Sokari Douglas Camp CBE lives and works in Elephant and Castle, South London. She was born in Buguma, Nigeria, in 1958. After attending an English Boarding School she developed a short-lived romance with painting. She recounts “I was not good at painting so I thought I should try sculpture, as I liked putting my hand in my work.”
She is admirably rigid in her decision to make all her own work, without the input of assistance saying, “It is totally natural for me to make the work myself.”
The vast melting pot of Africa and its many stories becomes apparent in her work as well as intrinsic to her designs. Camp told the Independent “I have a dream that the Niger Delta will be cured even though it is dying of oil pollution.”
Interestingly, one of her raw and intricate designs (below) sees a female figure squatting on an oil barrel, split open above a pool of oil. Camp’s work have been at the forefront of art in the UK; her designs have exhibited at St Paul’s Cathedral and also outside the mayor’s building in Southwark. Her work has travelled the world and attracted many awards such as the Commonwealth Award in 2000. In 2005 she became a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).
In light of the Ebola virus, Camp was inspired to create a concept piece depicting her stance on the life ravaging disease. She crosses the drawings of William Blake and Eduardo Paolozzi in order to marry them with her unique style, creating a breathtaking figure that attacks the virus. She does this to display the energy and endurance she says is so akin to an African woman’s nature.
This amazing sculptor has also collaborated with London’s October Gallery, exhibitors of innovative contemporary art from all over the world. In collaboration with WOA, they have shared their top ten sculptures from Sokari Douglas Camp featured below.
Find out more about the October Gallery and they work they do here.
Primavera, a new exhibition of Sokari Douglas Camp’s work – is at the October Gallery from 7th April – 7th May 2016