Born in the West African nation Togo and raised in Paris and London, multidisciplinary artist Divine Southgate-Smith merges elements classical and contemporary styles. Whether creating multimedia installations or two-dimensional digital renderings, her work always results from the same sources of inspiration: Language, architecture, and the movement of shapes through space. Her prints, sculptures, and installations bring life to forms through a sense of play, unconcerned with time. The International TAKIFUJI Art Award-nominated artist recently completed a residency at Third Base in Lisbon, where she also participated in a number of exhibitions, and is currently living and working back in London.
Divine Southgate-Smith is a British transdisciplinary artist born in Togo and raised in Paris and London. She graduated from Central St Martins, London in 2017 with a 1st Class Honours Degree in Fine Arts. Having lived in Lisbon, Portugal for the past two years this October, she is one of 15 artists to enroll at The Royal Academy Schools for her postgraduate studies back in London.
Southgate-Smith employs the use of sculpture/installation, spoken word, and moving image. Her work has always been very much influenced by architecture and the idea of choreographing or delineating specific gestures in space. By adopting a heavily theatrical structure, she seeks to frame the work as part of a holistic portrayal of performing selfness/otherness. Her conceptually distilled and sensitive negotiations of complex social concerns — particularly in relation to her approach to othering and categorical identity politics — enable her to adopt narratives that place sensorial representation as superior to the visual representation of body in space.
The playful use of personification allows her to consider her sculptures as characters shifting between direct and indirect speech, and so each phase/sculpture plays a role in constructing a space in duration. By shifting through dimension, perspective, and the virtual, her work investigates the spatial tension between projected and tangible spaces (subject, object, position). As a result, her work requires the use of multiple media. Her practice is often collaborative, which enables her to explore the multiple ways one might understand or experience a durational space.
2019 – 2022: Royal Academy Schools, London
2014 – 2017: UAL: Central St Martins, London Ba Fine Art First Class Honours Degree (Distinction)
2013 – 2014: The Art Academy, London, Fine Art Foundation Diploma (A* - Distinction)
2006 – 2013: Holland Park School, London
A-LEVEL: Aug 2013 - Art (A) Psychology (B) French (A*)
GCSE: Jul 2011 - English Language (A) English Literature (A) Mathematics (B) Art (A*) Science (C) Product Design (A) French (A*)
Commission: FAUNO (March 2020) Teatro Trinidad, Lisbon Portugal Solo Show: Erase (2020) The Spirit Shop, Lisbon, Portugal (upcoming)
Collaboration: Zachary Pulman Studio (September 2019) Decorex, London, United Kingdom
Commission: IN LIMEN: MEMORY (July 2019) Teatro Romano, Lisbon, Portugal
Group Show: FRENTE n2 (July 2019) Desterro, Lisbon, Portugal
Group Show: Europe under construction (May 2019), SCHRILL, Braunschweig, Germany
Screening: (Putting words) in my mouth (March 2019) Galeria Foco, Lisbon, Portugal
Group Show: Mellifluous Elephant (March 2019) Casa da Dona Laura, Lisbon, Portugal
Group Show: PADA STUDIO presents Capitulo I (February - April 2019) A.M.A.C, Barreiro, Portugal
Artist Residency Exhibition (September - December 2018) THIRDBASE, Lisbon, Portugal
Group Show: Feedback (December 2018) The Switch Gallery, London, United Kingdom
Commission: UX Art Space: Lexus (June - October 2018) Lisbon, Portugal
Duo Show: Dis (Places) (May - June 2018) Galeria Foco, Lisbon, Portugal
Commission: Twilly's Minimalist Playground: HERMÈS (September 2017) Saatchi Gallery, London, United Kingdom Degree Show: COME (May - June 2017), Central St Martins, London, United Kingdom
Group Show: BIG SPACE (February 2017), Central St Martins, London, United Kingdom
Group Show: Art In Transit (June 2016) Lethaby Gallery, London, United Kingdom
Open Studio (February 2016) Central St Martins, London, United Kingdom
Graduate Show (July - August 2014) The Art Academy, London, United Kingdom
Solo Show: TEMPO (July- September 2013)La Porte Peinte, Noyers, France
Solo Show: Young Artist In Association With 'Talent Rich' (July 2012) Muse Gallery, London, United Kingdom
14TH CINEMA - Co-Founder and co-curator (November 2016 - Present) London, United Kingdom Painting Beyond Itself (March 2017) 14th Cinema, London, United Kingdom Film In Performance | Performance In Film (January 2017) 14th Cinema, London, United Kingdom Spacial & Temporal Boundaries (November 2016) 14th Cinema, London, United Kingdom
Mullen Lowe Group Nova Award (May 2017) Nominated International Takifuji Art Award (July 2017) Nominated Drawing Prize - The Art Academy (April 2014) Runner Up
Third Base Residency (September 2018 - January 2019) Lisbon, Portugal Holland Park School (September 2014 - August 2015) London, United Kingdom La Porte Peinte (July 2013 - September 2013) Noyers, France