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Mary Evans

  • CountryNigeria
  • Born1963


Mary Evans uses paper cutting and printmaking techniques to create large-scale, site-specific installations that fuse the boundaries between the fine art and craft, and between the work and its surrounding space. Through recurring motifs such as flat, featureless human bodies and slave ships, Evans investigates the legacy of colonialism addressing the themes of racial stereotyping, migration, diaspora and the transatlantic slave trade.

For her solo exhibition ‘Filter’, a result of six months residency at Leighton House Museum in 1997, organised in collaboration with Iniva, Evans created delicate paper screens ornamented with cut out silhouettes and symbols. Acting as veils or ‘filters’, they pointed to the visible and invisible contents of Leighton’s house.  Evans said, ‘[I wanted] to look into the sign system of the house and the era in which it originated; our bittersweet legacy of colonialism and cultural imperialism. As in my own practice, I want to look behind the façade of decoration and ornament to see what lies there.’ [1]

Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Evans moved to the UK at the age of six and was brought up in the North-West London in a mixed heritage household.  At the age of fourteen, Evans moved back to Lagos where she experienced a sense of displacement and begun to reflect upon her identity which was marked by cultural hybridity.

Evans studied Fine Art at Gloucestershire College of Art and Technology, later obtaining an MA degree from Goldsmiths University, as well as completing a postgraduate residency at Rijksakademie Amsterdam. Her work has been exhibited internationally, with solo shows at Tiwani Contemporary, London in 2012 and Baltimore Museum of Art, the USA in 2008.

Evans lives and works in London.

[1] Institute of International Visual Arts, Mary Evans: Filter, (London: Iniva, 1997)
Find out more about Mary Evans by visiting the Stuart Hall Library
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