Shawanda Corbett

Evocation of Buked

Festival Hub, St Paul’s House, 1 Market Yard, SE8 4BX

A live performance exploring the biblical and social implications of disability during slavery. The piece portrays the experiences of undocumented disabled female slaves in post-colonial Mississippi. What happened to those on plantations who could not breed or do physical work? What did these women experience as able-bodied slaves escaped? What were the implications for their own well-being and continued life? The Bible used figures with physical limitations and deformities as messengers or lessons that exposed the afflictions of society. The atrocities of slavery, the actions of their own families, and the misappropriation of biblical text were complicit in the silencing of disabled female slaves. Evocation of Buked captures their internal dialogue with God. The performance is accompanied by the negro spiritual song I Been Buked.

Shawanda Corbett works with film, photography, performance, text and ceramics. Her practice draws on an extensive knowledge of African, European and other artistic traditions. Corbett trained initially as a painter but soon began to experiment with ceramics, attracted in part by the medium’s collaborative aspects. From clay pots she moved on to sculpture, working with porcelain and then iron. Her influences range far and wide, from Charlie Chaplin to African American history, John Akomfrah to Jan van Eyck, African studies to Jacob Lawrence.

Shawanda Corbett is based in Oxford. She studied Fine Art at Rochester Institute of Technology, New York (2013-16) and the Ruskin School of Art (2016-17).

Shawanda Corbett was nominated for Platform 2018 by Oreet Ashery (artist).

Shawanda’s work confronts race and disability. In her MFA degree show performance at the Ruskin School of Art in 2017 she presented two wearable wooden sculptures, one that she wore herself and the other worn by an able-bodied performer. The gigantic, Bauhausesque, bell-like structures revealed only the two heads of the performers. Both figures elegantly glided up over a wooden platform. The performance was ambitious, economical and incredibly effective. 
-Oreet Ashery

Shawanda Corbett ↗

Oreet Ashery  ↗

Wheelchair accessible.