Othello De'Souza-Hartley 'I AM' curated by Rodrigo Orrantia

06 Sep 2018 - 28 Sep 2018

Solo Exhibition - Othello De’Souza-Hartley


curated by Rodrigo Orrantia

Questioning stereotypes and scripted roles of gender and race, the works on this exhibition span more than five years of constant experimentation. De'Souza-Hartley's practice includes performance, video, sound and photography, working with different sitters and also extensively with his own body. His background in theatre and contemporary dance is present behind many of the works in the exhibition especially on his self-portraits, and is evident across his work directing and choreographing collaborative projects. 

The show features works from his series Masculinity (2010-2016), I AM (2017) and WITHIN (2017). The Masculinity series is divided into phases; the images on this exhibition have been selected from Phase 2 Masculinity Portraits (2010-2011), Phase 4 Barbershop (2011), Phase 5 Redcar and Wakefield (2014) and the recent Phase 7, shot in London. The starting point of this long project is the concept of masculinity, and how to strip it out of conventions and stereotypes through the vulnerability of the naked body. Interacting with different environments - from his native London through to towns in the north of England, and an impromptu performance in New Orleans - De'Souza-Hartley works in spaces that are loaded with meaning.

I AM and WITHIN show the most recent developments in his work, examining issues beyond masculinity. I am was inspired by a fashion collaboration with fashion designer Lamula Anderson, focusing on the materiality of afro hair and questioning its role and importance in black women's identity. Lastly, this exhibition includes De'Souza-Hartley's most recent work WITHIN, produced and shot in Uganda during a residency in 2017.  It features a selection from more than 100 portraits to reflect on issues of identity and place. Working out of a shipping container, De'Souza-Hartley built a photo studio with local materials including red earth and dyed rope, where he shot portraits and recorded interviews with his sitters over a number of weeks. The piece has been installed as a bespoke projection for the gallery space.

The exhibition will be opened on Thursday 06 September 2018 at 18:30 and runs until Friday 28 September 2018.

To view or download the catalogue please click here

Image credit: Othello De’Souza-Hartley Phase 3 - Barbershop (Masculinity Project) 2011 C type print 126x122cm

A special thank you to the following collaborators and sponsors for their generous support:


Bee Smith (United States of America)

Bee Smith is a multidisciplinary artist with a reverence for film and a curiosity for storytelling. Exploring themes of identity, race and seeing the surrealism in everything, she continues to create when she can and love when she should. 

Black Russian - Percussionist (Uganda)

Ian Dean MBE (United Kingdom)

Ian Dean is a sound artist, composer and music producer who constantly seeks new expression through collaboration with musicians, artists and scientists. Collaborations include sound installations with CERN particle physicists in Geneva, with visual artist Othello De’Souza Hartley in London, with artist Adam Marelli on an oceanic installation in Italy. 

In June 2017 Dean was awarded an MBE for services to music, in the birthday honours – an award given by HM Queen Elizabeth II to an individual for outstanding service in their field of expertise and for making a difference in their community. 

Leeto Thale (South Africa)

Leeto Thale is a spoken word artist, a musician and writer. He has performed his work at prime venues such as the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the British Museum and appeared on stage at Womad and Essaouira music festivals. Thale is also a poetry workshop facilitator and enjoys helping others find their own artistic voice. He curates and loves conceptualizing art projects and being involved in multimedia productions, escpecially collaborations. 

Sponsors & Support:

Gasworks Gallery

National Coal Mine Museum for England 


Shades of Noir

Triangle Network



  Profile Page (Othello De’Souza-Hartley )

Exhibition views

Some views of the exhibition

Selected Works

Works included in this exhibition

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