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Vanessa da Silva

MA work


How can the body be used as a form of resistance?

For her graduation show at the Royal College of Art, Vanessa da Silva presents Resistance, a series of painterly sculptures and carved white shapes together with a live performance that investigate ways of translating political resistance into materialised forms.

With a particular interest in capoeira, a historical martial art created by African slaves in Brazil as a form of opposition against oppression, Vanessa has been researching the use of the body as a political tool.

In Resistance, capoeira gestures were embodied in the painting-sculptures as well as in the choreography of the live performance, Resistance’s Flow, expanding the notion of materialisation of political protests into different postures, movements and positions of the body.

Searching for her own Brazilian identity, Vanessa is also interested in the space in-between, a third space, which is neither African nor European. The selection of materials, media and techniques applied in the elaboration of her installation aim to assimilate this third space, in which heterogeneous and sometimes conflicting ideas cohabit.


  • MA Degree


    School of Humanities


    MA Painting, 2017

  •  My work is influenced by dance and choreography (through rhythm, time, synchronicity, tempo) – which is then translated through sculpture. My research has been focused on areas of globalisation (versus a localised and personal experience) and the formation of identity (constructed and projected). 

    Through my personal lived experience my practice intersects various strands: post colonialism, identity construction and community.

  • Degrees

  • Industrial Design, FAAP Faculty of Fine Arts, São Paulo, Brazil, 1999
  • Experience

  • Print tutor for YR1 & YR2 Bachelor, Middlesex University, London, October 2016 to present
  • Exhibitions

  • 'Herland', Bosse and Baum Gallery, London, 2017; 'Seamless Territories', Blyth Gallery, London, 2017; Carry On, Dyson Gallery, London, 2106; Stuff We Did, Dyson Gallery, London, 2016;, Dyson Gallery, London, 2016; With Institutions Like This…, curated by Victor Wang and Alex Meurice, Averard Hotel, London, 2016; RCA Secret, Art Dubai, Mina A’ Salam, Dubai, 2016; Fine Art WIP Show, Royal College of Art, London, 2016; Fur, curated by Pablo Leon de la Barra, White Cubicle Toilet Gallery, London, 2008; Tati, Pandangle House/ Favela Erotica, London, 2007