WHITTLE WINS FRIEZE ARTIST AWARD: Bajan making big strides in art world

A report from The Barbados Advocate.

One of Barbados’ own continues to make significant strides in the art world.

With a slew of awards under her belt, Alberta Whittle is now this year’s Frieze Artist awardee for her forthcoming film, which will debut next month as part of the international art fair Frieze London.

Whittle’s winning proposal was selected from a shortlist of nominated artists, including: Cibelle Cavalli Bastos, Jamie Crewe, Adham Faramawy, Arash Fayez, Onyeka Igwe, Helene Kazan and Sadé Mica.

Eva Langret, Artistic Director of Frieze London said, “Frieze is thrilled to present a major new commission by Alberta Whittle. Whittle’s winning proposal is a moving-image work that explores timely questions relating to personal healing and the cultivation of hope in hostile environments; be it the pandemic, colonialism or xenophobia.”

Meanwhile, Artistic Director for Forma, Chris Ratcliffe, said Whittle “has shown incredible generosity in her creative process, inviting multiple collaborators to work on her commission.

“Whittle balances urgent political and social issues with poetic narratives that transcend time and resonate with us all. In these more than challenging times, Whittle’s voice speaks louder and clearer than most.”

Earlier this year, Whittle, who currently lives and works in Glasgow, for the first time saw her work included in the British Art Show – a biannual touring exhibition of four leading British artists which tour across the UK. Each of the artists will receive a commission that will be acquired by a Museum in Plymouth. She was also awarded the Henry Moore Fellowship, which supports work in sculpture.

She is one of the artists chosen for the first major exhibition on Caribbean Art mounted at the Tate Gallery in London, which will take place in 2021. Her inclusion in this exhibition was announced at the Barbados Museum earlier this year by the Gallery’s curator David Bailey.

The Tate Gallery is the body which organises the Turner  Prize – the most prestigious contemporary Art award in the UK. Some previous winners include artists such as Damien Hurst, Chris Ofili, Howard Hodgkin and Tracy Emin.

Due to the financial struggles faced by artists this year because of COVID-19, the Tate Gallery opted to give bursaries to ten outstanding artists in 2020 and Whittle was chosen as one of the winners due to her work.

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