Devotional II is a site-specific version of an earlier work by Sonia Boyce which is also in the Government Art Collection. In 2005 it was installed in the European Union Headquarters at the newly renovated Berlaymont building in Brussels. Extending nine metres high on an internal column, it spans a height of three floors. Totem-like, its physical presence and array of colours make it highly visible to everyone using the building.
This multi-coloured monumental list features the names of black female singers, including the jazz singer Elisabeth Welch presented at the top of the work in the pre-1960s section, to Yazz in the 1980s and Lisa Maffia in the early 2000s. Boyce accumulated names and dates of the singers over several years through conversations with different people about their favourite black female singers. The chronological listing offering a different perspective of popular music.
Sonia Boyce studied art at East Ham College and Stourbridge College of Art until 1983. Since the mid 1980s she has exhibited widely in the UK and abroad, and several monographs about her work have been published in recent years. In March 2004 she was awarded the Nesta Three Year Fellowship.
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