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Artist, Writer

Sonia Boyce

  • CountryUnited Kingdom
  • Born1962


Sonia Boyce’s early figurative pastel drawings and photographic collages address issues of race, ethnicity and contemporary urban experience, questioning racial stereotypes in the media and day-to-day life. Her more recent work has shifted to explore social practice and collaboration, with the audience as an integral part of the artwork. Employing spontaneous performative actions and incorporating photographs, video, prints and sound in multimedia installations, Boyce demonstrates how cultural differences might be articulated, mediated and enjoyed.

In 1995, Boyce was commissioned by Iniva to work with Brighton Museum’s collection of non-Western art and ethnography. Exploring themes of observation, interpretation and her identification with an ‘ancestral’ past, Boyce produced an installation and book entitled Peep.

Boyce’s exhibition ‘Scat: Sound and Collaboration,’ presented by Iniva in 2013, focused on the significance of sound in art bringing together two immersive video works along with artefacts from the Devotional Collection, Boyce’s archive of CDs, cassettes, vinyl records and other ephemera charting the history of black women in the music industry.

Born in London, Boyce is a British Afro-Caribbean artist who studied Fine Art at Stourbridge College of Art, West Midlands. Her works are held in the collections of Tate Modern and Victoria & Albert Museum. In 2015, Boyce’s work Exquisite Cacophony was shown at ‘All the World’s Futures,’ the 56th Venice Biennale. In 2007, she was awarded an MBE for her services to the arts and presented with the Historians of British Art Book Prize for her contribution to the edited volume Shades of Black: Assembling Black Arts in 1980s Britain, published in collaboration with Iniva.

Based in London, Boyce is Professor of Fine Arts at Middlesex University and Chair of Black Art and Design at the University of the Arts, London. She is the first Black woman elected a Royal Academician.

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