Manchester Art Gallery

Sonia Boyce

The first retrospective exhibition by leading British artist Sonia Boyce.

Manchester Art Gallery
Friday 23 March 2018–Sunday 2 September 2018


Focusing on work from the mid-1990s to the present the exhibition will reflect Boyce’s move from her earlier drawing and collage which explored her own position as a black British woman, towards more improvised, collaborative ways of working. These unpredictable, open processes have been documented through a range of media including photography, film and wallpaper. The gallery has also commissioned Boyce to make a new collaborative live work for the exhibition.

New commission

Sonia Boyce is fascinated by ‘what people do when they come together’. She is currently working with the gallery team and invited collaborators, including Lasana Shabazz and drag artists from Family Gorgeous, to make a new work: a night-time group takeover of the gallery exploring ‘gender trouble’ among the gallery’s 19th century painting displays and wider culture. This new commission will be made into a film installation and shown for the first time in the exhibition.

Other works on display

For You, Only You, 2007 is a film of a collaboration between sound artist Mikhail Karikis and the early music group Alamere, exploring the relationship between early music and contemporary sound art.

Exquisite Cacophony, 2015 is a film of an improvised encounter between indie rapper Astronautalis and vocal artist Elaine Mitchener. Their spontaneous interplay explores tensions, slippages and revelations resulting from mixing sounds and words to produce a cacophony.

Crop Over, 2007 responds to the Crop Over festival in Barbados in relation to the history of Harewood House in Leeds, and its role in the Transatlantic slave trade, moving from contemplative mood to the world of masquerade and the carnivalesque.