Dame Sonia Boyce RA, We Move in Her Way: Dancers

We Move in Her Way: Dancers, 2017

Dame Sonia Boyce RA (b. 1962)

RA Collection: Art

This photograph captures part of Sonia Boyce's multi-media installation We move in her way which took place at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in 2017. The installation centred on the exploratory vocal and motion performances of Elaine Mitchener, Barbara Gamper and of dancers Eve Stainton, Ria Uttridge, and Be van Vark. Their performances were staged in front of an invited audience at the ICA and filmed to create the subsequent installation.

The title suggests a powerplay, of 'us' versus 'her' yet it is ambiguous from the image who is dictating the movements of the other. Like much of Boyce's work, We move in her way involved improvisation, and encouraged her performers to allow the work to unfold organically through their movement and interactions. This collaborative improvisation alludes to the work of Brazilian artist Lygia Clark from the late 1960s and 1970s. Once the performance had been staged and documented, Boyce reshaped the material (film and photography) in a process she calls 'recouping the remains' to arrive at the finished artwork as a multi-media installation.

A theme running through this work is the idea of the Black body as 'other' in a dominant white culture. Ideas of difference and similarity are explored in the work, as well as references to the influence of the early 20th century 'Dada' art movement on Boyce - some of the masks worn by the audience are a new interpretation of Dada Head (1920) by the Swiss artist Sophie Taeuber-Arp (1889-1943).

This work is one of an edition of 8 exhibited at the RA Summer Exhibition 2017 catalogue no. 999.

Object details

We Move in Her Way: Dancers
Object type
Copyright owner

1545 mm x 1045 mm x 34 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Diploma Work given by Dame Sonia Boyce RA accepted October 2017
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