San Mei Gallery presents a solo exhibition and durational performance by London-based artist Davinia-Ann Robinson. Concentrating on the engagement between her body and materials, Robinson’s work explores how ‘presencing’, fugitivity and tactility can undo the colonial frameworks through which nature and bodies of colour are articulated.
At San Mei Gallery, Robinson presents a durational performance, developing sculptures and soundscapes using wet clay. Over the course of the six-week exhibition, Robinson will process, clean and filter clay received from London development sites to make site-specific clay sculptures in the gallery.
These sculptures, which outline impressions of her own body formed by pressing herself onto beds of clay, leave indentations and momentary residues of these interactions. As the exhibition evolves, the sculptures will weather, dry, crack, expand and contract, requiring ongoing gestures of care and repair.
Examining the processes of extraction that bodies of colour and natural resources both experience in ‘colonial nature environments,’ Robinson asks how practices of tactility enable enactments of presencing to become what theorist Hortense Spillers calls a ‘fugitivity praxis,’ where bodies of colour exist outside the colonial lens.
Alongside the sculptures, Robinson will develop a series of soundscapes made onsite by registering the intensity of her body pressing onto clay. These soundscapes playback a multi-layered poetic text written by the artist, which examines intimate moments of corporeal connections to land and moments of disabled presence Robinson has experienced in local and national environments.
In conjunction with the exhibition, San Mei Gallery will host a series of events further developing the exhibition’s engagements with healing and corporeality as well as Black, Brown and Indigenous relationships to land. Further details of this public programme will be announced on our website.
Davinia-Ann Robinson’s practice explores Black, Brown and Indigenous relationships to land and ‘colonial nature environments,’ addressing personal interactions with ‘colonial emotions’ she has encountered in local, national and global environments as a Black Female Body, explored through sculpture, sound, writing and performance. Robinson’s work is currently on show at Tate Liverpool as part of Radical Landscapes until September 2022. Recent group exhibitions include: Metabolic time / Am meitibileach, Project Art Centre, Dublin, 2022; Terrestrial Act II, HotDesque Thameside Studios, London 2021; New Contemporaries, First Site Colchester and South London Gallery, London, 2021; Being Here, Kupfer, London, 2021; EARTHLINGS MMXXI, The Residence Gallery, London, 2021; connections unplugged, bodies rewired, das weisse haus, Vienna, Austria, 2021; Our Other Us – Art Encounters Biennial Timisoara, 2021; SH/FT, No Show Space, London, 2021; I Am Unsure As To If It Is Still Alive, Quench, Margate, 2021; Working Progress, South London Gallery, London, 2020; Bold Tendencies 2020, London, 2020; Freedom Is Outside the Skin, Kunsthal 44Møen, Denmark, 2020; PRESENCE, Deptford X Supported (London), 2019; Politics of Pleasure: PLASTICISED SENSATION, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, 2019; BBZ Alternative Graduate Show, London, 2019.
Davinia-Ann Robinson: distinction between felt flesh | Press Release