Questioning stereotypes and scripted roles of gender and race, the works on this exhibition span more than five years of constant experimentation. De’Souza-Hartley’s practice includes performance, video, sound and photography, working with different sitters and also extensively with his own body. His background in theatre and contemporary dance is present behind many of the works in the exhibition especially on his self-portraits, and is evident across his work directing and choreographing collaborative projects.
The show features works from his series Masculinity (2010-2016), I AM (2017) and WITHIN (2017).
The Masculinity series is divided into phases; the images on this exhibition have been selected from Phase 2 Masculinity Portraits (2010-2011), Phase 4 Barbershop (2011), Phase 5 Redcar and Wakefield (2014) and the recent Phase 7, shot in London. The starting point of this long body of work is the concept of masculinity, and how to address its different stereotypes through the confrontation of the naked body.
I AM and WITHIN show the most recent developments in his work, examining issues beyond masculinity. I AM was inspired by a fashion collaboration with fashion designer Lamula Anderson, focusing on the materiality of afro hair and questioning its role and importance in black women’s identity.
WITHIN was produced and shot in Uganda during a residency in 2017. It features a selection from more than 100 portraits to reflect on issues of identity and place. For this project, De’Souza-Hartley built a photo studio with local materials including red earth and dyed rope, where he shot portraits and recorded interviews with his sitters.
Othello De’Souza-Hartley: ‘I Am’
6 Sep – 28 Sep 2018
Sulger Buel-Lovell Gallery
51 Surrey Row, Unit 2 La Gare
About Otherllo De’Soiza-Hartley:
Othello De’Souza-Hartley is a London based visual artist working in mixed mediums. He received an MA in Fine Art from Camberwell College of Art and previously
studied photography at Central St Martins. De’Souza-Hartley’s work is inspired by the local, narratives of the body in relation to the history of place and coded space, and the complexities of identity formation. His work challenges notions of social and cultural normativity.