Anna McNay

Interview with Alberta Whittle


Interview with Alberta Whittle

Alberta Whittle (b1980, Barbados) has had a phenomenal couple of years. The Glasgow-based artist, who works in film, sculpture, performance, collage and choreographed installation, was the recipient of the 2018-19 Margaret Tait Award and, this year, was one of the 10 artists to receive a Turner bursary award from Tate Britain, in place of the annual Turner Prize. She is about to show work in the Photoworks Festival in Brighton and in a group show at Copperfield in south-east London. 


The Liverpool Biennial and Art Night have been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, giving Whittle a little longer to finesse her works for these events, but equally raising new challenges as to how to adapt to the restrictions and changes in the way she can interact with her audience – something which, for Whittle, is key, since she seeks to pose questions and unsettle people from their positions of privilege and passivity. Key themes in her work include anti-blackness, legacies of slavery and apartheid, the erasure of black people and people of colour in everyday society, and also environmental issues.


Whittle spoke to Studio International about her practice and motivations, the effect of the pandemic, and the role of viscerality in her work.

Read the full interview here