The Art of Sokari Douglas Camp CBE
by Nana Ocran
To many in the UK at least, Douglas Camp is best known as the creator of the Bus, a full-scale metal-sculpted replica of a Nigerian vehicle, which was created as a living memorial to the late writer, producer and activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa. With metal being her material of choice, she works it like a cloth, constructing larger than life masquerade figures, sculpted African busts with heads adorned with intricately twisted geles, or studded, colored and carefully manipulated sheets that give the allusion of soft or malleable textiles.
The drama of theatre has always been an influence, so body language is beginning to come out more and more in Douglas Camp’s work in what she sees as “another way of having conversations”, in styles that seem very contemporary, very global and very black. Images of footballers making heart shapes with their fingers, rap stars posing with sunglasses and arms folded are visual images that constantly stand out to her. It’s this keen eye for physical expression that influenced her creation of a German-commissioned piece that links to another area of Africa – Namibia.
Full article published in Omenka magazine issue 4
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