Dr. Roshini Kempadoo was born in England and moved to the Caribbean as a child. She lived in Jamaica and Guyana between the ages of 11 and 18, also spending time in Barbados and Trinidad. Returning to study at university in the UK, she completed a BA in Visual Communications with a specialism in Photography. She then earned an MA in Photographic Studies from the University of Derby.
Kempadoo is a photographer, multi-media artist, writer and lecturer. Her projects are concerned with the reinterpretation and fictionalisation of historical and contemporary material. She uses digital media: sound, animation, photography, screen-based interactive art and interactive objects to create characters and artworks that explore colonial and postcolonial Britain and the Caribbean.
Kempadoo took on the role as Iniva’s first Stuart Hall Library Animateur which involved developing programmes and initiatives to engage artists and researchers, including collaborative projects using other collections and curators’ responses. She was instrumental in setting up Autograph, the Association of Black Photographers in the 1980s, and she also worked as a documentary photographer for Format Picture Agency (1983 – 2003), the UK’s only women’s agency.
Solo exhibitions of her work include ‘Amendments’, screened at MERL, University of East London (2008); ‘The Retrospective Exhibition Roshini Kempadoo Work: 1990-2004’ at the Russell-Cotes Gallery, Bournemouth, and the Pitzhanger Gallery and Manor, London (2004-06); ‘Virtual Exiles’ internet site, Digital Media Lab, Wolverhampton Art Gallery (2004-05) and the Caribbean Contemporary Art Gallery, Trinidad (2002).
Recent shows include: What Have We Overlooked?, (2016) Museum Arnhem, Arnhem; Ghosts: Keith Piper/Roshini Kempadoo, (2015) Central Saint Martins Lethaby Gallery, London; ‘28 Days: Reimagining Black History Month’, Justina M. Barnicke Gallery and Georgia Scherman Projects, Toronto (2012); ‘Art & Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and His Worlds’, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven‚ Connecticut (2007); ‘A Place Called Home’, South Africa Art Gallery, Cape Town (2004-05); ‘The 90s: A Family of Man?’ Forum d’art Contemporain, Luxembourg (2004-05); and ‘Born in 1987: The Animated GIF’, The Photographer’s Gallery, London (2012).
Kempadoo has contributed to a number of conferences, academic journals and books. Her Creole in the Archive: Imagery, Presence and the Location of the Caribbean Figure (London Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) was launched in the Stuart Hall Library at Iniva in 2017. In 2018, she collaborated with Iniva on the Creating Interference Network Symposium.
Kempadoo lives and works in London.