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Divine Southgate-Smith

Divine Southgate-Smith (b. 1995, Lome, Togo) is a London-based Togolese-British transdisciplinary artist.

She/they has developed a transdisciplinary practice that comprises photographic collage, sculpture, moving-image, performance, writing, spoken word, and 3D animation. Her/their approach to art-making is medium non-specific and collaborative, allowing her/them to explore complex narratives through various mediums and disciplines while navigating speculative spaces where things are abstracted, contextualised, de-contextualised, voiced, or silenced. Questioning the traditional equation between sight and understanding, Southgate-Smith invites us to observe and examine visual representations of the future whilst in constant dialogue with the past. She graduated in 2022 from the Royal Academy of Arts.

Southgate-Smith’s creative research project MELA-9 is an ongoing study on African expressions of form and function through craft and design. The series stems from the artist’s understanding that archiving is a tool, from which to extract knowledge and imagined realities. Working with Norwich University of the Arts and the Sainsbury Centre, the aim is to preserve and reinterpret, Black cultural memory through direct engagement with museum objects. A material and speculative exploration; Southgate-Smith intends to trace relationships between object, display, and ritual within African and European contexts. Revealing connections between museal, spiritual, and domestic traditions.