Alberta Whittle | Celestial Meditations II

Alberta Whittle | Celestial Meditations II


By Alberta Whittle

70x50 cm

Printed on Gallery quality Giclée print on 270 grams, natural white and glossy photographic paper. Custom trimmed with 25 mm border for framing.

About this artwork:
his work is part of the series Meditations on Radical Self Love.
What does it mean to be civilised? Can you be both civilised and natural?  Are queer bodies unnatural? Or have they evolved to a state of ultracivility? Are black bodies supernatural? And who can access all of this nature?
Butchered and dissected under the avaricious gaze of the west, the globe has been sectioned into provinces, parishes, countries and neighbourhoods, boundaries crisscrossing across land and water. Invented borders insist that you and I are now, us and them, the Other and hegemony. Responding to this process of Othering, I use collage as a method to discuss issues of radical self love, belonging, decolonisation and diaspora. Collage as an art form and as a way of thinking has become a method, which underpins my practice. Its mutability, accommodating multiple perspectives, images and texts actively encourages multiple ways of knowing. My research follows a feminist, postcolonial inquiry and collage as a method provides an ideal vantage point from which to disseminate expectations of race and gender as site-specific artworks.
Using both digital and manual cut-and paste techniques, my collages dissolve the naturalistic picture plane and construct a fragmented and dislocated view of contemporary reality. The individual images fuse and separate before our eyes, opening up new characters, relationships and meanings. Various ephemera will become transient symbols of power, status and wealth, coercing the audience into questioning methodology of
display and their emotional attachment to the sense of community, which these emblems are imbued with.

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Alberta Whittle is a Barbadian artist, researcher and educator. Her practice is informed by diasporic conversation and working collectively towards radical love – she moves between the UK, Barbados and South Africa.
Since 2007, she has accrued extensive professional experience developing exhibitions and workshops in South Africa, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Italy and the UK. In 2010, Whittle was selected for Edinburgh College of Art’s Centenary Exhibition as one of the 25 alumni making significant contributions within the world of art. In 2011, the Museum of London commissioned her discursive project, see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, which brought together migrant groups to examine themes of displacement, citizenship and xenophobia.
Foregrounding her research is an analysis of creative strategies employed to question the authority of postcolonial power, its implications and its legacy. Whittle has exhibited in various solo and group shows, including at the Johannesburg Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale, FRAMER FRAMED (Amsterdam), Royal Scottish Academy and David Dale Gallery (Scotland), BOZAR (Belgium), National Art Gallery (Bahamas) and at the Goethe On Main and Constitution Hill (South Africa). In 2016, The Polity of Φ, a multi-sited research project initiated by Whittle and artist/writer Deniz Uster  and funded by Creative Scotland was  presented at Intermedia (CCA) during Glasgow International Arts Festival 2016.
Whittle founded collaboratory arts collective, Intermission with Craig Leo and Louise Westerhout in 2013. They have been involved with creating opportunities for visual artists, musicians and actors to present critical work on the intersections between medicine, science, creativity and healing. In 2014, Intermission was performed at Greatmore Studios and as part of GIPCA Live Arts Festival (South Africa). Whittle curated the selections for both the Caribbean and South African photography sections for FRAMES2014.
Since 2016, Alberta has been a Committee Member of Transmission Gallery in Glasgow, where her curatorial research looks at the need to decolonise public art institutions. Over 2017-8, Whittle will be joint curator alongside Euan Gray and Elaine Rutherford on a multi-sited project looking at Scottish diaspora identities, both within Scotland and in the US, possibly extending to the Caribbean and Canada during 2017-2020. Confirmed venues include the City Arts Centre, MANY Studios, Inverness Art Gallery (Scotland) and Alice R Rogers & Target Galleries, St, John’s University, Minnesota (USA).
During 2018, Alberta will be undertaking research residencies at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) and at Creative Lab at the Centre of Contemporary Art (CCA) both in in Glasgow. In April 2018, Alberta will be presenting her research at The Showroom in London as part of Holding Space, a research group examining colonial administration and decolonial processes.
Whittle is a freelance journalist and her critical writing has been published in Visual Culture in Britain, Art South Africa and Critical Arts Academic Journal.

Other works from Alberta Whittle in the collection:


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