autograph, london

Mónica de Miranda
The Island

24 Jun - 22 Oct 2022

Past Exhibition
Curated by Renée Mussai and Mark Sealy

A new exhibition contemplating the complex experiences of Afrodiasporic lives, relationships to the land and colonial pasts


Rivington Place
London EC2A 3BA, UK

past Exhibition

The exhibition has ended. View our current exhibitions here


Angolan-Portuguese artist Mónica de Miranda's research-led practice is grounded in postcolonial politics in relation to Africa and its diaspora. Her most recent project The Island contemplates the complex experiences of Afrodiasporic lives and Europe’s colonial past. Fusing fact and fiction, The Island explores a long trajectory of black presences in Portugal by bringing together intertwined narratives – drawing on African liberation movements, migratory experiences, and identity formations through a black feminist lens.

Using film and photography, de Miranda deploys the metaphor of the island as a utopian place of isolation, refuge, and escape: a space for collective imaginings that speak to new and old freedoms. Anchored in cultural affinities and ecofeminism, the artist considers soil as an organic repository of time and memory, where ancestral and ecological trauma linked to colonial excavations continue to unfold.

The Island urges us to develop a more conscious relationship between our bodies, the past and the lands we inhabit – and all that they hold – towards regenerative possible futures.

The exhibition features two new Autograph artist commissions seen for the first time: a 37-minute film work The Island, and an associated series of photographs part of Autograph’s project Amplify – Stranger in the Village: Afro European Matters, supported by the Art Fund.

Please note that the gallery will be closed on Thursday 20 October from 5-9pm for the event Monumental Impact

Postcolonial power dynamics play out in scenes staged by Angolan-Portuguese artist Mónica de Miranda

FT Weekend Magazine


Ground Work, from The Island, 2021

Tide, from The Island, 2021

Gallery 2 at Autograph

Gallery 1 at Autograph

Film still [detail] from The Island

Mother and Daughter, from The Island [detail]

Double Force, from The Island, 2021

VR tour of the Exhibition

A groundbreaking show

Aesthetica Magazine

about the artist

Mónica de Miranda

is an Angolan Portuguese visual artist, filmmaker and researcher who works and lives between Lisbon and Luanda. Her work – which incorporates photography, video, drawing, sculpture and installation – investigates postcolonial politics of geography, history, and subjectivity in relation to Africa and its diaspora through a critical spatial arts practice. 

Often conceptual and research-based, de Miranda is interested in the convergence of socio-political narratives, gender, and memory at the boundaries between fiction and documentary.

De Miranda is affiliated with the University of Lisbon where she is engaged on projects dealing with ethical and cultural aspects of contemporary migration movements linked to lusophone Africa, such as Post-Archive: Politics of Memory, Place and Identity, and Visual Culture, Migration, Globalization and Decolonization.  She holds post and undergraduate degrees in art and arts education from Camberwell College of Arts and the Institute of Education in London, and a doctorate in Visual Art from the University of Middlesex. De Miranda is a co-founder of the artist residency project Triangle Network in Portugal and in 2014, she founded Hangar – Center for Artistic Research in Lisbon

Her works have been exhibited internationally, including at the 12th Berlin Biennale (2022); Bienalsur – International Contemporary Art Biennial from the South (2020); Houston FotoFest Biennial (2020); Lubumbashi Biennale (2020); Dakar Biennale (2016); Bamako Encounters African Biennale of Photography (2016); and the 14th Architecture Biennale of Venice (2014) as well as in museums and galleries such as the Pera Museum in Istanbul (2017) and Caixa Cultural in Rio de Janeiro (2017). Her work is represented in public collections including The Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT), The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, and The National Museum of Contemporary Art in Lisbon, Portugal.

You can follow the artist on Instagram and see more of de Miranda's work on her website.

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Teachers' Workshop: Utopia, Ecology and Identity

15 September, 5 - 8pm
Read more

Family Mindful Photography Workshops

Wednesdays, 10 – 31 August
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Under 5s Storytelling Session: The Environment

15 and 22 August
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Exhibition opening reception with the artist

Wednesday 22 May, 6 - 8pm
Read more

Group and school visits to Autograph

Free throughout the exhibition
Book a group visit



Everyone is welcome at Autograph. We care about our visitors, staff, artists and community, and have measures in place to help ensure a safe visit for everyone. Have a look at our Visit Us page, it has full information about Covid-19 safety and accessibility at Autograph.


Accessible VEnue

Autograph welcomes people with all types of disabilities.


The Island exhibition is across both galleries at Autograph: Gallery 1 (ground floor) and Gallery 2 (second floor).

film times

The Island film is 37 minutes long, and on a continuous loop.


Step free

Our building and entrance is step free. A wheelchair accessible lift goes to all floors.



Help us keep everyone safe. If you are able to, please wear a face covering during your visit.


accessible Toilets

Each floor has an accessible toilet. All toilets are single-occupancy and unisex.

also on at autograph

Thompson Hall: Inequality, Marginalisation and Social Changed

A new outdoor display of Hall's works, addressing issues of empire, social welfare, the cost-of-living crisis and the ongoing impacts of Covid-19.

Find out more


Limited edition print:
Whistle for the Wind (2021)

A new, signed collector's print by artist Mónica de Miranda – available exclusively from Autograph.

Shop now

discover more

Amplify — Stranger in the Village: Afro European Matters

Autograph's new commissioning project considering contemporary Afrodiasporic experiences in Europe

Find out more


Can you spare a few moments? Autograph is carrying out a survey to better understand who our digital audiences are. The survey should take no longer than five minutes to complete. Anything you tell us will be kept confidential, is anonymous and will only be used for research purposes.

The information you provide will be held by Autograph and The Audience Agency, who are running the survey on our behalf. In compliance with GDPR, your data will be stored securely and will only be used for the purposes it was given.

You can take the survey here. Thank you!

with art fund support

supported by

Banner image: Mónica de Miranda, Whistle for the Wind [detail], from The Island, 2021. Commissioned by Autograph. Supported by Art Fund.

Exhibition preview: All by Mónica de Miranda. Commissioned by Autograph, supported by Art Fund. Installation photograph by Kate Elliott.

About the artist: Courtesy Mónica de Miranda. Visit us: Autograph, photograph by Zoë Maxwell.

Also on at Autograph: Thompson Hall, Political Sleaze [detail], 2022 © and courtesy of ActionSpace.

Discover more: Mónica de Miranda, Dressage, from The Island, 2021. Commissioned by Autograph. Supported by Art Fund.