Sonia Boyce in room 5 at the British Pavilion Wednesday 26 October 2022

 

Sonia Boyce’s Golden Lion-winning exhibition Feeling Her Way will come to the UK in 2023, the British Council has announced.

The exhibition, which won the prestigious award for the Best National Participation at La Biennale di Venezia 2022, is set for the Turner Contemporary in Margate next February, before heading to Leeds Art Gallery in May.

Feeling Her Way, which draws to a close in Venice next month, was commissioned by the British Council for the British Pavilion. The artwork combines video, collage, music and sculpture to present a body of work that centres around the vocal experimentation of five Black female musicians.

It features award-winning, intergenerational musicians Jacqui Dankworth, Poppy Ajudha, Sofia Jernberg, Tanita Tikaram, and composer Errollyn Wallen, who are brought together by Boyce (both at Abbey Road Studios in London and Atlantis Studios in Stockholm) to improvise, interact and play with their voices. Colour-tinted video works take centre stage among Boyce’s signature tessellating wallpapers and golden 3-D geometric structures, which bring the audience into the work through their highly reflective surfaces. 

The commission expands on Boyce’s Devotional Collection, built over 20+ years and spanning more than three centuries, which honours the substantial contribution of Black British female musicians to the lives of the public and to transnational culture.

Speaking about the upcoming tour was Skinder Hundal, Global Director of Arts at the British Council. He said: "Sonia Boyce's Golden Lion win at the Venice Biennale was a momentous moment for both Sonia and the UK, recognising her significant contribution and legacy to UK arts. We’re so excited, then, to bring this award-winning exhibition to both Margate and Leeds where visitors can expect an immersive experience which speaks of hope, joy and freedom.”

With the support of the Art Fund, the exhibition will run at the Turner Contemporary, Margate from 4 February- 7 May 2023.

Clarrie Wallis, Turner Contemporary Director said: “Turner Contemporary is delighted to collaborate with the British Council on the tour of Sonia Boyce’s exhibition Feeling Her Way in 2023. Supporting artists at pivotal moments in their careers and exhibiting bold new work relevant to a broad range of audiences is central to our exhibition programme. This joyful, ambitious installation celebrates female creativity and collaboration, and we look forward to presenting it in Margate next spring.”

It will then head to Leeds Art Gallery from 25 May, with the exhibition running until 5 November.

Jane Bhoyroo, Principal Keeper, Leeds Art Gallery said: “We are thrilled to be working with Sonia Boyce and the British Council to present ‘Feeling Her Way’ in Leeds. The opportunity to bring this moving and inspiring installation to the city will enable our diverse audiences to experience this major work by one of the UK’s most distinguished artists”.

The British Council has been responsible for the British Pavilion at the International Art and Architecture Exhibitions of La Biennale di Venezia since 1937, showcasing the best of the UK's artists, architects, designers and curators.

Sonia Boyce’s British Council Commission for the British Pavilion runs at the Venice Biennale until 27 November 2022. It was commissioned by Emma Dexter, British Council Director Visual Arts, and curated by Emma Ridgway, Shane Akeroyd Associate Curator.

For more information visit https://venicebiennale.britishcouncil.org/. The exhibition and Sonia’s personal journey will feature on the upcoming BBC documentary series Imagine, which airs on Sunday, 7 November on BBC One.

Notes to Editor

For information please contact - Claire McAuley, Senior Media and Campaigns Manager, T +44 (0) 28 9019 2224 | M +44 (0)7856524504 
Email: claire.mcauley@britishcouncil.org

Images of the exhibition can be found here: https://bit.ly/SoniaTour

Watch the exhibition walk-through video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPw9DA1z3ww

Exhibition Tour:

Turner Contemporary, Margate

Preview: Saturday 4 Feb

Exhibition run: 4 Feb- 7 May 2023

Leeds Art Gallery

Preview: Thursday 25 May 2023

Exhibition run: 26 May – 5 November 2023

It will then tour to Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, US in 2024.

