I use my body as a tool to paint and perform. This is a direct reference to Yves Klein’s “Anthropométrie de l’époque bleue” performance (1960). In front of an audience, Klein directed naked young women to cover their bodies in his signature blue paint and print their bodies onto a white surface. Klein selected women who would have been considered the feminine ideal, ultimately creating, in my opinion, passive female bodies, ripe for objectification and sexualization by the male gaze.
I am a black female operating in a society where I am a minority and where European standards for beauty are the norm. Here, the black female body has a heavy load of history to carry in terms of sexual stereotypes and resulting objectification or de-sexualization- so depending on ones physical characteristics, it is possible to find oneself placed into a either a box which sexually objectifies you based on a particular stereotype or into a box which completely de-sexualises you, with not much scope for just being who you are. These are the issues I wish to confront.
With my studio work, the conversation is extended further by bringing in elements of identity and culture. Old family photographs from British Gold coast (now Ghana) are juxtaposed with photographs of British people from the same time period. These are placed on top of and around the imprints left by my own body in the present. Utilising image transfer techniques, sometimes degraded, yet recognisable versions of these images are presented on the surface. Throughout this process I think about family history, migration, myself as a diaspora child and colonialism. The resulting works at times resemble collages transposed on top of or underneath body prints. Text is woven through and around the images and paint, in opposition, other works include body prints with minimal or no images and text.
2018: “Genesis” London
2015: This is Us. London
2011: Selection of work Venice
2009: National Centre for Domestic Violence. London
2008: Supermodels. London
2008: Black Lipstick. London
2008: Black Lipstick and Black Brits. London
2006: Black Brits. London
2018: BBFA Presents, BBFA Collective. TAFETA Gallery, London.
2018: Muse, Model or Mistress? Gallery Different, London.
2018: Novo Foundation. From Violence to a Place of Power. A Donor + Funder Movement Building to End Sexual Violence. London.
2018: Platform Southwark. After Cesaire/Modern Tropiques. London.
2018: Bonhams. “We Face Forward!” London.
2018: Little Africa Des Gosses. Marrakesh Off the Tracks. Morocco.
2018: Gallery of Small Things (Bisi Silva). Dakar Biennale, Senegal.
2017: Gallery of Small Things ( Bisi Silva). ACDF Festival, Lagos, Nigeria.
2017: “Article 10.” Amnesty International. London.
2017: Latham and Watkins. “Sankofa.” BBA (Black British Art) + panellist. London.
2017: UNFOLD. London.
2017: “Dispersed.” BBFA Collective + 3 Ghana artists. Nubuke Foundation (+Chale Wote), Ghana.
2017: “A Seat at the Table” 198 Gallery, London.
2016: “Untitled.” + panellist with BBA (Black British Art). Latham Watkins LLP. London.
2016: UK Youth Charity auction. Canary Wharf, London.
2015: TEDx Euston. Vision to Reality. BBFA Collective. London.
2015: AACDD Festival, BBFA Collective. Bargehouse Gallery, Oxo Tower, London.
2011: Work on permanent display at Hotel Locanda, Venice, Italy
2009: British Art in the 21st Century. Opera Gallery Budapest Hungary.
2009: Screen Nation Awards Bafta, Piccadilly, London.
2007: I2U gallery Ladbrook Grove, London.
2006: Francophone Space African Arts Portsmouth UK.
2005: Buffalo film festival Clapham UK.
Happy to discuss being commissioned to perform.