Sonia Boyce

And Breathe…

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Year 2021
Medium Carbon paper transfer
Dimensions 29.7 x 21 cm
Top pick Shezad Dawood, artist; Aaron Cezar, Director of Delfina Foundation

About the work

Recently, at the end of 2020, I was asked to write a short piece for Contrajournal in response to our current situation. Immediately, I thought about the recurring and heart-rending sense of breathlessness across the world – whether as a consequence of Covid-19, or the last dying words of George Floyd. This drawing was made on 1 January 2021, in the hope that we can find a gentler way forward.

About the artist:

Born 1962 London, Sonia Boyce lives and works in London. Graduated from Art & Design at East Ham College of Art and Technology (1980); and BA in Fine Art at Stourbridge College (1983).

Boyce came to prominence as a key figure in the burgeoning Black-British art scene of the early 1980s. She was one of the youngest artists of her generation to have her work acquired by Tate, featuring deeply personal reflections on race, class, and gender in Britain.

She is known for her highly innovative and experimental approach to art-making, using performance, drawing, print, photography, and audio-visual elements in her work. Since the 1990s, her practice has become increasingly improvisational and collaborative, inviting a broad cross-section of people to come together and participate in the creative process.

Her works are held in public and private collections including Arts Council England; Tate Modern, London; and Royal Academy, London.

Selected exhibitions include Paper Tiger Whisky Soap Theatre (Dada Nice), Villa Arson, Nice (2016); All the World’s Futures, 56th Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art, Venice (2015); Speaking in Tongues, CCA, Glasgow (2014); Scat – Sound and Collaboration, Iniva, London (2013); Play! Re-capturing the Radical Imagination, Göteborg International Biennial of Contemporary Art 7, Göteborg (2013); The Impossible Community, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow (2011); Afro Modern: Journeys Through the Black Atlantic, Tate Liverpool (2010); and Like Love, Spike Island, Bristol (2009).

Boyce was elected a Royal Academician (2016); and received an OBE for Services to Art in the Queen’s New Year Honours List (2019). In February 2020 Boyce was announced by the British Council as the next artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale 2022.

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