemporary (in Margate, Kent, England) from February 4 to May 8, 2023, and at Leeds Art Gallery from May 25 to November 5, 2023.

Description (Turner Contemporary): Turner Contemporary is pleased to present Sonia Boyce’s exhibition Feeling Her Way, which won the Golden Lion for Best National Participation at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia 2022.

Commissioned by the British Council for the British Pavilion, the installation combines video, collage, music and sculpture to present a body of work that centres around the vocal experimentation of five Black female musicians.

Featuring Jacqui Dankworth, Poppy Ajudha, Sofia Jernberg, Tanita Tikaram, and composer Errollyn Wallen, these intergenerational musicians were brought together by Boyce at Abbey Road Studios in London and Atlantis Studios in Stockholm to improvise, interact and play with their voices. Colour-tinted video works take centre stage among tessellating wallpapers, created by Boyce, and golden 3-D geometric structures, which immerse the audience in the work through their highly reflective surfaces.

The commission expands on Boyce’s ‘Devotional Collection’, built over 20 years and spanning more than three centuries, which honours the substantial contribution of Black British female musicians to public life and transnational culture.

Sonia Boyce said: “I am so excited Turner Contemporary will be hosting Feeling Her Way for the first leg of the exhibition’s tour. To see the evolution of this project back in the UK feels incredibly significant to me, especially in Margate, which is coming into its own as a dynamic cultural hotspot.”

Clarrie Wallis, Director of Turner Contemporary, said: “Turner Contemporary is delighted to collaborate with the British Council on the tour of Sonia Boyce’s exhibition Feeling Her Way. This joyful, ambitious installation celebrates female creativity and collaboration – of finding a voice – and we look forward to presenting it in Margate next spring.” [. . .] 

Feeling Her Way by Sonia Boyce OBE RA was commissioned by the British Council for the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, 2022.

Sonia Boyce OBE RA (b. 1962, London, UK) emerged in the 1980s as a key figure in the Black British art movement. Her recent art practice is primarily concerned with the production and reception of unexpected performative gestures, with an underlying interest in how the personal, the aesthetic, and the political intersect. In 2019, the artist received an OBE for services to art in the Queen’s New Year Honours List, as well as an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal College of Art. In 2016, Boyce was elected a Royal Academician, and received a Paul Hamlyn Artist Award. Between 2012 – 2017, Boyce was Professor of Fine Art at Middlesex University and since 2014 she has been Professor at the University of the Arts London, where, as the inaugural Chair of Black Art & Design, Boyce has led a 3-year research project into Black Artists & Modernism, resulting in a BBC documentary Whoever Heard of a Black Artist? Britain’s Hidden Art History (2018).

Recent solo exhibitions include In the Castle of My Skin, Eastside Projects, Birmingham, UK (2020), touring to Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA), Middlesbrough, UK (2021); Sonia Boyce, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester, UK (2018); Sonia Boyce: We move in her way, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, UK (2017) and Paper Tiger Whisky Soap Theatre (Dada Nice), Villa Arson, Nice, France (2016). 2021 also saw the completion of Boyce’s major public art commission for London’s Elizabeth Line/Crossrail project, Newham Trackside Wall. Boyce also recently featured in Tate Britain’s Life Between Islands, Caribbean – British Art 1950s – Now. In 2015 she was included in All the World’s Futures, the International Exhibition of the 56th Venice Biennale, curated by Okwui Enwezor. [. . .]

For more information, see https://turnercontemporary.org/bio/sonia-boyce/

Also see https://soniaboyce.net/ and related article https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2023/jan/30/venice-margate-sonia-boyce-supergroup [Many thanks to Veerle Poupeye (Critical.Caribbean.Art) for bringing this article to our attention.]

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