Phoebe Boswell
(b. 1982, Kenya)
Phoebe Boswell lives and works in London. Born in Nairobi to a Kikuyu mother and fourth generation British Kenyan father, and brought up as an "expatriate" in the Middle East, she combines traditional draftswomanship and digital technology to create drawings, animations and installations. Boswell studied Painting at the Slade School of Art and 2D Animation at Central St Martins, London. Boswell was nominated/shortlisted for the Art Foundation's Animation Fellowship 2012, was the first recipient of the Sky Academy Arts Scholarship. She participated in the Gothenburg International Biennial of Contemporary Art 2015 and the Biennial of Moving Images 2016 at the Centre d'Art Contemporain in Geneva, and recently collaborated with filmmaker Shola Amoo on a short film for the Guardian / British Council's Shakespeare Lives series.
A multi-sensory installation which merges traditional draftswomanship with digital technology, sound and interactivity. Evoking global examples such as the elderly Acholi women in Uganda who used their naked bodies as a weapon with which to resist land annexation, or indeed FEMEN in Ukraine, who fight against gender inequality, the women in 'Boswell's piece stand in various emotional states of protest. The title Mutumia, which means 'woman' in Kikuyu (the artist's mother's tribe language) and can be translated more directly as 'the one whose lips are sealed', explores the capacity of language to reinforce societal perceptions of the female body, while the interactive features of the work entrust the viewer with the responsibility of enabling multiple voices of women of different backgrounds, nationalities and generations – a choir of voices – to be heard.
Phoebe Boswell. Mutumia, 2016. Interactive installation Handdrawn animation, looped projection, pressure sensors, arduino, Mac Mini, interactive code, voice recordings, 29' 55''
Profiles of 21 Artists Shortlisted for the Future Generation Art Prize 2017