Phoebe Boswell: Still Life: A Taxonomy of Being

Sapar Contemporary, London, United Kingdom
05 May 2021 - 12 Jun 2021

Phoebe Boswell. Notes on Lockdown: World View III. 2021. Pastel on paper.

Phoebe Boswell. Notes on Lockdown: World View III. 2021. Pastel on paper.

Sapar Contemporary is delighted to present Still Life: A Taxonomy of Being, the gallery’s second solo exhibition of work by Phoebe Boswell (Kenya/UK). The exhibition features drawings and watercolors created between December 2020 and April 2021, while Boswell was sequestered at home during the UK’s third government-mandated Covid -19 lockdown. The works on paper are installed so as to create an immersive experience that also features video with a soundtrack of breathing. The works encapsulate a year in which breathing became perilous and, for many, technologies and devices functioned as the primary mediators of seeing, being, and socializing. The exhibition extends an invitation, from the artist to us all, to reflect on our shared experiences of isolation and what we will carry forward.

Underpinned by a transient and diasporic consciousness, Phoebe Boswell’s practice speaks from the porous space between here and there. She works intuitively across media, centering drawing but spanning animation, sound, video, writing, interactivity, performance and chorality. This tends to culminate in layered installations, which affect and are affected by the environments they occupy, by time, the serendipity of loops, and the presence of the audience. Aesthetics of figuration and representation through the radical imaginary of Black feminisms become tools for contemplating the body as world, worldmaking, rather than merely as object to be gazed at. Artmaking becomes a political act of service to community, where labour-intensive drawing practices, immersive technologies, and calls for collective participation denote a commitment of care for how we see ourselves and each other; how we grieve, how we love, how we rest, how we heal, how we protest, how we remember the past in order to imagine the future.

Boswell (Kenya/UK) currently lives/works in London, and her work has been exhibited globally, including Autograph; Sundance Film Festivals, Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art 2015, and Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement 2016. She received the Future Generation Art Prize’s Special Prize in 2017 and recently unveiled a large-scale public moving image work ‘PLATFORM’ as part of the Fonds cantonal d’art contemporain in Geneva. Boswell was the Bridget Riley Drawing Fellow at the British School of Rome in 2019, is a current recipient of the Paul Hamlyn Award for Artists, a Ford Foundation Fellow, will this year present newly commissioned works at Prospect P5 in New Orleans and Hache Noce in Oaxaca, and has solo exhibitions at New Art Exchange, Nottingham and Sapar Contemporary, New York both opening in May (according to Covid-19 guidelines).






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