Artist Sonia Boyce and Emma Ridgway, Shane Akeroyd Associate Curator, British Pavilion 2022. Photo by Cristiano Corte. ©

British Council

British Pavilion exhibition 2022 has won the Golden Lion prize for Sonia Boyce: Feeling Her Way.

The artist, curator and commissioner were awarded the prestigious award for Best National Participation at La Biennale di Venezia 2022. The artwork focuses on the vocal experimentation of five outstanding black female musicians as they embody feelings of power, freedom and vulnerability.

Awarding the accolade, the jury said: 'Sonia Boyce proposes … another reading of histories through the sonic. In working collaboratively with other black women, she unpacks a plenitude of silenced stories.'

This is momentous, and utterly overwhelming. I want to say thank you to everyone for their support. Their generosity has been beyond my expectations. Even more so to the great team I have been fortunate to work with. The performers in Feeling Her Way - Poppy Ajudha, Jacqui Dankworth MBE, Sofia Jernberg, Tanita Tikaram and Errollyn Wallen CBE - are stunning. They connect us in ways that are joyful, soulful and necessary. Venice is living up to its reputation as the city of dreams. 

Sonia Boyce

Past British winners also include Richard Hamilton (1993), Anish Kapoor (1990), Frank Auerbach (1986), Bridget Riley (1968) and Henry Moore (1948). 

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. These exhibitions, and the British Council’s Venice Fellowships initiative introduced in 2016, help make the British Pavilion a major platform for discussion about contemporary art and architecture. A panel of visual art specialists from across the UK selected the artist for Biennale Arte 2022. 

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