British artist Sonia Boyce’s award-winning work Feeling Her Way is coming to the UK in 2023, the British Council has announced.
The installation, which this year won the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale, combines video, collage, music and sculpture. Boyce’s win was a historic moment – she was the first black woman to represent the UK in Venice.
Commissioned by the British Council for the British Pavilion, Feeling Her Way shows videos of five black female musicians improvising and playing with their voices. “The pavilion’s rooms are filled with sounds – sometimes harmonious, sometimes clashing – that embody feelings of freedom, power and vulnerability,” the British Council said.
The exhibition will be on view at the Turner Contemporary in Margate in February, before moving to Leeds Art Gallery in May. The biennial jury praised Boyce for proposing “a different reading of histories through sound. By collaborating with other black women, she unpacks a plethora of silent stories.”
Clarrie Wallis, the director of the Turner Contemporary, said the gallery was delighted to be involved in the tour. “Supporting artists at crucial moments in their careers and exhibiting bold new work that is relevant to a wide audience is at the heart of our exhibition program. This cheerful, ambitious installation celebrates female creativity and collaboration, and we look forward to presenting it in Margate next spring,” she said.
The work features the musicians Jacqui Dankworth, Poppy Ajudha, Sofia Jernberg and Tanita Tikaram, and the composer Errollyn Wallen. Their voices create an evolving, overlapping soundtrack for the audience passing through the pavilion.
Boyce previously told Artnet News that her collaborators’ performances came from a simple question: “What does freedom feel like as a woman, as a black person? How can you imagine your freedom?”
Skinder Hundal, the global director of arts at the British Council, said: “Sonia Boyce’s Golden Lion victory at the Venice Biennale was a momentous moment for both Sonia and the UK, recognizing her significant contribution and legacy to British art. We are so excited to bring this award-winning exhibition to both Margate and Leeds, where visitors can expect an immersive experience that speaks of hope, joy and freedom.”
Since 1937, the British Council has been responsible for the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, which showcases the best British artists, architects, designers and curators. Boyce’s commission runs until November 27 at the Venice Biennale.