We have commissioned British-Barbadian artist Alberta Whittle to present a new long-term body of work, Congregation (Creating Dangerously Remix). Using public sculpture, film, workshops, and community gardening, the 2022 Commonwealth Games provides a crucial backdrop for this long-term project which will develop over the coming 18 months.
Working with MJM Bespoke, the site has been designed and constructed to include planters, seating and outdoor cooking facilities. Developed in collaboration with women’s support organisations in the West Midlands (Crisis women’s groups, SIFA Fireside, Anawim), this garden will become central to developing knowledge around growing and healing practices, fostering connections between plants and people. Founded upon a need for mutual care and self-compassion, and as such we plan to create an outdoor installation as a form of shelter and respite, and a shared public space that has been reimagined and reinvented for people’s needs. The work seeks to address and redress issues surrounding use and ownership of land. Revisiting the 1968 Commonwealth Immigrants Acts, Congregation (Creating Dangerously Remix) will use workshops as a congregation to consider notions of freedom and long-term healing. This will be supported by a film commission as an inquiry into cultural amnesia as it relates to conditions of freedom under the hostile environment.
Alberta Whittle Alberta Whittle is an artist, researcher and curator. She was awarded a Turner Bursary, the Frieze Artist Award and a Henry Moore Foundation Artist Award in 2020. Alberta is a Research Associate at The University of Johannesburg. She was a RAW Academie Fellow at RAW Material in Dakar in 2018 and is the Margaret Tait Award winner for 2018/9.
Her creative practice is motivated by the desire to manifest self-compassion and collective care as key methods in battling anti-blackness. She choreographs interactive installations, using film, sculpture and performance as site-specific artworks in public and private spaces.
Alberta has exhibited and performed in various solo and group shows, including at Grand Union (2020), Eastside Projects (2020), DCA (2019), GoMA, Glasgow (2019), Pig Rock Bothy at the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh (2019), 13th Havana Biennale, Cuba (2019), The Tyburn Gallery, London (2019).
Her work has been acquired for the UK National Collections, The Scottish National Gallery Collections, Glasgow Museums Collections and The Contemporary Art Research Collection at Edinburgh College of Art amongst other private collections.
Over 2021, Alberta will be sharing new work as part of Art Night London, British Art Show 9, Liverpool Biennial, business as usual : hostile environment at Glasgow Sculpture Studios and Right of Admission at the University of Johannesburg.