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Critical Practice

Joshua Woolford

Born and raised in the South of England with mixed Dominican-British heritage, Josh Woolford has been actively seeking community and understanding of the world(s) around them from a young age. Having graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor in Media and Culture from the Design Academy Eindhoven they spent three years working between fashion, graphic design and performance in Berlin, Seville and Tel Aviv. 

Now holding an MA in Contemporary Art Practice, Critical Practice from the RCA, London. Woolford has gone on to expand their practice to include digital and print-media, sculpture, sound, installation and painting.

'My practice pushes me to experience the world from different perspectives which tend to at once overlap, interweave, compliment and contradict each other.'

Notable exhibitions and live performances include: The Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven / Habait theatre, Tel Aviv / Gallerie V,  Cambridge / The Factory Project / HOME by Ronan MckenzieSoho House, London.

Degree Details

School of Arts & HumanitiesContemporary Art Practice (MA)Critical Practice

Show Location: Battersea campus: Studio Building, Second floor

Woolford’s work largely explores and critiques shared experiences of contemporary (sub) culture(s). Identity, belonging and freedom are concepts which heavily inspire the outcomes of their work, ultimately leading them to uncover and address opposing themes of rejection, detachment and disorientation.

Woolford’s articulation process acts as a conversation; sometimes between them and themself, but mostly between the many versions of their portrayed selves and the people surrounding them.

and you say you never met the devil? is a mixed-media installation which interrogates the impact systems of oppression (patriarchy, capitalism, colonialism) have on myself and the people around me. Considering ripples created in the past which spread through the now and into the future.

Heavy black canvas and aluminium panels cut through / adorn / disrupt the space - creating a tension between order and fluidity. Reflecting on the connection between industry and Blackness the solid metal sheets and flowing textile interact through an almost uncomfortable dance - hanging precariously as if in the state of perpetual collapse. 

A triptych of abstract painted canvases in blue, red and green hang on the aluminium panelled wall, and are reflected in the aesthetic of a triptych of videos hanging within the black canvas structure.

Ceramic artefacts are scattered beneath the screens, depicting Taíno artefacts and deities, the colonialisation of the West Indies and Caribbean cooking pots - adaptations of West African forms and traditions.


Multimedia installation


250 x 400 x 400 cm

and you say you never met the devil? is a 15 minute performance video in three parts which reflects on themes of creation, destruction and recreation within the oppressive, patriarchal, colonial, capitalist systems we endure.

Movement, light and sound are utilised for their ephemeral nature as representations of a struggle for survival in a world that constantly, consciously attempts to erase us.

The setting is minimal and abstract. A non-space. A vessel for any narrative to play out. A space that floats in our imagination. Shot in a studio against both white and black backdrops - emphasising the essentiality of the body in defining and navigating space - there are no props in the classic sense. In this world the individual is responsible and dependent for only herself.

During the 15 minute video we travel through scenes which are indicated by a change of hue (blue - red - green). Within each scene there is a flicker between dark and light. A flicker between motion and inaction.

The three scenes tap into and explore separate states / emotions, which are linked to natural environments representative of Josh’s native Dominica yet globally recognisable: Scene 1: Decent (Sea), Scene 2: Tumult (Volcano), Scene 3: Appraise (Jungle). These are explored through dance, movement, poses and posturing and accompanied by spoken word poetry and an experimental soundscape, developed as a representation of and abstraction from the themes and contexts running through the three scenes.

Each scene was filmed by a different videographer (Bernice Mulenga, Siniša, Ramzia Jawara) in order to capture different essence and perceptions.




3 x videos of varying lengths

A selection of ceramic sculptures depicting Taíno artefacts and deities, the colonialisation of the West Indies and Caribbean cooking pots - adaptations of West African forms and traditions.





A triptych of scenarios expressed through abstract acrylic paintings on canvas


Acrylic, spray paint, graphite on canvas


Three canvases 80 x 100 cm

Burberry Design Scholarships