Sonia E Barrett performs composites of plants, animals, elements, and people to create interventions that presence their objectification and commodification. She also thinks about how to change perceptions of phenomena in “nature” that are a given. The work seeks to create new questions where there was a kind of certainty that has to do with the hegemony of normative European values.
Born in the UK of Jamaican and German parentage, Sonia E. Barrett grew up in Hong Kong, Zimbabwe, Cyprus, and the UK. She studied literature at the University of St Andrews Scotland and her MFA at Transart Institute Berlin/New York.
Her work unpacks the boundaries between the determined and the determining with a focus on race and gender. She makes sculptural works so she can run her hands along the fissures and manifest strategies for multiple compatible existences and mourn.
Her sculptural practice includes placemaking with a view to assembling communities under the threat of climate to (Re) claim space as well as instituting permanently.
Sonia is a MacDowell, CCCADI, and Yale Artist fellow and has been recognized by the Premio Ora prize, NY Art-Slant showcase for sculpture, and the Neo Art Prize. She has been exhibited by the National Gallery of Jamaica; 32 degrees East Gallery, Kampala, Uganda; the Heinrich Böll Institute Germany; the British Library; The Museum of Derby; and the Kunsthaus Nürnberg. Her work has been shown at a number of galleries including the OCCCA California, the NGBK Berlin, Tete Berlin, The Format Contemporary in Milan and Basel, and the Rosenwald Wolf Gallery Philadelphia.
Her works and writings have been published in the International Review of African American Art, Black History 365 Journal, Kunstforum International, Protocollum, ELSE journal, British Arts Studies Journal, Tate Publishing, and the Contemporary & Platform. She is a co-initiator of the AIPCC in Bavaria.