Phoebe Boswell: The Space Between Things

Thur 13 Dec 6:30 - 9pm

Free, RSVP essential

About the Event

Join us for the opening night of Phoebe Boswell's solo exhibition. It will also be the first opportunity to see Boswell's new commission: a 25-meter-long extended portrait of the self drawn directly onto the gallery walls in soft willow charcoal, created in the weeks leading up to the exhibition.

Boswell's multidisciplinary art practice is anchored to a restless state of diasporic consciousness. She creates layered, deeply immersive installations to centre and amplify histories which - like her own - are often systemically marginalised.

A life-altering series of events serve as the genesis for the Kenyan-British artist's new work: an emotive interrogation of trauma, healing, and the poetics of endurance. In The Space Between Things, Boswell reflects on the rupture of her physical, spiritual, and emotional health.

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Visceral and candid, Boswell’s layered imagery moves from an East London operating theatre, where she undergoes surgery to save her right eye, to an angiogram of her broken heart, to an imagined monocular army that she summons for strength, to the blurred depiction of her blinded sight.

We find her submerged in the contested space between land and sea at her family home on the shores of Zanzibar, where she retreated to recuperate. The artist’s own figure features prominently. In the lead-up to the exhibition, Boswell will draw a twenty-meter long extended portrait of the self onto the gallery walls in soft willow charcoal.

This is an act of both defiance – ‘I am here, I am present, I exist, I won’t be silent’ - and acceptance – ‘I'm fragile, I'm vulnerable, our bodies are fallible and unexpected’. Transcending beyond a meditation on the self, the fractured nature of being and diasporic consciousness as a strategy of resistance emerge as recurrent themes. Boswell explores how one might articulate a shared language to express grief: creating a set of intimate visual vocabularies which are vulnerable and empowering, personal and collective, cathartic and affirmative.


Everyone is welcome to our exhibition openings. These events are popular, and we highly recommend RSVPing in advance. Both galleries will be open, plus a bar and outdoor seating area.

Due to the fragile and immersive nature of the works in the exhibition, only a limited number of people can be admitted into the galleries at any one time. You may be asked to queue during busy periods of the event.

The openings are an informal event, you can arrive and leave at any time. After the event, The Space Between Things will be open from 14 December 2018 - 30 March 2019.


Phoebe Boswell: The Space Between Things

14 Dec 2018 - 30 Mar 2019

Pop up book sale

At the exhibition opening

Titled by Autograph available at a deep discount - perfect for Christmas shopping

Thur 13 Dec, 6:30 - 9PM


Exhibition Tour with Phoebe Boswell

Meet the artist and learn more about her solo exhibition at Autograph

Sat 15 Dec, 2 - 3pm. £5 / £4

find out more

Visit Phoebe Boswell's website


Ground Floor
Gallery 1 - Phoebe Boswell: The Space Between Things

Bar (cash only)
Outdoor seating area

Second Floor
Gallery 2 - Phoebe Boswell: The Space Between Things

Accessible, unisex toilets are on all floors. We are an accessible venue, with step-free access to all areas.

About the ARTIST 

Born in Nairobi to a Kikuyu mother and British Kenyan father, and raised in the Arabian Gulf, Phoebe Boswell (b. 1982) is a multi-disciplinary artist who lives and works in London.

Boswell studied at the Slade School of Art and Central St Martins. She is currently a Somerset House artist-in-residence, a Ford Foundation Fellow, and is represented in the United States by Sapar Contemporary, New York.

Her work has been widely exhibited: with galleries Sapar Gallery, Carroll / Fletcher, and Tiwani Contemporary; art fairs including Art15, 1:54, and Expo Chicago; and has screened at Sundance, the London Film Festival, LA Film Festival, Blackstar, Underwire, British Animation Awards, and CinemAfrica amongst others.

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She participated in the Gothenburg International Biennial of Contemporary Art 2015 and was commissioned to make new work for the Biennial of Moving Images 2016 at the Centre d'Art Contemporain in Geneva.

Boswell was the first recipient of the Sky Academy Arts Scholarship, was awarded the Special Prize at the Future Generation Art Prize for her interactive installation Mutumia, which consequently showed as part of the 57th Venice Biennale, and has recently been awarded the Bridget Riley Drawing Fellowship at the British School of Rome. An international solo show of her work will open in February 2019 at the Goteborg Konsthalle, Sweden.


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This is a free event, and we ask attendees to RSVP in advance to manage numbers. Due to no-shows, we have to overbook our free events. During busy times there may be a queue to get into the building or gallery spaces, this is to ensure the safety of our visitors and the artwork on display. Admission is on a first come, first served basis for free ticket holders.

If space is available at the event, we are able to admit attendees who have not booked a ticket in advance. However, entry is not guaranteed and during busy periods those with a ticket will be prioritised.

Tickets to Autograph's events are only available through Eventbrite or by phoning / visiting our information desk at Rivington Place. Tickets obtained via social media or other platforms may not be genuine.


Please note that photography and filming will take place at this event. Images from this event may be used by Autograph and external press for marketing and promotional use, including: printed and online publicity, social media, press releases, or other use.


Sample Logo

Please note that this exhibition contains sensitive content

Banner images: 1) Phoebe Boswell, Rapture [detail], 2018. Still from single-channel Video. Courtesy the artist. 2) Phoebe Boswell, Ythlaf. Still from single-channel Video, 2018. Courtesy the artist. 3) Phoebe Boswell, She Summons an Army, Untitled 32, 2018. Courtesy the artist / Sapar Gallery, New York. 4) Phoebe Boswell, Rapture [detail], 2018. Still from single-channel Video. Courtesy the artist. 5) Phoebe Boswell, courtesy the artist.

Page images, from top left: 1) Phoebe Boswell, Rapture [detail], 2018. Still from single-channel Video. Courtesy the artist. 2) Phoebe Boswell, Ythlaf [detail]. Still from single-channel Video, 2018.  Courtesy the artist. 3) Omar Victor Diop: Liberty / Diaspora gallery installation at Autograph, London. Photograph: Zoe Maxwell. 4) Phoebe Boswell, She Summons an Army, Untitled 15 [detail], 2018.  Courtesy the artist / Sapar Gallery, New York.