Sapar Contemporary is thrilled to present a brand new body of work by a British Kenyan artist, Phoebe Boswell. Boswell who is known for her extraordinary skillful and innovative drawings created especially for Chicago a series titled “She Summons an Army.” This playful yet sensitive, and deeply uncanny set of pencil on paper drawings initially rendered from the artist’s imagination as she sat in various waiting rooms within Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. The images of bodies were conceived over the course of many unsettling months as she contemplated the sudden blindness of her right eye following a traumatic incident in 2017. “She Summons an Army” references two important themes in Boswell’s oeuvre: the artist’s constant search for ‘ home’ as well as her ongoing salute to women who use their bodies in protest when they are not permitted to use their voices.
These works on paper summon a monocular ‘army’ of drawn female bodies, whose heads that are at once eyeballs and space helmets; the women are drawn in various interactions and configurations, all somehow moving forward, towards some unknown destination. Unframed and hovering off the wall of her solo booth for Sapar Contemporary, the artist presents this new body of work in the spirit in which they were made: the installation is raw, immediate, and personal. Boswell's incorporation of rocks into the space invoke the words of the South African song of resistance, 'Wathint' Abafazi, Wathint' Imbokodo' - 'You strike the women, you strike the rock'. As the artist contemplates how we collectively move forward from that which devastates us, artmaking becomes an act of resilience and of healing. She summons an army to assist her journey.