Born in 1995 in Lisbon, Portugal, Sandra Poulson is a visual artist who lives and works between London and Luanda. Poulson’s work covers the political, cultural and socio-economic landscape of Angola as a case study for examining the connection between history, oral tradition and global
Focusing on her experience with local Luanda, and its history and knowledge to
investigate and discover how micro political moments reverberate into macro politics. In her creativity, she makes use of “inherited societal memory”, which encapsulates the shared memories of the many wrongs from Angola’s colonial era and the Angolan civil war to take apart contemporary narratives using semiotic and archaeological studies of common objects as figures in political and cultural ongoing transformations.
Between the 13th of May and the 30th of June 2022, Poulsen has begun with the ‘Economy of Dust’ exhibition. She developed these installations during her residency at V.O Curations in central London. The artwork in this exhibition is reflective of the artist’s personal experience of growing up in Luanda, Angola. The exhibition is displayed across two gallery spaces. the artist took the ever-present dust in the city, central to its geographic location, and put it in a gallery to reflect on Luanda’s economic, social and cultural landscape. The works are made in fabric, a material that bears importance in constructing the way our bodies navigate the world, with each element pattern cut and handsewn.
In the capital of Angola – Luanda, the dust is a stable and reliable resource, while at the same time many jobs and daily activities are focused on the effort to erase any traces of it. This brings about a duality of perspective that forms the narrative that Poulsen uses to ponder on how something so seemingly unwanted happens to be an essential part that shapes the local society. Structured around moments of meeting and intersecting, ‘Economy of the Dust’ references the elementary architectural language of Luanda which include objects, environments and circumstances that make up the structure of the city of Luanda.
The works feature a dusty, rustic color scheme, painting an accurate picture of the theme in place and making the overall expression as authentic as possible.