Sonia Boyce, Simone Leigh Take Home the Golden Lions at 59th Venice Biennale

April 23rd, 2022

Screen Shot 2022-04-23 at 10.09.57 AMSonia Boyce, Feeling Her Way, featuring Errollyn Wallen, Jacqui Dankworth, Poppy Ajudha and Tanita Tikaram. Photo: Cristiano Corte © British Council

The awards for the 59th Edition of the Venice Biennale have been announced, with artist Sonia Boyce taking home the Golden Lion for the Best National Pavilion, while Simone Leigh took the Golden Lion for participation in the Main Exhibition. This is the first time in Biennale history that both of the top awards at the event were won by black women. 

Golden Lion for Best National Participation:

Sonia Boyce: Feeling Her Way

Commissioner: Emma Dexter, British Council
Curator: Emma Ridgway; Exhibitor: Sonia Boyce
Venue: Giardini


2 special mentions have been awarded to the following National Participations:

Les rêves n’ont pas de titre / Dreams have no titles

Commissioner: Institut Francais with the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Culture
Curators: Yasmina Reggad, Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath
Exhibitor: Zineb Sedira
Venue: Giardini

(***New participation)
RADIANCE: They dream In Time

Commissioner: Naumo Juliana Akoryo
Curator: Shaheen Merali
Exhibitors: Acaye Kerunen and Collin Sekajugo
Venue: Palazzo Palumbo Fossati San Marco 2597


Golden Lion for the Best Participant in the International Exhibition The Milk of Dreams to:

Simone Leigh
(1967, Chicago, USA. Lives in New York City, USA)


Silver Lion for a Promising Young Participant in the International Exhibition The Milk of Dreams to:

Ali Cherri
(1976, Beirut, Lebanon. Lives in Paris, France)


The Jury has decided to award two special mentions to the following participants:

Lynn Hershman Leeson
(1941, Cleveland, USA. Lives in San Francisco, USA)


Shuvinai Ashoona
(1961, Kinngait. Lives in Kinngait, Nunavut)