Scotland + Venice: announcing major exhibition of new work by Alberta Whittle

Published: 07 Mar 2022

The artist Alberta Whittle in a still from the film Lagerah – The Last Born. She stands facing away from the camera, gesturing with open arms towards something unseen. She appears calm and focused. Sunlight shines on her face.

Image: Alberta Whittle, Lagareh – The Last Born, (film still – single channel video), 2022, Photographer Matthew Arthur Williams, © Alberta Whittle. Courtesy the artist, Scotland+Venice, and Forma

The Scotland + Venice partners are delighted to confirm a major exhibition of new work by Alberta Whittle has been confirmed by La Biennale di Venezia as a Collateral Event at the 59th International Art Exhibition, taking place from 23 April – 27 November 2022.

A partnership between Creative Scotland, British Council Scotland, National Galleries of Scotland, Architecture and Design Scotland, V&A Dundee and the Scottish Government, more details on the partnership can be found on the Scotland + Venice website.

In Deep dive (pause) uncoiling memory, which will feature tapestry, film and sculpture, the artist’s Barbadian heritage will create a background for conversation and exploring thought provoking themes from sustainability to decolonisation, police brutality, and collective healing.

Speaking on the official announcement the artist, who works from her Glasgow-based studio, said:

“It’s all too easy to become apathetic and numb to all of the parallel histories being re-lived in our world today so I want my work to take that apathy and numbness and provide a space for people to feel. To be able to do that in such a historically rich environment as Venice allows me to explore conversations and historical stories through my commission.”

The themes presented in Whittle’s work will be brought to life through a myriad of creative expressions supported by production partners Dovecot Studios, Forma, and Glasgow Sculpture Studios. With additional production support from Glasgow Life, Art Night, and VIAD (Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre at University of Johannesburg).

Alongside the Scotland + Venice partnership, the project also sees an exciting partnership with eight Scottish universities, art schools and colleges across Scotland as well as cultural organisations including some new partners for 2022.

With such a diverse range of partners the aim of this collaborative approach to the project is to widen access through targeting the barriers that people can face in pursuing or progressing a professional career in the visual arts. In partnership with LUX Scotland, from late 2022, Alberta’s film work will tour cinemas across Scotland. Forma will lead on a subsequent international tour of the film.

Amanda Catto, Head of Visual Arts at Creative Scotland and Chair of the Scotland + Venice partnership said:

“We’re delighted to be presenting Alberta Whittle’s exhibition deep dive (pause) uncoiling memory at La Biennale di Venezia. Working in tapestry, film and sculpture Alberta will be creating an immersive environment that will invite us to slow down and consider the historic legacies and contemporary expressions of racism, colonialism and migration, so that we can begin to think outside of these damaging frameworks. Produced in collaboration with a network of artists, choreographers and performers, whom Alberta terms her accomplices, the installation reveals layers of meaning through the collaging of imagery, materials and form and continues the artist’s motivation to manifest self-compassion and collective care as key methods in battling anti-blackness.

The exhibition in Venice will be presented at the Docks Cantieri Cucchini (S. Pietro di Castello, 40, 30122).  The fully accessible space located between the main sites of La Biennale, the Giardini and Arsenale, was first used as a Scotland + Venice exhibition venue in 2019. It’s a befitting location for Whittle’s work which draws on her spiritual connection to water and the built environment as storytellers.

Whittle comments: “It was the water that really drew me to Scotland and throughout my work there is this calling to water as a body of art in and of itself. It’s a powerful medium by which histories are shared and, in the film, this becomes very apparent.”

The exhibition opens to press on 20 April and to the public on 23 April with supporting digital programming running on the Scotland + Venice website. The exhibition will run through to 27 November 2022.

The accreditation for pre-opening of the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia closes on 4 April. For more information about how to apply, visit The pre-opening will take place on 20, 21 and 22 April prior to the public opening on Saturday 23 April.


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, V&A Dundee and the Scottish Government, more details on the partnership can be found on the Scotland + Venice website:

Creative Scotland sits on and Chairs the Partnership Board. Funding for the project comes from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.

British Council Scotland sits on the Partnership Board. They host the Scotland + Venice Development Manager Role and are supporting the administration and financial management of the Professional Development Programme. They are providing additional funding support for the PDP Programme.

National Galleries Scotland sit on the Partnership Board. They are also planning to present a major exhibition of work by Alberta in March – September 2023 that will feature the return of the work from Venice.

Initiated by Glasgow International, the 2022 project is managed and delivered with the support of Glasgow Life through Tramway.

Media contacts

For more information or for media requests please contact Studio Tuku

Sophie Amono,, +44 (0)739 444 6305.