History of Art


CSCA: Tamar Garb and Mary Evans in conversation

23 November 2023, 5:30 pm–7:30 pm

an exhibition space with gold framed images of people

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Queenie Lee – History of Art


IAS Forum, Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)
South Wing
Wilkins Building

This conversation will look at Mary Evans’ recent exhibition ‘Gilt’ held at Zeitz Museum for Contemporary African Art, Cape Town, 2023. An elaborate and ambitious installation, the show takes up the materiality and signification of gold/gilt, as colour, as commodity, as process, as sign, as material, while playing with its reference to ‘guilt’ and the residues of exploitation, extractavism and trade (in people and goods) with all the deadly connotations, that the substance invokes. Evans will be thinking about this exhibition in the context of her work more generally and will draw out her practice in relation to questions of history, the archive, genre, technologies of making and figuration and the politics of representation in relation to Black experience and Black aesthetics. The research-based exhibition and the practices it engenders will be under consideration in an open-ended conversation with art historian/curator Tamar Garb.

Installation photograph: Mary Evans, ‘Gilt’, Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town, 2023.

About the Speakers

Mary Evans

Director of Fine Art at Slade School of Fine Art, UCL

Mary Evans is an artist with a National and International reputation. Having studied at Goldsmiths and the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, Evans’s practice is centred on the social, political, geographical, and historical frameworks of Diaspora, migration, global mobility, and exchange. This cross-cultural discourse is paralleled by a secondary discourse that links methods of image production, ’fine art’ and ‘craft’, decoration, and ornament. 

In her practice Evans uses brown kraft paper and other disposable materials to interrogate sites, stories, place and belonging often in the form of large-scale site and research responsive installations in an enquiry that explores the power relationships between Africa and Europe while moving across the real and imagined, mapping the ephemeral and unmappable. The silhouette, a well-known European visual device is utilised to make the Black body visible as a site for historical and contemporary narratives of resilience, mobility, geography, and memory.

Recently appointed as the Director of Fine Art at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, Evans was previously the BA Fine Art course leader at Chelsea College of Arts. As an educator, Evans is invested in challenging barriers to education and widening access to the arts.

Evans has taken part in several exhibitions, commissions and residencies in the UK and Internationally including 3rd Guangzhou Triennial, Guangzhou China (2008); Meditations, Baltimore Museum of Art USA (2008); Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, National Museum of African Art, Washington DC, USA (2010); The Arts & Literary Arts Residency, Rockefeller Foundation, Bellagio Italy (2014); Still the Barbarians EVA International, Limerick Ireland (2016); Lagos Photo, Lagos Nigeria (2018); 11 Biennial Do Mercosul – Porto Alegre, Brazil (2018); Layers - La Banque Arts Centre, Bethune France (2019); Paper Routes: Women to Watch 2020, NMWA USA (2020); Breathe, META Open Arts, London (2022); Gilt, Zeitz MOCCA Cape Town SA (2023); Rites of Passage, Gagosian London (2023) and Windrush Portraits, John Hansard Gallery Southampton 2023.

More about Mary Evans

Tamar Garb

Durning Professor in the History of Art at UCL

Tamar Garb is Durning Professor in the History of Art at UCL. She has published widely on questions of gender and sexuality in Modern and Contemporary Art as well as on photography  from Africa, the work of women artists and feminist aesthetics.  Her curatorial practice includes  ‘Gauguin: Maker of Myth’, Tate 2011, ‘Figures & Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography’, V&A, 2011, ‘Distance & Desire: Encounters with the African Archive’, Walther Coll. 2014, ‘Conversations in Letters & Lines: William Kentridge and Vivienne Koorland, Fruitmarket,,2016, ‘Made Routes: Berni Searle and Vivienne Koorland’, Richard Saltoun Gallery, 2019 and ‘Beyond the Binary: Santu Mofokeng and David Goldblatt’, Walther Coll. 2023.

More about Tamar Garb