Sonia Boyce OBE RA represents Great Britain at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Commissioned by the British Council, the exhibition features a major solo exhibition of new work from the artist, and runs from 23 April – 27 November 2022.
Sonia Boyce is known for her highly innovative and experimental approach to art-making, using performance and audio-visual elements in her work. Since the 1990s, her practice has become increasingly improvisational and collaborative, inviting a broad cross-section of participants to come together and speak, sing or move in relation to the past and the present.
On accepting the British Council commission, Sonia Boyce commented:
'You could have knocked me down with a feather when I got the call to tell me I had been chosen to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale 2021 - it was like a bolt out of the blue. Obviously, I’m extremely honoured, excited – and nervous. I’m eager to start this creative journey, exploring the experience with others who agree to work with me along the way.'
Emma Dexter, British Council Director Visual Arts, Commissioner of the British Pavilion and Chair of the British Pavilion Selection Committee, said:
'The British Council is thrilled to announce that Sonia Boyce has been commissioned to represent the UK at the Biennale Arte 2021. We are eagerly anticipating her exhibition, where collaboration, improvisation and dialogue will undoubtedly play a key role. Boyce’s work raises important questions about the nature of creativity, questioning who makes art, how ideas are formed, and the nature of authorship. At such a pivotal moment in the UK’s history, the Committee has chosen an artist whose work embodies inclusiveness, generosity, experimentation and the importance of working together'.
The British Council has been responsible for the British Pavilion at 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.