Watch: Artist film with Silvia Rosi

Silvia Rosi shares her wider practice and new work produced for the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards.

The Jerwood/Photoworks Awards supports artists to make new work and significantly develop their practice. The Awards particularly seek to encourage artists and photographers exploring new approaches to photography, and/or whose practice is experimental.

Theo Simpson and Silvia Rosi were selected from over 450 submissions in response to an open call to UK-based artists using photography and within 10 years of establishing their practice.

Silvia Rosi

Silvia Rosi’s Encounter is a fictional representation of her family album, exploring tales of migration and diaspora through self-portraiture, performance and symbolism.

Inspired by an image from her own family album, of her young mother as a market trader in Lomé Togo, Rosi retraced her parents’ journey of migration from Togo to Italy. This is a story that is both deeply personal and at the same time universal.

With her mother as source and muse, Rosi performs her family narrative recreating both visual and oral histories through the combination of photography, text, and video. She references the aesthetics of West African studio portraits through the use of backdrops and props. The act of head carrying, a skill traditionally passed on from mother to daughter, is central to the work, learned and performed by Rosi in an attempt to regain a tradition that has been lost through migration and her position as a European.

Encounter is a homage to the family album, an object which is in constant transformation and recontextualization as time passes and relationships progress. For this exhibition, her work will include new examples of colour and black and white photography, as well as works where she explores working with video for the first time.

The Jerwood/Photoworks Awards 2020 is on show at Jerwood Arts until 7 March. 

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