Divine Southgate-Smith (1995) is a British visual artist born in Togo and raised in Paris and London. She graduated from Central St Martins, London (2017) with a 1st Class Honours Degree in Fine Arts. She has been living in Lisbon, Portugal for the past 2 years. In October she is due to enrol at The Royal Academy Schools (2019-2022) for her Post-graduate studies.
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, enables 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/ each 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. In 2016, alongside 3 other emerging artists from Central Saint Martins, she established the artist collective ( )PARENTHESIS STUDIO. The collective exhibited their most recent works as part of collaboration with LEXUS at the UX Art Space, Lisbon (2018) and HERMÈS at the Saatchi Gallery, London (2017). She is also the Co-Founder of 14TH CINEMA (2016).
Her work has been nominated for the MULLEN LOWE GROUP NOVA Award (2017), The International TAKIFUJI Art Award (2017) and The Drawing Prize (2014). Southgate-Smith has just completed her residency program at Third Base Residency, Lisbon (2018/19) and has previously participated in the selected exhibitions: SWITCH Gallery, Lisbon (2019), Galeria Dona Laura, Lisbon (2019), Galeria FOCO, Lisbon (2019), AMAC Auditorium, Barreiro (2019), SWITCH Gallery, Lisbon (2018), LEXUS UX Art Space, Lisbon (2018), Galeria FOCO, Lisbon (2018), Saatchi Gallery, London (2017), Lethaby Gallery, London (2016), La Porte Peinte, France (2013) and The Muse Gallery, London (2012).