Artists in Conversation | Lisa Brice

Free admission

Lisa Brice will talk to Sue Williamson, artist, about her artistic practice and her recent projects.

About Lisa Brice

Born in Cape Town in 1968, Lisa Brice graduated from the Michaelis School of Fine Art in 1990. From 1988 to 1991 she worked as a printmaking assistant to artist Sue Williamson. She moved to London in 1998 to take up a residency at Gasworks Gallery and later settled in the United Kingdom. Her influences include her experiences growing up in South Africa during a time of political upheaval and the extended periods of time she spent working in Trinidad, where she participated in a workshop in Grande Riviere and a residency in Port of Spain. While in Trinidad, she met fellow artists Emheyo Bahabba, Peter Doig, and Chris Ofili.

Brice challenges traditional representations of women in Western art history through her figurative painting practice. The female nude, depicted in Brice’s signature cobalt blue, is reclaimed from a male gaze that disempowers women by treating them as passive objects of desire. In individual and group portraits set in studios and bars, women are liberated from the roles of model and muse. They are shown brandishing paint brushes, as they capture their own likenesses (and those of their companions), or at rest, posing in front of mirrors and lounging against doors as they smoke cigarettes, breaking down hierarchies between the artist and the model. Whether confronting viewers with a direct gaze or seemingly unaware of their presence, Brice’s women stand as empowered figures driven by their own desires rather than those of the spectator.

Brice has participated in both solo and group exhibitions worldwide. Her work is held in collections around the world, including the High Commission of South Africa, London; Johannesburg Art Gallery; the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art; and Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, to name only a few. She lives and works in London.

About Sue Williamson

Born in Lichfield, England, Williamson immigrated with her family to South Africa when she was seven. Between 1963 and 1965 she studied at the Art Students League of New York. In 1983, she earned her advanced diploma in fine art from the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town. Her work engages with themes of memory, trauma, and identity formation. Trained as a printmaker, Williamson works across media including constructed objects, mixed-media installation, photography, and video.

Williamson is part of the generation of South African artists whose work challenged the apartheid government in the 1970s and 1980s. After the first democratic election in 1994, Williamson turned her attention to the stories of atrocities being revealed during the hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a court-like restorative justice body assembled in South Africa in 1996 after the end of apartheid. Her work includes Truth Games and No More Fairy Tales, a series of five two-channel video conversations highlighting the reality of daily life in South Africa twenty years after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Williamson’s work is held in many public collections worldwide, and she has participated in numerous international group exhibitions. She is currently a Visiting Artist at the Yale Center for British Art. Williamson lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa. 

Artists in Conversation

Join us for lively and inspiring conversations with some of today’s most notable artists. “Artists in Conversation” brings together curators and artists to discuss artistic practices and insights into their work.


To join us for this program, please register here.

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Lisa Brice, photo by Adam Davies