Sokari Douglas Camp
Sokari Douglas Camp
Camp at the British Library, February 2016
|Born||1958 (age 60–61)|
|Alma mater||Central School of Art and Design; Royal College of Art|
|Known for||Steel sculpture|
Sokari Douglas Camp CBE (born 1958 in Nigeria) is a London-based artist who has had exhibitions all over the world and was the recipient of a bursary from the Henry Moore Foundation. She was honoured as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2005 Birthday Honours list.
Early years and education
Camp was born in Buguma, Nigeria, a Kalabari town in the Niger Delta. She was raised by her brother-in-law, the anthropologist Robin Horton. She studied art at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California (1979–80), earned her BA degree at the Central School of Art and Design (1980–83), London, and her MA from the Royal College of Art (1983–86).
She participated in the 1989 Pachipamwe II Workshop held at Cyrene Mission outside Bulawayo, Zimbabwe alongside such luminaries as Joram Mariga, Bernard Matemera, Bill Ainslie, Voti Thebe, Adam Madebe and David Koloane.
Work and career
Her work is predominantly sculpted in steel and takes inspiration from her Kalabari heritage, Nigerian cultures and her life in the UK. She has worked with the Smithsonian and the British Museum and her work is in their permanent collections. Her sculptures are held in other museum collections in Europe, Britain and Japan and in private collections throughout the world. She has exhibited internationally in galleries, including in Austria, Britain, Cuba, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, Sicily, South Africa, Spain, the United States.
Among her notable solo shows are Spirits in Steel – The Art of the Kalabari Masquerade at the American Museum of Natural History, New York (1998–99); and Imagined Steel at The Lowry Arts Centre, Manchester, which toured to the Oriel Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno; Brewery Art Centre, Cirencester; and Derby Museum and Art Gallery (2002–03). In 2005 she collaborated with Ground Force to create work for the Africa Garden at the British Museum, as part of the UK-wide Africa 05 Festival.
In 2003 her proposal NO-O-War No-O-War-R was shortlisted for Trafalgar Square's fourth plinth. She was honoured with a CBE in 2005. She has been awarded many commissions for public memorial sculptures, most notably Battle Bus: The Living Memorial to Ken Saro-Wiwa. (2006) In 2012, her sculpture memorial to commemorate slavery, All the World is Now Richer, was exhibited in The House of Commons.
Her piece Green Leaf Barrel (2014) was inspired by the fact that her home, Niger Delta, was struggling because of insignificant jobs and a significant amount of pollution. The figure of the woman represents a woman god who is creating growth from an oil barrel split in two. While creating this piece she wanted to focus on the positive as she felt that the negatives are often so big that they take up more of our conversation. Her work featured in the 2015 exhibition No Colour Bar: Black British Art in Action 1960–1990 at the Guildhall Art Gallery. In 2016 her work Primavera was shown at the October Gallery (7 April – 14 May 2016).
Camp is married to the architect Alan Camp and has lived in London for many years.
- 1981: Amy Sadur Friedlander Prize
- 1982: Saatchi & Saatchi Award
- 1983: Princess of Wales Scholarship and Henry Moore Foundation bursary
- 2000: Commonwealth Grant
- 2005: Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)
- 2006: Honorary Fellow of the University of the Arts London
- 2008: Governor, University of the Arts
- 2017: Honorary Fellowship of SOAS, University of London
A 2006 photograph of Sokari Douglas Camp by Sal Idriss is part of the National Portrait Gallery collection. A 2009 terracotta was exhibited at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 2013 as part of the Sculpture Series Heads – Contributors to British Sculpture.
Forty-one photographs taken by Phil Polglaze at the South London Art Gallery on 8 September 1988 during the private view of the exhibition Influences: The Art of Sokari Douglas Camp, Keith Piper, Lubaina Himid, Simone Alexander, Joseph Olubo, Brenda Agard. Several photographs are of the artists with his or her artwork, including Douglas Camp.
- Sokari Douglas Camp CBE, InIVA. Archived 27 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- Elsbeth Court (January 1992). "Pachipamwe II: The Avant Garde in Africa?". African Arts. 25 (1): 38–49, 98. ISSN 0001-9933.
- "Swearing, sculpting and evil spirits". BBC News. 24 April 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
- "Shortlist of international artists announced for Trafalgar Square's 4th Plinth" Archived 3 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine, 25 July 2003.
- Chryselle Pathmanathan, "International shortlist competes for Trafalgar Square's vacant plinth", The Guardian, 25 July 2003.
- Spring, Chris (2008). Angaza Afrika: African Art Now. London: Laurence King. p. 98. ISBN 978-1-85669-5480.
- "About Sokari". sokari.co.uk. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
- Sokari Douglas Camp, "Green Leaf Barrel", 16 March 2014.
- Julia DeFabo, "Sokari Douglas Camp in 'No Colour Bar: Black British Art in Action 1960–1990' (10 July 2015 – 24 January 2016)" Archived 25 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine, AADAT Art, 2015.
- "Sokari Douglas Camp: Primavera", October Gallery.
- "Sokari Douglas Camp", Artists, October Gallery.
- "Sokari Douglas Camp CBE", Honorary Fellows and Graduates, SOAS.
- "Sokari Douglas Camp by Sal Idriss, National Portrait Gallery.
- "Jon Edgar: Sculpture Series Heads", Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP).
- Sculpture Series Heads – Terracotta Portraits of Contributors to British Sculpture (2013), Hall, P., M. Scott & H. Pheby, ISBN 978 0 9558675 1 4
- Polglaze, Phil. "Influences - South London Gallery Archive". slgarchive.org. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
- Kastor, Elizabeth (11 November 1988). "Keeper of the Kalabari Magic; Nigerian Sculptor Sokari Douglas Camp". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 4 February 2017 – via HighBeam Research.
- Cotter, Holland (16 October 1997). "Philip L. Ravenhill, 52, Expert on the Art and Culture of Africa". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331.
- Shaw-Eagle, Joanna (27 April 1997). "Artist's Kinetic Works Weld Western and African Styles". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017 – via HighBeam Research.
- "Apartheid 'Insights' on Exhibit; 30 Works Show Cruelty in S. Africa". The Washington Times. 11 September 2004. Archived from the original on 4 February 2017 – via HighBeam Research.
- Interview with Leora Maltz-Leca (24 August 2010). "Sokari Douglas Camp." Artforum.
Media related to Sokari Douglas Camp at Wikimedia Commons