duval timothy

I’m a multidiciplinary artist. My practice is centred around colour and involves the use of music, photography, textiles, painting, sculpture, design, cooking and video. I live and work between London (UK) and Freetown (SL).


‘Slave’ EP

* 2 track EP from Duval Timothy featuring Twin Shadow & Vegyn
* Co-produced by Rodaidh McDonald and Vegyn
* Each sleeve features photography and handmade collage by Duval Timothy.
* Hand-stamped with Carrying Colour and VF stampers
* Limited Ed. of 99
* Release date: 12/06/2020

‘The song (Slave) explores the history of the transatlantic slave trade. The idea that we live in a world that not only feels the effect of this horrific history but one that takes elements from the slave system and implements them in different ways adapted to our contemporary life.

The song samples a spoken-word passage which implies standard record contracts are used as a mechanism of oppression and control, pointing out that these contracts are worded in terms of ‘Slave’ and ‘Master’. In this way, the song criticises a model where record companies coerce artists into handing over or selling ownership of their masters in favour of a model where artists partner with people and companies within the music industry while maintaining ownership and control of the music they created.

The song also explores the idea of whether an audio sample should have rights of its own. The “slave” vocal, which was performed by Ibiye Camp was recorded and placed into a digital sampler (ESX24) where they are transformed into an instrument I am able to play. In this situation once created the vocal sample has no agency over what happens to it, it is a slave. In this way, I’m exploring what I see as an inevitable fight for the civil rights of artificial intelligence.’

A: Slave feat Twin Shadow (3:29)
B: Like feat. Vegyn (4:17)


Dye (3:07)

‘Mica Levi and Duval Timothy - two vital figures at the heart of contemporary composition - combine for this special limited edition split release via NTS.’

7” Red vinyl in clear screenprinted sleeve. Edition of 500 units - available here.

Tufting Gun Tapestries

A collaboration with Assemble, Big Chief Demond Melancon and students from The Material Institute.

The project is centered around tufting, an ancient carpet-making technique, reimagined with contemporary equipment - primarily tufting guns which shoots yarn through a fabric membrane. We also practiced natural dying processes (indigo, turmeric, cochineal, kola nut, onion skin and hibiscus flowers) to colour the yarn used in the tapestry. Students from the Material Institue used the tufting guns to create their own works as well as contributing to tufting a vast cotton tent structure.

We traveled from New Orleans to Chicago with the work where it was installed at the Logan Center.  

The exhibition included the large tufted tapestry, a collaborative soundtrack composed using field recordings made while doing the proccesses, photography, equipment and the work of students from the Material Institute.

Curated by Yesomi Umolu, Katja Rivera & Alyssa Brubaker. Made possible by support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, UChicago Urban Architecture Initiative, The Reva and David Logan Foundation, and friends of the Logan Center, and is co-funded by MONA (Museum of Old and New Art).

September 13–October 27, 2019.

Music Production Credits

Vegyn - Fake Life (co-production) 

Solange - Dreams (sample of track ‘No’ from ‘Sen Am’)
Loyle Carner - Carluccio(sample of track ‘Ibs’ from ‘Sen Am’)
Mr Mitch - Lost Touch(co-production)

Cktrl - Fw Circle

2 Sim

‘2 Sim’ is a phrase that uses mobile phones with two sim cards as a metaphor for people of mixed heritage, dual nationality or multiple residence. After being called 2 Sim in conversation with a stranger while on a walk through Freetown (a recording of this moment features on the record) I began to explore what the 2 Sim experience is in contemporary West-Africa.

2 Sim EP was created from 2 months of field recordings and interviews with family and friends in Freetown Sierra Leone. These site specific recordings are collaged with solo piano recordings and production recorded in Sierra Leone and the UK. The EP is accompanied by a short film/ music video of the same name which I shot and Directed whilst making the record.

