As a collaboration with Black History Month Florence (BHMF), Villa Romana presents Sky by Sonia Elizabeth Barrett, curated by Justin Randolph Thompson.
Suspended, soft, tender, Clouds (2019) linger in the room ever-present, delicate and overwhelmingly powerful. Full in the weight, the silence of the space they hold collectively is un-ignorable. Hair holds the DNA of a person, of a people. The remains, the cut parts, the fragments are weighty in their evidence. There is lightness and simultaneously a power, a deep burden of proof. In a world on fire Barrett´s work consistently holds the space for the violently erased. Rain-filled clouds; a life-giving potential or smoke bearing the weight of the past, Barrett´s work, is a black space. A space beyond time, beyond past and present. A collective and individual space that is shape shifting and fluid. (What the hELL she doin! collective)
Of German-Jamaican parentage brought up in England, China and Cyprus, Sonia Elizabeth Barrett is a graduate of St Andrews University and the Transart Institute. Sonia is a MacDowell fellow and recipient of the Boss Harlan Foundation stipend. Her work has been shown at OCCCA California, the nGbK Berlin, The Format Contemporary in Milan and the Rosenwald Wolf Gallery Philadelphia the Museum of Derby and the British Library, recognised by the Premio ORA, NY Art Slant showcase for sculpture and the Neo Art Prize.