About Sonia Boyce
Sonia Boyce OBE RA was born in London, UK in 1962, where she continues to live and work. In 2022, Boyce represents the UK at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia with FEELING HER WAY, a major new commission for the British Pavilion, for which she was awarded the Golden Lion for Best National Participation. In 2019, the artist received an OBE for services to art in the Queen’s New Year Honours List, as well as an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal College of Art. In 2016, Boyce was elected a Royal Academician, and received a Paul Hamlyn Artist Award. Between 2012 - 2017, Boyce was Professor of Fine Art at Middlesex University and since 2014 she has been Professor at the University of the Arts London. As the inaugural Chair of Black Art & Design she led on a 3-year research project into Black Artists & Modernism, which led to a BBC documentary Whoever Heard of a Black Artist? Britain’s Hidden Art History (2018). Recent solo exhibitions include In the Castle of My Skin, Eastside Projects, Birmingham, UK (2020), touring to Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA), Middlesbrough, UK (2021); Sonia Boyce, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester, UK (2018); Sonia Boyce: We move in her way, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, UK (2017) and Paper Tiger Whisky Soap Theatre (Dada Nice), Villa Arson, Nice, France (2016). In 2015 she was included in All the World’s Futures, the International Exhibition of the 56th Venice Biennale, curated by Okwui Enwezor. Her work is held in the collections of Tate, London, UK; Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK; Arts Council Collection, London, UK; The Government Art Collection,London, UK; British Council Collection, London, UK and Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, UK.

About Turner contemporary, Margate

Turner Contemporary in Margate is one of the most distinctive galleries in the UK; its impact stretches beyond culture-led regeneration and the showcasing of world-class exhibitions, to pioneering change by making the arts more vital and connected to daily life. Turner Contemporary is a charity, receiving public funding from Kent County Council and Arts Council England. In copy please refer to Turner Contemporary and not ‘The Turner Contemporary’ or ‘The Turner.’

About Leeds Art Gallery

Founded in 1888, Leeds Art Gallery has strong collections of 19th and 20th century British painting and sculpture, widely considered to be one of the best outside national collections. With half a million visitors every year, it is one of the city’s most visited attractions and is free to visitors. Alongside an extensive painting and sculpture collection, the gallery holds a significant collection of moving-image work. To accompany the collection Leeds Art Gallery presents a dynamic and diverse programme comprising exhibitions, commissions, acquisitions and projects by artists whose work is globally significant and locally relevant. In recent years, Leeds Art Gallery has launched British Art Show 8, established Yorkshire Sculpture International and has co-commissioned major new moving-image works. To find out more about Leeds Art Gallery visit: https://museumsandgalleries.leeds.gov.uk/leeds-art-gallery.

About Art Fund

Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for art. It provides millions of pounds every year to help museums to acquire and share works of art across the UK, further the professional development of their curators, and inspire more people to visit and enjoy their public programmes. Art Fund is independently funded, supported by Art Partners, donors, trusts and foundations and the 130,000 members who buy the National Art Pass, who enjoy free entry to over 240 museums, galleries and historic places, 50% off major exhibitions, and receive Art Quarterly magazine. Art Fund also supports museums through its annual prize, Art Fund Museum of the Year. The winner of Art Fund Museum of the Year 2022 is Horniman Museums & Gardens. www.artfund.org.

About the British Pavilion 

The British Pavilion is commissioned and managed by the British Council. Artists commissioned to represent Britain have included: Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Ben Nicholson, Anthony Caro, Bridget Riley, Richard Long, Frank Auerbach, Barry Flanagan, Howard Hodgkin, Tony Cragg, Anish Kapoor, Richard Hamilton, Leon Kossoff, Rachel Whiteread, Gary Hume, Mark Wallinger, Chris Ofili, Gilbert & George, Tracey Emin, Steve McQueen, Mike Nelson, Jeremy Deller, Sarah Lucas, Phyllida Barlow and Cathy Wilkes (2019).

To find out more about previous British Pavilion exhibitions and British Council Visual Arts visit: venicebiennale.britishcouncil.org/history and visualarts.britishcouncil.org/

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide. We do this through our work in arts and culture, education and the English language. We work with people in over 200 countries and territories and are on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2021-22 we reached 650 million people.