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.
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