DAVINA + YARA
Davina Drummond and Yara El-Sherbini are two British social practice artists, who have been collaborating on projects for over decade alongside their individual practices. In 2016 they were joint British Council Artist Fellow’s in the USA and recent commissions include a project for the Hayward Gallery, London and the South London Gallery.
Davina is based in London, UK and graduated with a B.A.(hons) in Fine Art Textiles from Goldsmiths College, London in 2005 and with a postgraduate diploma in Art Education from the Institute of Education, London in 2007. Yara currently lives in California, USA and graduated with a B.A in Fine Art in Context from U.W.E, and with an M.A in Fine Art from the Slade, UCL, London in 2005.
At the heart of both of their practices lies an invested interest in site, context and audience. Their work does not exist without participation, without a public, viewing it, taking part in it. They make works that relate to the context; be it time or the political context, and always think about the work in relation to the site; a public space, a gallery, a festival etc.
Accessibility is key for Davina and Yara, for example by using formats within contemporary popular culture; tours, jokes, gospel choirs, teaching syllabus, quizzes, mini golf, games. They think about how to engage a general audience, exploring works which touches on the human condition, in different ways, be it geo politics or love, to knowledge or mental health. They root their works in the everyday, using a lightness of touch and humour to make works that are both poetic and political. They believe in using simple devices to produce powerful artworks. They enjoy working together because they have different ways of engaging with audiences and bring different things to the table.
They have created artworks for multiple world leading art venues and public organisations such as the Hayward Gallery, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Tate Modern and Tate Britain, Venice Biennale, Baltic, IKON, National Portrait Gallery, South London Gallery and Camden Council.