1930s to 1960s

Sonia Boyce (1962 - )

Hard ground and soft ground etching with spitbite aquatint on Pescia Magnani paper


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© Sonia Boyce. All rights reserved, DACS 2022.

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  • About the work
    Country: Other
    City: storage

    In this print the names of 14 women, all artists, writers and singers, appear surrounded by lines reminiscent of contour lines and seven black stars. All 14 women included in Sonia Boyce's print (with the possible exception of Shirley Bassey) were chosen because they were overlooked in mainstream cultural history because of their race. For women of Boyce's generation, these women were important role models at a time of racial prejudice and discrimination.

    Boyce's print relates to another of her works, Devotional II (see GAC 18064). This was commissioned by the Government Art Collection for the European Union Headquarters in Brussels in 2005. A site-specific installation, it lists the names of black female singers in the form of a multi-coloured column. 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 charts a very different history 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.

  • About the artist
    Sonia Boyce MBE is a British Afro-Caribbean artist who lives and works in London. While studying at Stourbridge College of Art from 1980-83, she met and collaborated with artists from the BLK Art Group (Keith Piper, Donald Rodney, Marlene Smith and Eddie Chambers), an informal but highly influential group who organised and promoted exhibitions and events that addressed the experience of Black communities in Britain. Boyce’s early work, primarily large pastel drawings and photographic collages, addressed issues of race and gender in the media and of daily life. In the late 1980s, Boyce incorporated a wider use of media in her work, including photography, collage, film, print, drawing, installation and sound. This shift also involved greater collaborative participation with audiences and communities, placing more emphasis on the art resulting from these collaborations. Boyce has exhibited her work extensively both in the UK and internationally. Key exhibitions include 'Five Black Women', African Centre, London (1983); 'Sonia Boyce: For you, only you', Magdalen College, Oxford and subsequent UK venues (2007–08); and at 'All the World’s Futures', 56th Venice Biennale (2015). In 2007, Boyce was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to the arts. She is currently Professor of Fine Arts at Middlesex University, London and Professor of Black Art and Design at University of the Arts London. Boyce will represent Great Britain at the Venice Biennale, for the 59th International Art Exhibition in 2022, the first Black British woman to have achieved this honour.
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  • Details
    1930s to 1960s
    Hard ground and soft ground etching with spitbite aquatint on Pescia Magnani paper
    height: 76.00 cm, width: 51.00 cm
    Purchased from Autograph ABP, October 2007
    verso b: 16/50 / 1930s to 1960s / S.Boyce 2007 verso bl: BRODSKY / CENTER / [stamp] / 07-325
    Autograph ABP, London
    GAC number