October Gallery presents a solo exhibition of new works by Sokari Douglas Camp CBE that explore the masquerade of ‘Jonkonnu’ both within its Caribbean context and that of the broader African diaspora. This exhibition will coincide with her large-scale steel sculpture Europe Supported by Africa and America being displayed at the V&A to complement the Africa Fashion exhibition, which opens on 2nd July, 2022. Two more of her larger than life-sized steel sculptures, again relating to Jonkonnu, will also form part of the Kensington + Chelsea Art Week, from 23rd June – 3rd July, 2022.
These sculptures are a heady mix of outlandish characters who trace the overlapping links between still-surviving African masquerades, Caribbean carnival traditions and their most recent incarnation on the streets of London, during the colourfully costumed parades of the Notting Hill Carnival. In these new works, Sokari Douglas Camp pays homage to the indomitable ‘carnival spirit’ still surviving despite all adversity, as her steel sculptures playfully combine different elements from the interrelated worlds of imaginative masquerades, festival processions and carnival parades. In so doing, they affirm the powerful contribution of the African and Caribbean cultures to the multicultural mix that energises the city of London today.