1. 2 Sim (7:05)
2. Botany Rd (6:28)
3. All Things (10:38)
4. First Rain (7:28)

12” 180g Vinyl, limited edition scroll

2 Sim is also available via Minute of Listening, a curated collection of 60-second recordings introducing children to a range of music and sounds. Accompanying resources help enrich all curriculum areas, and follow-up questions encourage children to discuss what they heard, thought and felt

Sen Am

The third album by Duval Timothy, released 27 October 2017 on Carrying Colour Records.

The album samples Whatsapp messages from family and friends in Sierra Leone with solo piano compositions and production. With this album I am exploring my identity, the migration of people (historically and my own movement) and urban environmental change and renewal/re-planting (return).

1.  Whatsapp (2:41)
2.  Whale (5:07)
3.  Introvert (3:19)
4.  Ball (4:18)
5.  Language ft. Nicholas Mandalos (4:08)
6.  No (1:52)
7.  Wahala (3:19)
8.  Nijo (3:37)
9.  Dust (2:31)
10. Ibs (3:16)
11. Emmerson (2:41)
12. Return (4:40) - Bonus

Available on all digital outlets & 12” 180g heavyweight vinyl.

Weaving in Sierra Leone

Research and development of traditional weaving in Sierra Leone. Focusing on weaving within the Freetown peninsular and Folu and Segbwema in the Eastern province of Sierra Leone. With support from Arts Council England I spent months learning from Mohammed Yanka, Abu Bakar Sesay and the master weavers of Folu village.

In segbwema I had the opportunity to visit a cotton farm in the village which is harvested by the community and processed into natural yarn which is woven on site. Because domestic cotton is rare, mostly imported yarns are often used today. However because of the cost of imported yarn is high, many weavers now buy bulk used knitted sweaters from markets in the east-end of Freetown. The second hand jumpers are skillfully unravelled by an individual thread and simultaneaously would onto sticks to form a bobbin. The traditional tripod looms are made from local wood, bamboo and fishing thread. This yarn from the recycled sweaters is then woven with the loom to form a long strip of fabric. Intricate patterns can be designed within the weave or inlayed. The work is highly skilled, labor intensive and rewarding. Men and women engage in all levels of the work often taking over from one another, borrowing materials, skills, cracking jokes and eating together.

The six to ten inch wide strips of fabric are then taken to market or sewn together to form a wider cloth used to make traditional ‘country cloth’ clothing. Cheaply manufactured imported fabric and the dumping of global second hand clothing into Sierra Leone and many other West-African countries has undercut the cost of traditional woven fabrics and has therefore greatly damaged the local weaving industry. 

Learning this precious weaving process inspired me to start Carrying Colour, through which I have designed a range of scarfs which are handwoven in Freetown on these traditional looms.

The Groundnut

From 2011 to 2016 I co-founded and ran a food project with Folayemi Brown and Jacob Fodio Todd - The Groundnut. The project explored our identities - between us we have heritage from England, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and South-Sudan. This exploration led to bi-monthly dinners in temporary and improvised spaces in South-London. At the dinners we would design and build furniture, tableware and a completely original set menu. Between thirty and fifty guests each night sit at long communal tables eating our adaptations of Sub-Saharan African food, served banquet style from communal plates.

Other highlights included workshops at the Albany theatre in Deptford, an interactive installation at Tate Modern Turbine Hall, talks at The Southbank Centre and pop-up dinners at Le Bal cafe, Paris. After 3 years of many dinners with a diverse audience, workshops and periods of travel we created ‘The Groundnut Cookbook’ which was published by Penguin in the summer of 2015 and later published in the USA by Ecco, Harper Collins as ‘Foods from across Africa’.


The Groundnut Table, Tate Modern - Turbine Hall

We adapted our custom tables into a single long table stretching the length of the turbine hall’s entrance slope. We placed hundereds of oranges and peelers along the table and the public were able to sit at the table and peel oranges, opening the top to create a fresh orange juice where the orange itself forms both the drink and the cup - a common way to consume oranges across West-Africa. The table also formed an invitation for the public to relax, spend time in the gallery space and interact with each other. An extension of the concept of the gallery space as a public space.

