Exhibition: Mary Sibande, 1-54 Somerset House (Opens: 03 October)

1-54 London returns!
7th edition at Somerset House 
03 – 06 October 2019.

Founded by Touria El Glaoui in 2013, 1-54 is the first leading international art fair dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora with annual editions in London, New York and Marrakech.

Once again, this year the fair expands and will be accompanied by 1-54 FORUM and Special Projects, amongst which Mary Sibande: I Came Apart At The Seams, the artist’s first solo show in UK presented in partnership with Somerset House and a large-scale installation in the The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court. 


An exhibition of new and celebrated works from one of South Africa’s most prominent contemporary artists, Mary Sibande.

In her first solo exhibition in the UK, Mary Sibande presents a series of photographic and sculptural works exploring the power of imagination and constructive anger in shaping identities and personal narratives in a post-colonial world.

I Came Apart at the Seams follows the transformative journey of Sibande’s avatar, Sophie. Taking form as a series of colourful human-scale sculptures modelled on Sibande herself, Sophie transgresses from her humble beginnings as a domestic housemaid into myriad empowered characters, transcending racial bias and marginalisation. Iterations of these striking installations are also captured in vibrant large-scale photography, documenting Sophie’s journey. Through these works, Sibande pays homage to the generations of women in her family who worked as domestic labourers. In sharing their previously untold stories, Sibande challenges stereotypical depictions of Black women in post-apartheid South Africa throughout history and today.

Mary Sibande body 1.jpg

Mary Sibande I Put A Spell On Me 2009. Image courtesy of 1-54

03 Oct 2019 – 05 Jan 2020
Terrace Rooms, South Wing, Somerset House


In partnership with 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair

Mary Sibande’s I Came Apart at the Seams is the seventh exhibition in The Charles Russell Speechlys Terrace Rooms Series, an ongoing partnership with the leading law firm to present a wide range of free exhibitions reflecting the broad interests of both organisations.


Categories: Announcements, News, & Upcoming

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

join the discussion:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: