Sokari Douglas Camp

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Sokari Douglas Camp
Sokari Douglas Camp (cropped to head).jpeg
Camp at the British Library, February 2016
Born 1958 (age 58–59)
Buguma, Nigeria
Alma mater Central School of Art and Design; Royal College of Art
Spouse(s) Alan Camp

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.[1]


Early years and education[edit]

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).

Work and career[edit]

Her work is predominately sculpted in steel and characteristically takes inspiration from her Kalabari heritage, as well as drawing on other aspects of African culture. She has worked with the Smithsonian and the British Museum. 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 Ground Force to create work for the Africa Garden at the British Museum, as part of the UK-wide Africa 05 Festival.

She has been awarded many commissions for public memorial sculptures, most notably the "Living Memorial" to Ken Saro-Wiwa. In 2003 her proposal NO-O-War No-O-War-R was shortlisted for Trafalgar Square's fourth plinth.[2][3]

Her work featured in the 2015 exhibition No Colour Bar: Black British Art in Action 1960–1990 at the Guildhall Art Gallery.[4] Her most recent exhibition was Primavera at the October Gallery (7 April – 14 May 2016).[5]

Her piece Green Leaf Barrel was inspired by the fact that her home, Niger Delta, was struggling because of insignificant jobs and a significant amount of pollution.[6] While creating this piece she wanted to focus on the positive as she felt that they negatives are often so big that they take up most of our conversation.

Personal life[edit]

Camp is married to the architect Alan Camp and has lived in London for many years.



A 2006 photograph of Sokari Douglas Camp by Sal Idriss is part of the National Portrait Gallery collection.[7] A 2009 terracotta was exhibited at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 2013[8] as part of the Sculpture Series Heads - Contributors to British Sculpture.[9]


  1. ^ Sokari Douglas Camp CBE, InIVA.
  2. ^ "Shortlist of international artists announced for Trafalgar Square's 4th Plinth", 25 July 2003.
  3. ^ Chryselle Pathmanathan, "International shortlist competes for Trafalgar Square's vacant plinth", The Guardian, 25 July 2003.
  4. ^ Julia DeFabo, "Sokari Douglas Camp in 'No Colour Bar: Black British Art in Action 1960-1990' (10 July 2015 – 24 Jan 2016)", AADAT Art, 2015.
  5. ^ "Sokari Douglas Camp: Primavera", October Gallery.
  6. ^ Sokari Douglas Camp, "Green Leaf Barrel", 16 March 2014.
  7. ^ "Sokari Douglas Camp by Sal Idriss, National Portrait Gallery.
  8. ^ "Jon Edgar: Sculpture Series Heads", Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP).
  9. ^ Sculpture Series Heads - Terracotta Portraits of Contributors to British Sculpture (2013), Hall, P., M. Scott & H. Pheby, ISBN 978 0 9558675 1 4

External links[edit]

Media related to Sokari Douglas Camp at Wikimedia Commons