28 November 2022 — Announcement
Unprecedented visitor numbers for Alberta Whittle’s Scotland + Venice exhibition
Celebrated Scottish artist’s Venice Biennale exhibition attracts 35,000 international visitors, draws critical acclaim & prestigious artist award ahead of major National Galleries of Scotland show confirmed to open on 1 April 2023
Alberta Whittle’s show for the Venice Biennale draws to a close following critical acclaim, unprecedented visitor numbers, prestigious artist award and confirmation of a major solo show at National Galleries of Scotland which is confirmed to open on 1 April 2023.
The celebrated Barbadian born, Glasgow based artist addresses the brutality and harm caused by colonialism in her work; the transatlantic trade in enslaved people and the ongoing climate crisis. Often deeply personal, weaving stories of family and belonging, Alberta ultimately offers a message of hope, asking us to imagine a world outside of these damaging systems and ways of thinking.
Chair of the Scotland + Venice partnership, Amanda Catto, said: “It’s been a tremendous honour to present Alberta’s remarkable exhibition at this year’s Venice Biennale and deeply moving to see the response to her work. As one of the most exciting artists of the modern day, we’re thrilled that her talent is being further recognised with a major solo show at the National Galleries of Scotland.
“As the Venice exhibition draws to a close, we’d like to extend thanks to the generosity and expertise of Alberta and her many friends, collaborators and accomplices. This is true of the many partners involved in Scotland + Venice 2022 presentation including Forma, LUX Scotland, Art Night, Glasgow Sculpture Studios, Dovecot, VIAD University of Johannesburg, Da La Design and the further and higher education providers and sector support bodies involved in the Professional Development Programme.
“Scotland + Venice creates a unique opportunity to foster new collaborations and exchange and to raise the profile of Scotland as a vibrant place for creative and cultural production. Within an expanding, and increasingly global art world, it remains critical for Scotland to be part of this international discourse and to present work that speaks so powerfully of our times.”
Alberta’s talent has been further honoured, recently receiving the life-changing Paul Hamlyn Award, one of the art world’s most coveted prizes.
Ahead of the National Galleries of Scotland show, Alberta is working towards a solo exhibition of new work at the Holborne, Bath, opening on 27 January 2023. Meanwhile, her Venice film, Lagareh – The Last Born is touring Scotland with screenings taking place in Aberdeen (Jan 2023), Skye (Feb 2023) and Ayr (March 2023).
Alberta Whittle commented: “The gift of researching and making my commission for Scotland + Venice has been a keenly-felt position of responsibility. From the first few weeks of March 2020 when the news was still fresh, we were waking up to a world transformed by the pandemic. Later in the Summer, a climate of Black death both at the hands of a racist police force and the disparity of care afforded to frontline workers, folded more deeply into my everyday ways of knowing.
“The back and forth of gathering hope and compassion whilst thinking critically about abolition and change went on to shape our exhibition in Venice – and that responsibility has been shared across the team, from the commissioners and producers to the Professional Development Programme leaders who have been care-taking the exhibition in Venice.
“Given the context of our ongoing uncertain times, it has felt so important to open up conversations beyond our presence in Venice and think about how we can share our thinking with our Scottish communities, from Ayr to Skye, Glasgow to Aberdeen, Inverness to Shetland and finally Edinburgh at the National Galleries of Scotland in 2023.”
The National Galleries of Scotland show, Alberta Whittle: create dangerously will provide a unique opportunity to experience the ambition and breadth of the artist’s career to date, and to consider her call for us to ‘invest in love’.
Alongside sculptures, digital collages, watercolours and new paintings made especially for the show, the exhibition will also feature her Venice Biennale work deep dive (pause) uncoiling memory which closed on Sunday, 27th November.
Notes to Editors
1. Scotland + Venice provides artists and architects based in Scotland with a valuable platform to showcase their work on the international stage at the Venice Biennale. A partnership between Creative Scotland, British Council Scotland, National Galleries of Scotland, Architecture and Design Scotland and the Scottish Government.
2. Alberta Whittle’s deep dive (pause) uncoiling memory was exhibited at the Venice Biennale from Saturday 23rd April – Sunday 27th November 2022. Full information about Alberta’s Venice Biennale work and that of the Scotland + Venice partnership can be found at the Scotland + Venice website.
3. Alberta Whittle: create dangerously will take place from Saturday 1 April 2023 – Sunday 7 January 2024 at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern One). To keep up to date with latest news about the show, visit the National Galleries of Scotland’s website. For interview and images requests, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Scottish Screening Tour: Commissioned by the Scotland + Venice partnership and Forma, LUX Scotland is touring Alberta’s Venice Biennale film Lagareh – The Last Born to six venues across Scotland through until March 2023. Tickets for all screenings are free, with wheelchair accessible tickets available. The film is captioned, and all discussion will be live captioned. Full details and how to book can be accessed at LUX Scotland.
5. Born in Bridgetown, Barbados, Alberta Whittle, lives and works in Glasgow and has been based in Scotland since moving here to study firstly at Edinburgh College of Art and later on the Master of Fine Arts programme at The Glasgow School of Art. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh and Research Associate at The University of Johannesburg. Alberta was awarded a Turner Bursary, the Frieze Artist Award and a Henry Moore Foundation Artist Award in 2020. She was the Margaret Tait Award winner for 2018/19. Her work has been acquired by major public collections including the National Galleries of Scotland, Glasgow Museums Collections and the Contemporary Art Research Collection at Edinburgh College of Art, as well as by other private collections.
Image 1: Entanglement is more than blood tapestry created in collaboration with Dovecot Studios for deep dive (pause) uncoiling memory. 2022 Installation shot photographer Cristiano Corte, © Alberta Whittle. Courtesy the artist, Scotland + Venice
Image 2: Alberta Whittle, Lagareh – The Last Born, (film still – single channel video), 2022, Photographer Jaryd Niles-Morris, © Alberta Whittle. Courtesy the artist, Scotland + Venice, and Forma.
Image 3: Alberta Whittle, Lagareh – The Last Born, (film still – single channel video) for deep dive (pause) uncoiling memory. 2022 Installation shot photographer Cristiano Corte, © Alberta Whittle. Courtesy the artist, Scotland + Venice
Media Contact: Sophie Bambrough, Media Relations & PR Officer, Creative Scotland
Sophie.Bambrough@creativescotland.com / +44 (0) 7747 606 146