Sonia Boyce Facts

Sonia Boyce is a British artist. she was initially best-known for her drawings, but is now most well-known for her collaborative performance art projects and her art installations.

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Facts About Sonia Boyce

  • Sonia Boyce was born in 1962 in Islington, London, UK.
  • She went to Eastlea Comprehensive School in Canning Town, and then attended the East Ham College of Art and Technology to complete Foundation Course in Art & Design. From 1980-83, she studied for a Fine Art degree at Stourbridge College in Birmingham.

I thought I was going to be a dancer when I was younger. Other than that I thought I might carry on working in the cheese department at British Home Stores.

Sonia Boyce
  • Sonia Boyce’s artwork has evolved a great deal during her artistic career. She began by making drawings using chalk and pastels. Many of these early 1980s drawings focused on the subjects of race and identity, and she often included herself in the images.
  • In the 1990s, Sonia Boyce began to incorporate photography, film, graphic design, collage, and performance into her work. Her work became more complex, and it addressed issues around black representation and racism.
  • Sonia Boyce’s artwork has been exhibited in galleries and museums in cities all over the world, including London, Lisbon, Brighton, Portland, Venice, Oxford, Innsbruck, Amsterdam, and Nice.
  • In 2007, Sonia Boyce was awarded an MBE for services to art, and in 2019, she was received an OBE.
  • In 2016, she was made a member of the Royal Academy of Arts.
  • In 2020 Sonia Boyce became the first black woman to represent the UK at the Venice Biennale.
  • Her ongoing work title Devotional was begun in 1999 and features an ever-changing collection of pictures, magazine articles, drawings, and paintings relating to Black Britsh female singers.

The question of race, the question of gender, of sexuality, of ecology—what can be called “issue-based” subjects—all of these things are constantly emerging, and are irrepressible.

Sonia Boyce
  • She has taught Fine Art studio practice and technique for over 30 years. She lectured at Goldsmith’s College in London where one of her students was Gillian Wearing.
  • Her work can be seen in the collections of London’s The Tate Modern, The Victoria & Albert Museum, The Government Art Collection, and The Arts Council Collection at Southbank Centre.
  • In 1987 Sonia Boyce was also the first black British female artist to have a painting purchased by the Tate.
  • She has a studio in Brixton, London.
  • Sonia Boyce is a big admirer of the work of Frida Kahlo. Her work has also been influenced by the artists Margaret Harrison, Kate Walker, and Monica Ross.
  • She has also expressed admiration for the work of Lygia Clark, David Medalla, William Morris, Andy Warhol, Suzanne Lacy, Adrian Piper, Valie Export, Vito Acconci, and Susan Hiller.
  • She is close friends with the French-Algerian artist Zineb Sedira.
  • Sonia Boyce is constantly looking for artefacts relating to black women who have contributed to British cultural life. She often visits charity shops to look for cassettes, records, and CDs to add to her collection.