Sokari Douglas Camp

 

artist photo

"Red makes me think of blood. Blood pumps through our hearts, and fuels the love women invest in their communities and families."

 
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Sokari's Selections

Domestic Mythology

I found Lucotti’s work to be very mature and amusing. I loved the shape of the artist in Waitress 1, and was pulled in by the way she looks like a red ball or jellyfish. Her shape is very feminine, her hips exaggerated as if for childbirth but also serving as a tray for food and drink. The piece does a wonderful job of demonstrating the ways in which women are expected to nurture and multi-task. Go to the selection >>

Detach

I enjoyed the “noise” of the tearing fabric in this piece; it evoked a sense of separation and birth. I felt the image of the mother and daughter separating truly crystalized the efforts of the two people to detach from each other in spite of their shared blood. How do we share our lives with people while remaining our own independent beings? Go to the selection >>

Cesarean Quilt

I particularly loved the back piece of this quilt, a sea of red, sown and quilted with secrets of the artist’s experience. I admire Hoffman’s beautiful work in honoring her disappointment with her birth experience, and processing that trauma. Go to the selection >>

Body As Art

I think that this work is simply sublime. I honestly believe that only a woman’s mind could create art like this, using her body and the power of the sun to make a point. How do you explore your body identity? Go to the selection >>

Aesthetic of a Zebra

This artist has an edge to her work that I like. It is conformational and very contemporary and it addresses head-on the society she lives in. In these pieces, she explores how Iranian youth “juggle” family, changing cultural norms, and strain against superficiality. Go to the selection >>

Yes These Bones Shall Live

These images of women dressed provocatively and mothering while playing contact sports makes me cheer! It’s liberation with lipstick. Challenging gender norms does not always mean doing the opposite of what is expected of you. It means doing what feels right to you. Go to the selection >>

The Political Is Personal

The landscape and environment of these images are layered with the troubles of a nation and the artist has managed to capture all of this with style. Looking at the image Target Wall of Gaza, I see graffiti and bullet holes, with the silk screen bringing a commercial order to the chaos. The beauty of the piece is that it leaves me wondering how I feel about it long after moving on.Go to the selection>>

Curator's Statement: Sokari Douglas Camp on Red

I chose Red as a unifying theme to my selection because each of these pieces reflect a passion that is part of living. Red makes me think of blood. Blood pumps through our hearts, and fuels the love women invest in their communities and families. Blood seeps out our wounds, created through centuries of violence against women’s bodies and spirits. Blood trickles down our legs each month, the womb shedding its lining once again. And blood pulses through our veins, powering its way through our limbs, our eyes, our brain, the fuel behind a movement of love, patience, and commitment to a better world.

I use reds in my own work to attract attention, like an alarm. To me, Red is like a call to action for women around the globe. Let’s get to work.

 


About Sokari

Sokari Douglas Camp was born in 1958 in Buguma, Rivers State, Nigeria and attended boarding school in Britain as a child. She studied fine art at the Central School of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art and has had more than 40 solo shows worldwide, which include Echoes of the Kalabari at the National Museum of African Art-Smithsonian Institute, and Spirits in Steel – The Art of the Kalabari Masquerade at the American Museum of Natural History. Her public artworks include Battle Bus: Living Memorial for Ken Saro‐Wiwa, a full-scale replica of a Nigerian steel bus, which stands as a monument to the late Niger Delta activist and writer Ken Saro-Wiwa.


In 2003 Sokari was shortlisted for the Trafalgar Square Fourth Plinth. Her work is in permanent collections at The Smithsonian Museum, in Washington D.C., the Setagaya Museum in Tokyo and the British Museum in London. Last year Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, selected her work Otobo (hippopotamus) Masquerade Figure as the number one artifact from the British Museum’s permanent collection to represent the exhibition London – A World City in 20 Objects. In 2005 she became an Honorary Fellow at the University of the Arts London and in the same year was awarded a CBE in recognition of her services to art. In 2012 her piece All the World is Now Richer, a memorial to commemorate the abolition of slavery was exhibited in The House of Commons. To see more of Sokari’s work, be sure to explore her website.


Get to Know Sokari

Learn more about Sokari and why she's involved in IMOW's Curating Change.

  • IMOW matters to me because... IMOW is a chance for women’s views/ideas to be seen. We are not allowed equal rights in so many places so any contact should be encouraged.
  • People don't know that I can... swim fast and furious. I love being in water.
  • My favorite place I ever visited was... Venice. It is similar to my home in the Delta where water and daily life used to be intertwined.

Take Action

Learn which causes and organizations matter most to Sokari and how you can connect with them.

Platform 

Platform combines art, activism, education, and research to create projects for social and ecological justice. They operate through collective decision-making, and their diverse community of artists, researchers, and activists work together for sustainable change. As an artist myself, I deeply admire their model.

Anti Slavery International

I came across this organization in 2012 when they were lobbying in the House of Commons in London. They high light modern slavery, encouraging a better understanding of the price of 21st Century life. We are in a good place, comfortable standard of life because others are paying for what we have. Cheap clothes electronic goods and food come from some places where people are exploited. It is important to be informed.

The British Red Cross

The Red Cross is an organization that helps people in Britain and also abroad, when there is a crisis. I give a monthly donation. This helps me, when I pass beggars, I feel less guilty about not giving when I pass by. This is my selfish charity- I wish I could help more.


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