Press Release: ‘Spearman’ installation/live performance by artists Tony Spencer & Kye Wilson

Performed during the Kartong International Cultural Festival

10-11 February 2017

Project Information:

Artists Tony Spencer and Kye Wilson have created an extraordinary opportunity for audiences in The Gambia to celebrate a new era and engage with their new, unique contemporary artwork.

Presented live at the International Kartong Festival, The Gambia Saturday 11 February 2017

Artists Tony Spencer and Kye Wilson present ‘Spearman’, a new artwork incorporating a full-scale video installation of a Gambian musician. ‘Spearman’ is a single-screen life-size video projection of a Gambian village drummer who left his home in Kartong village to embark on a dangerous migration over land and sea to Europe, in the hope of a better life.

Filmed on location in Germany where the musician now resides, the high-definition video will depict him in traditional Djembe Fola (African Drummer) costume, performing traditional West African rhythms.

The completed site-specific work will be presented at the International Kartong Festival, The Gambia, where ‘Spearman’ will be synchronized with a live performance of his former traditional West African arts troupe Kouman Kan Africa.

The work explores themes of tribal solidarity, existentialism, African culture, identity and integration. The use of technology propels ‘Spearman’ into the future, occupying a place in space and time within his home village of Kartong as a simulacrum ‘digital being’.

Following the presentation in The Gambia, the work will be available to showcase in England at traditional and non-traditional exhibition spaces. In addition to the artwork, accompanying programming will include advanced drumming workshops and live discussions led by artists and experts experienced in exploring ‘Africanism and the Diaspora’.

‘Spearman’ is supported by public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England in partnership with Furry Fruits Visual Arts.


Editors notes:
Spearman © Tony Spencer and Kye Wilson

Press contact: Tony Spencer +44 (0) 7517 729 034 –,

January 2017

Join The Conversation