Raised Floor

A large raised floor constructed with MDF and completely stretched with fabric. The raised floor is designed so that the audience (who remove shoes upon entering) are able to sit on the floor at what are perceived as sunken tables creating a different experience of space and scale.

The construction of the floor was documented in 8mm film by Justin Rangler (Below)

Brown Loop

Brown Loop is my second album originally released in 2015.

The 10 track album consists of solo piano compositions that build up from simple lines of colourful melody or baselines that repeat themselves gradually building up towards a collection of more and more layered 'brown' chords. The repetition of these phrases draws from hiphop culture where short phrases or samples are traditionally looped. I have adapted this concept of the loop, effectively sampling myself but within a single acoustic piano performance so that each repeated phrase offers variations from the last. 

1.   Through the night
2.   Cold is Coming
3.   Badman
4.   Clouds
5.   G
6.   Blue Borough
7.   Hairs
8.   Pleats
9.   Smoke Alarm
10. Passing

Tartan Trainers

A trainer designed in response to seeing the waste rubber (tartan running track) from the refurbishment of Southwark Park running track, London.

The handmade trainers are designed specifically for my feet with a simple design based on functionality and comfort. The last is carved from found wood, the upper is made from a single piece of wool stretched around the last with just a few stitches to attach the trainer's tongue. The 'tartan' sole is cut into so that it becomes more flexible and therefore more durable and comfortable.

The project represents a concept to develop a more sustainable production of trainers based around employing recycled materials and simplicity of construction.

Keep It Up

Participatory installation, sculpture and video projection, 2013.

Six footballs, each painted with primary colours in two halves to represent a 'Mari' (a Japanese football used in the traditional game 'Kemari'). The footballs are situated behind custom made curtains that read 'keep it up'. The room is marked out as a court with red tape on the floor. The audience are invited to play 'keep it up' (keepy-uppy/ keep ups) with the balls. The lights in the room change colour in response to the sound of the balls being kicked by the audience as well of the sound of the projected video of myself doing kick ups.

Su Ikramimizdir

Su Ikramimizdir (Water is on the house), is a collaboration between Serra Tansel and Duval Timothy which turned into an exhibition at Polistar Gallery Istanbul, Turkey from the 12 to 21 September 2014. For the exhibition we installed a water filter into the gallery space to serve clean drinking water as an invitation to the local comunity to use the gallery as a social space or place of rest. We also made a large collage/poster, clay cups formed around the shape of our clenched fists and shelves to house them. The orange tube carrying water from the gallery space at the top of the building down to a fountain at steet level was also a prominent feature along with an LED sign outside the entrance to the building advertising the free water. Many local traders and craftsmen helped us to acheive this project.

The launch was celebrated with live musicians and DJ’s. We also formed an events program of related screenings and performances throughout the show.

Boss Hat

The “Boss of the Plains” hat, was first made by Christy’s hats of Bristol, UK but popularised by John B Stetson in 1865 as an all weather hat to protect from the extreme environment of the American West. Over time the brim became curved from each owner holding and styling the hat and dents were formed in the crown from putting it on and taking it off with the thumb and two forefingers. These alterations were gradually integrated into newer designs and led to the creation of the Cowboy hat.

I made these hats as a reference to the original Boss of the plains hat because I love the modernist design of them and am interested in the idea of a simple utopian form that can be customised and acquire new meanings through people wearing it in different contexts.


An exhibition on the subject of Lewisham Borough of South-London, where I grew up.

Mahsiwel is an abstraction of the name and logo of Lewisham (backwards). The seemingly alien word or name can be seen as a suggestion of ethnic diversity, a dual identity that is unfamiliar yet at the same time known and of that place.

