The British artist Sonia Boyce’s award-winning work Feeling Her Way will come to the UK in 2023, the British Council has announced.
The installation, which won the Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion prize this year, combines video, collage, music and sculpture. Boyce’s win was a historic moment – she was the first black woman to represent the UK at Venice.
Commissioned by the British Council for the British pavilion, Feeling Her Way features videos of five black female musicians who improvise and play with their voices. “The rooms of the pavilion are filled with sounds – sometimes harmonious, sometimes clashing – embodying feelings of freedom, power and vulnerability,” according to the British Council.
The exhibition will be at the Turner Contemporary in Margate next February, before heading to Leeds Art Gallery in May. The biennale’s jury commended Boyce for proposing “another reading of histories through the sonic. In working collaboratively with other black women, she unpacks a plenitude of silenced stories.”
Clarrie Wallis, the director of the Turner Contemporary, said the gallery was delighted to be involved in the tour. “Supporting artists at pivotal moments in their careers and exhibiting bold new work relevant to a broad range of audiences is central to our exhibition programme. This joyful, 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 audiences who pass through the pavilion.
Boyce previously told Artnet News that her collaborators’ performances were born out of a simple question: “As a woman, as a black person, what does freedom feel like? How can you imagine freedom?”
Skinder Hundal, the global director of arts at the British Council, said: “Sonia Boyce’s Golden Lion win at the Venice Biennale was a momentous moment for both Sonia and the UK, recognising her significant contribution and legacy to UK arts. We’re so excited, then, to bring this award-winning exhibition to both Margate and Leeds where visitors can expect an immersive experience which speaks of hope, joy and freedom.”
The British Council has been responsible for the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale since 1937, showcasing the best of the UK’s artists, architects, designers and curators. Boyce’s commission runs at the Venice Biennale until 27 November.