Awards for Artists
Image of Phoebe Boswell
Photo: Emile Holba.

Phoebe Boswell

Phoebe Boswell (born 1982) makes work that 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 and interactivity. Boswell leans on memory and anecdote as catalysts, recording stories which formalise over time. 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’.

Her work has been exhibited widely, including Kristin Hjellegjerde, Carroll / Fletcher, and Tiwani Contemporary; art fairs Art15, 1:54, and Expo Chicago; and has screened at the Sundance, BFI London, BlackStar, Underwire and LA Film Festivals, British Animation Awards, and CinemAfrica amongst others.

She participated in the Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art 2015, the Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement 2016 at the Centre d’Art Contemporain in Geneva and received the Future Generation Art Prize’s Special Prize in 2017, consequently exhibiting as part of the Collateral Events programme at the 57th Venice Biennale.

Boswell will unveil a new largescale public moving image work in Geneva in December 2019, and a solo exhibition at New Art Exchange, Nottingham in 2020.

I'm elated, and a little overwhelmed, honestly. At this point, in both my career and my life, receiving this award feels something like breath. I'm excited to keep doing the work, and immensely grateful for it.
Phoebe Boswell

Examples of work

The Space Between Things, 2018-19

The Space Between Things, 2018-19

Installation view Goteborgs Konsthall, including Rapture/Rupture, New Moon, A Broken Heart (on wall) and Ythlaf (on floor). Looped video projections, video on horizontal monitors, rocks, custom wallpapers, charcoal and pastel wall drawing. Dimensions variable. Exhibited Goteborg Konsthall, Gothenburg, 2019, and Autograph, London, 2018-19.

I Can Rage There, 2018

I Can Rage There, 2018

Charcoal and pastel on paper. 120 x 50 cm. Exhibited at Sapar Contemporary, New York, 2018.

Ythlaf, 2018

Ythlaf, 2018

Single channel, looped video (to be viewed horizontally from above). 17 minutes 58 seconds duration (extract 1m 38s). Exhibited at Sapar Contemporary, New York, 2018; Autograph, London, 2018-19; and Goteborgs Konsthall, Gothenburg, 2019.

Mutumia, 2016

Mutumia, 2016

Looped hand drawn animation with projection, pressure sensors, soundtracks, arduino, Mac Mini, carpet, speakers. 29 minutes 56 seconds (extract 2m 41s). Commissioned by MAMCO, Geneva – Biennale of Moving Images 2016.