Artist Sokari Douglas Camp CBE in Conversation - Presumption of the Possible!

Join artist Sokari Douglas Camp CBE, in conversation with Africa Fashion lead curator, Dr Christine Checinska.

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Past Event
Artist Sokari Douglas Camp CBE in Conversation - Presumption of the Possible!  photo

Hear the story behind 'Europe Supported by Africa and America', the monumental work currently on display in our Hintze galleries, which addresses the legacies of slavery and inequality, issues of power and gender, and the climate crisis. They discuss the representation of textiles from across the continent through a process Douglas Camp describes as ‘welding, cutting and bending steel’.
In Collaboration with October Gallery Trust UK

Sokari Douglas Camp CBE was born in Buguma, Nigeria, in 1958, and lives and works in London, UK. She first exhibited at October Gallery in 1985. She has had more than forty solo shows worldwide and in 2005 Douglas Camp was awarded a CBE in recognition of her services to art. Her work is in the permanent collections of the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., USA; Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan; and the British Museum, London, UK. In 2012, her large sculpture, All the World is Now Richer, a memorial to commemorate the abolition of slavery was exhibited in The House of Commons and then, in 2014, at St Paul’s Cathedral, London.
In 2016, her successful solo show, Primavera, at October Gallery, brought together major new sculptures which focussed on the reinterpretation of familiar figures from the European classical tradition as depicted by Botticelli and William Blake. Douglas Camp was selected for Ichihara Art X Mix 2020, Japan and created the largescale sculpture Manmade for the festival, on a moving wagon at Goi Station. She was also one of the international artists selected to create a column for STOA169 in Polling, Germany, a globally unique artist-columned permanent hall that unites contemporary artistic ideas and different cultural concepts in one place. In 2022, Douglas Camp held her third solo exhibition, Jonkonnu Masquerade at October Gallery, which explored themes of carnival and its slavery heritage. The exhibition coincided with the presentation of her monumental steel sculpture Europe Supported by Africa and America at the V&A to complement the Africa Fashion exhibition. The work is on view in the Dorothy and Michael Hintze Galleries until 14th May 2023.

Dr Christine Checinska is the V&A’s inaugural Senior Curator of African and Diaspora Textiles and Fashion, and Lead Curator of the Africa Fashion exhibition, July 2022 – April 2023. Prior to joining the V&A, Christine worked as a womenswear designer, academic, artist and curator. Her creative practice and research explore the relationship between cloth, culture and race. Christine’s recent exhibitions include an intervention for Makers Eye: Stories of Craft, July-October 2021, Crafts Council Gallery, and Folded Life February 2021, Johanne Jacobs Museum, Zurich, Switzerland. She is a co-editor of the forthcoming Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of World Textiles, Volume 4. Her recent publications include ‘Spinning a Yarn of One’s Own’ in A Companion to Textile Culture, Jennifer Harris (ed.) 2020, and ‘Re-Fashioning African Diasporic Masculinities’ in Fashion and Postcolonial Critique, Elke Gaugele and Monica Titton (eds.), 2019. In 2016 she delivered the TedxTalk Disobedient Dress: Fashion as Everyday Activism. In industry for over thirty years, Christine has created womenswear collections for iconic British brands such as Margaret Howell, where she was a Senior Designer, during the late 1990s.

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Header image: Sokari Douglas Camp CBE. Courtesy the Artist & Christine Checinska - Philippa Gedge Photography