For the launch of Collective Intimacy at The Showroom, Boswell presents Mothering Memory, a new performance departing from her piece The Matter of Memory from 2014 featured in . This immersive multimedia installation drew from conversations with both her parents about their memories of Kenya, with audiences invited to discover hidden narratives about family, love, and delicate senses of belonging amidst the backdrop of Kenya's violent colonial history. In this site-specific live re-telling, Boswell responds to Theaster Gates’s ethos of collaboration alongside The Showroom's commitment to communal knowledge, igniting her mother's original transcript in a harmonic act of re-receiving messages from the past with a new reflection on intergenerational memory, Black womanhood, emancipation passages, and what exists between.
Boswell explores the sense of ‘belonging’ and is anchored to a restless state of diasporic consciousness, combining traditional drawing with digital technology. Her practice draws on her own experiences of belonging, having been born in Kenya and brought up in the Arabian Gulf; she now lives and works in London. She creates powerful images, animations and immersive installations in works that layer drawing, animation, sound, video, interactivity, and most recently, performance. These works are created in an effort to find new languages robust yet open and multifaceted enough to house, centre and amplify voices and histories which, like her own, are often systemically marginalised or sidelined as 'other'.*
Image: Phoebe Boswell, Mothering Memory Performance Documentation, 2019. Courtesy of The Showroom
Phoebe Boswell (b. 1982) was born in Nairobi to a Kikuyu mother and British Kenyan father, brought up in the Arabian Gulf, and now living and working in London, makes work anchored to a restless state of diasporic consciousness. Her work has been exhibited widely, including Tiwani Contemporary and Autograph London, SAPAR Contemporary, New York; Sundance Film Festivals, Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art 2015, and Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement 2016, amongst others. She received the Future Generation Art Prize's Special Prize in 2017, consequently exhibiting in the Collateral Events programme at the 57th Venice Biennale. Boswell will unveil a new large-scale public moving image work in Geneva in December 2019, and a solo exhibition at New Art Exchange, Nottingham in 2020.