Phoebe Boswell was born in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1982. She grew up in the Arabian Gulf before moving to the UK. She studied painting at Slade School of Art, London, graduating in 2005, and 2D Animation at Central St Martins, London, graduating in 2009. Her work, which spans media from drawing to film, explores modalities of freedom, care, contested histories and imagined futures through a black feminist and multifaceted diasporic lens.
In 2021 Boswell had a solo exhibition at New Art Exchange, Nottingham, and created a major site-specific installation at the Contemporary Arts Centre, New Orleans, which was part of Prospect P.5, a city-wide contemporary art triennial. In 2020 she presented her first public outdoor artwork at Lancy-Bachet Railway Station in Geneva. Solo and group exhibitions include HOME, London (2022); Royal West of England Academy, Bristol (2022); Goteborgs Konsthall, Gothenburg (2019); Somerset House, London (2019); Autograph APB, London (2018); Tiwani Contemporary, London (2017); Pinchuk Centre, Kiev (2017); Constitution Hill, Johannesburg (2017); Centre d'Art Contemporain, Geneva (2016); Hangar, Lisbon (2016); Witteveen Visual Art Centre Amsterdam (2016); Xi'an Academy of Fine Arts, Xi'an, China (2015); New Hall, Cambridge (2015); Royal Festival Hall, London (2015).
Boswell has screened films at the Sundance, BFI London, BlackStar, Underwire and LA Film Festivals, British Animation Awards, and CinemAfrica, amongst others. She has presented talks at the British Library, Tate Britain and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Boswell was invited to take part in a symposium as part of the exhibition at the U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2022. She recently took part in the BBC series Art that Made Us (2022), in which she analysed Shakespeare’s attitude to race in his play Othello.
Boswell has been invited to take part in fellowships across the world, most recently URDLA in Lyon (2022), the Bridget Riley Drawing Fellowship, British School at Rome (2019) and Africa NoFilter Ford Foundation Fellowship, Ford Foundation (2017). In 2019 she was recipient of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists. She received the Future Generation Art Prize’s Special Prize in 2017, consequently exhibiting as part of the collateral events programme at the 57th Venice Biennale, in the same year.
In 2021 Boswell was the recipient of the Lumière Award, from the Royal Photographic Society. She is the 2022 Writer in Residence at Whitechapel Gallery, London, and in September 2022 she will take part in both the 16th Biennale de Lyon, France and Hacer Noche, the Oaxaca Biennial, in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Phoebe Boswell lives and works in London.