The Women’s Art Collection is delighted to present NATIVITY, a performance by Rosa-Johan Uddoh that offers a history of Black performance in the West, through a parody of the traditional Christian nativity play. This short epic tale focuses on the Black character of ‘Balthazar’, one of the three Kings who visited the baby Jesus at his birth and who became a vital part of one of the most popular motifs in Western art history.

The script, written by the artist, takes a pantomime like approach and is inspired by the artist’s archival research into Black presences in Europe, as well as personal experiences of being asked to perform ‘blackness’ in both theatrical and everyday settings for a white gaze.

With the generous support of the Art Fund and in collaboration with Performance Exchange, where the performance premiered in 2022, NATIVITY will be acquired for The Women’s Art Collection, marking the first time a performance has entered the Collection.


Please note that the performance is not wheelchair accessible. There are 4 steps down from the entrance level to the audience seats. A copy of the script of the performance can be provided on request. The performance will last approximately 30 mins and will be filmed.

Due to the layout of the room latecomers will not be admitted.

Rosa-Johan Uddoh

Rosa-Johan Uddoh (b.1993, Croydon) is an interdisciplinary artist inspired by Black feminist practice and writing. She is an emerging artist with an already impressive set of accolades. She was shortlisted for the Jarman Award 2022 for her film making practice and was a finalist for Arts Foundation Futures Awards 2021. Rosa was the Liverpool Biennial and John Moores University Fellow 2018-2019 as well as the Stuart Hall Library Resident for 2020. Her work has been profiled in publications including Art Monthly, New York Times and Nordic Art Review. Her first book Practice Makes Perfect was published by Book Works and Focal Point Gallery in 2022.

She is currently a lecturer in Performance at Central Saint Martins. Through performance, writing, film and multi-media installation, Rosa explores places, objects and celebrities in British popular culture. Collaboration is key to Rosa’s work, often working together with children, activists and other artists to share knowledge and explore themes that impact our communities. Using humour, parody and collaboration, she appropriates popular media formats to critically engage people often excluded from Art.

The Women’s Art Collection

The Women’s Art Collection is Europe’s largest collection of art by women. It includes 600 works by leading artists such as Barbara Hepworth, Paula Rego, Lubaina Himid and Faith Ringgold. The Collection is displayed throughout Murray Edwards College, an iconic Brutalist building designed by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon as a manifesto for women’s education. We stage two exhibitions a year, alongside a dynamic programme of events.

Performance Exchange

Performance Exchange is a dispersed platform for performance art in commercial galleries in London founded by curator Rose Lejeune, with Founding Galleries Arcade, Seventeen and Vitrine.

Alongside the presentation of the works themselves, Performance Exchange works with the artists and galleries in the programme to research and produce detailed digital documents that highlight a direct link from the live work shown to its acquisition – be that as a contractual relationship, or through documentation and material residues such as film, installation, props and scripts.

Together the set of bespoke acquisitions documents make up a unique and innovative digital guide to the programme, the purchasing and support of performance art that merges aesthetic, economic, and practical factors.

Following on from the live programme, UK public museum partners are invited to acquire an artwork from the programme, supported by an acquisitions fund, and with a view to their future presentation. Since 2021, works have been acquired by Towner Eastbourne, Leicester Gallery at De Montfort University, Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool and the Women’s Art Collection.

Museum Acquisitions create new audiences for artists and provide important long-term legacy for their practice. Through this acquisition programme, Performance Exchange also creates a cross-sector collaboration of the art market and museums, encouraging them to share knowledge and expertise towards their common goals of having as broad a spectrum of practices as possible being supported now, and understood in the future.