(Above) On 13 August 1977 the battle of Lewisham took place in New Cross, London. A planned NF (National front) march through South London was met by huge resistance from residents of blue borough who joined arms to form an anti-fascist opposition. Despite 4,000 riot police being deployed to protect the NF using new crowd control techniques, the fascists were greatly overpowered by the opposition of over 10,000 people who used local knowledge to ambush the fascists and break through police lines engaging in direct combat. The march was abandoned without completing half of the planned route.

In Blue Borough 2012 I juxtaposed video footage of the Battle of Lewisham in 1977 with a slow motion video of me donning myself with the crown of Lewisham Borough. The video seeks to acknowledge the effect that this historical event has inevitably had on the direct environment I have grown up in.

The World is Yours

The song ‘The world is yours’ by Nas and produced by Pete Rock re-rapped by Duval having re-arranged the letters in each word of Nas’ lyrics over the instrumental track.

Sound piece and pen on cloth.

Ginger Beer

Selling home-made ginger beer in pop up locations around UK streets. The recipe is adapted from my garndmother’s west-african family recipe.

I Know We Are But What Am I?

30 Handmade felt hats on brass supports in a formal group formation. Sound of 30 friends reciting their names in every possible anagram, emitted in 5.1 surround sound from behind the wall supporting the hats.

Exhibited at the Central St Martins BA Fine Art degree show 2011.

Le Foot

Collaboration with Johnny Hodgkinson, Roman Cochet and Hugo Avigo.

Conversion of a shipping container into a 2-a-side football pitch to host a performance and open participation. Trinity Buoy Wharf, London.


b. 1989, lives and works between London, UK and Freetown, SL

Slave EP, Carrying Colour/Vinyl Factory10 June 2020
Dye, 7” Single NTS 28 November 2019
Tufting Gun Tapestries, w/ Assemble, The Logan Center, Chicago 13 September - 27 October 2019
2 Sim A musical lecture w/ Josh Kun, LSE, 14 March 2019
2 Sim EP, Carrying Colour 21 September 2018
Actress + LCO - Supporting performance, Barbican Hall, London 26 May 2018
Nowhere no.2 performance, Gangnam, Seoul, 9 December 2017
Sen Am Performance at Museo Luigi Varoli, 23 November 2017
Sen Am Performance, St Johns Hall, London, 10 Novemebr 2017
Sen Am LP, Carrying Colour 27 October, 2017 Sen Am, Listening party, Tower Bridge, 26 October 2017
Process, Khalil Joseph - Music & Consultation, 31 March 2017
Food From Across Africa, Ecco Harper Collins, 14 June 2016
The Groundnut Table, Tate Modern, London, 25 July 2015
The Groundnut Cookbook, Penguin Random House, 2 July 2015
Su Ikramimizdir w/ Serra Tansel, Polistar Gallery, Istanbul, 12 - 21 September 2014
The Groundnut, Le Bal Cafe, Paris, 19 & 20 September 2013
The Groundnut Dinners January 2012 - Dec 2016
Brown Loop Performance, St Johns Hall, London, 19 May 2016
Brown Loop Performance, Henry Taylor Studio, LA, 12 May 2016
Blue Borough, Still House Gallery, NY, 7 May 2016
Keep It Up, DAM projects, A_Space Gallery, 23 August 2015
Brown Loop LP, 23 October 2015
Mahsiwel, Lewisham Arthouse, London, 21-29 March 2013 Dukobanti LP, 25 December 2012
Bag Drop, Deptford X 27 - 29 August 2012
Are Na Fo, Lewisham Arthouse, 27 August - 12 September 2010
Carrying Colour

Following time living in Sierra Leone learning traditional fabric weaving Duval started the brand Carrying Colour (CC). CC explores colour both in the sense of chromatics and identity, themes that unify Duval’s practice. These projects are released in the form of an evolving clothing range and lifestyle products. CC can be seen as the outlet for Duval’s creations as well as an independent record label.

Contact - please write to simon@solmgmt.com

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