Joyce Treasure is a multidisciplinary artist ~ she gained her BA Hons (First Class) in Black Studies from Birmingham City University. Originally trained as a silversmith, she also has experience working within the creative industry, which includes metals, prop making and photography. From 1998 onwards: scriptwriting, editing, directing and DV film production. In 2012, she began to practice as a multidisciplinary artist working in layers and body forms to slice cultural and iconic imagery together using collage, print, acrylic, assemblage and film around the topic of identity.
She employs notions of ‘the carnivalesque’, feminism and decolonial thought to subvert and liberate concepts associated with dominance, colonialism and power.
Born in Stourbridge in 1965, West Midlands and raised in separate households by an English, mother and Jamaican father, she experienced two cultures. She draws on her mixed heritage to explore feelings of loss, absence, presence, recovery and exchange. Treating this knowledge as resourceful material to experiment between the personal and the social, Joyce is interested in the tension that can arise through this research and how it correlates within the social structures of power and knowledge.
She worked as a street artist for a short period as it offered her direct connection with people, seeing it as a performative opportunity absent of gallery limitations.
“Art is a great tool for people to express what the world means to them and their role in it. On many levels it’s cathartic and can be useful in raising awareness; to have meaning beyond the self that can draw upon the past, present and future and by doing so, connect with others.”
After the passing of her father and in response to DNA results and retracing her ancestral African routes, Joyce began a 4 months travel research trip in 2017 visiting Jamaica, Haiti, New York, Senegal, Gambia, Ghana, and Nigeria, which has greatly influenced her practice.
Her current work is seeking to interrogate colonial histories of trauma, resistance and survival to analyse parallels between different sites and locations using decolonial reasoning. She is interested in the intergenerational transmission of trauma and its physical, psychological and social repercussions, as a site for healing and well-being.
Screening and exhibitions include ICA, Portobello Film Festival, Himalaya Palace, The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, Kijkruimte, Bishopsgate institution, Tate Liverpool, Selfridges, Eastside Projects and Grand Union. One of five winners of BBC Bollywood Shorts, funded by BFI and BBC and residencies with Kijkruimte Gallery, Netherland, Grand Union and Bruntwood, Birmingham.