SOKARI DOUGLAS CAMP: PRIMAVERA
Known for its innovative exhibitions of contemporary art, October Gallery has pioneered for over 3 decades “the development of the transvangarde—the trans-cultural avant-garde.” In furtherance of its objectives, the gallery, now in its 35th year will exhibit new works by renowned British-Nigerian sculptor Sokari Douglas Camp. The exhibition titled Primavera will be on display from April 7- May 14.
Douglas Camp works primarily in steel. Many of her monumental sculptures draw from her Nigerian roots, while engaging contemporary international issues. She studied Fine Art at the Central School of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art. She has represented Britain and Nigeria in several exhibitions and has had more than 40 solo shows all over the world. One of the winners of the memorial of Ken Saro-Wiwa in London, she was also shortlisted for the 4th Plinth in 2003. Douglas Camp’s work is in the permanent collections of the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo and the British Museum, London.
Primavera brings together major new sculptures, which focus on the reinterpretation of familiar figures from the European classical tradition. One of the works includes Europe supported by Africa and America. The large sculpture recreates and adapts an 18th century engraving by William Blake. This intricate composition features three female figures touching and supporting each other, dressed in contemporary clothing remnant of high fashion in Nigeria. The central figure holds a long wreath, which grows into a fuel hose – the whole composition offers a wry commentary on social issues and their ramifications for wider environmental concerns. Other works reconfigure detailed scenes adapted from well-known Botticelli paintings, in which the immediately recognizable figures metamorphose into modern icons of contemporary culture and society.
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