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Sonia Boyce OBE, RA (b. 1962)

Portrait of Carmen Esme Munroe, OBE

b. 12 November 1932, British Guiana (now Guyana) | Came to Britain in 1951 | Digital screen print with glitter |

Carmen came to Britain in 1951 to study ophthalmic optics but, soon realised her love for theatre. She made her stage debut at the Wyndham’s Theatre in 1962, her film and TV career then taking off, with roles in Doctor Who, Mixed Blessings, and Desmond’s amongst others. In 1986 she co-founded the Talawa Theatre Company in response to the lack of opportunities for Black actors, and in 2007 was appointed an OBE for her services to Drama.

Artist Sonia Boyce’s reflection

It is a great honour to be invited to reflect on a true legend such as Carmen Munroe … I have been struck by my own relationship to her which has been, primarily, through the television screen … I wanted to film and photograph her in a cinema. I wanted to capture her watching a showreel of her own artistry over the decades. This has become the context and the backdrop for the print that I have created.