30 March 2022 — Announcement

Press Release: 2022 Scotland + Venice Professional Development Programme Announced

Image: Matthew Arthur Williams

Following the announcement of Alberta Whittle’s Biennale Arte 2022 Collateral Event with Scotland +Venice – set to open to the public on April 23rd – students and early career practitioners from nine universities, colleges and arts organisations across Scotland have embarked on a career-defining journey designed to provide them with an invaluable learning experience in the visual arts.

Deep dive (pause) uncoiling memory is a new exhibition by Whittle that features film, sculpture, tapestry, and painting to tell a universal yet deeply personal story of racial identity, belonging, and place in today’s world. At a time in history when many communities are searching for and expressing the need for collective healing, Whittle’s work comes as a breath of fresh air, and creates the perfect opportunity for the Professional Development Programme (PDP) participants to discover the place that contemporary art can play in restorative justice.

Participants are supported by: a-n, City of Glasgow College, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Edinburgh College, Edinburgh College of Art, Glasgow School of Art, Gray’s School of Art, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Scottish Contemporary Art Network (SCAN), University of Johannesburg and University of St Andrews, will head to Venice as part of the Professional Development Programme (PDP) supported by Creative Scotland and funded by British Council Scotland.

Alongside the Scotland based participants, an exciting collaboration with the University of Johannesburg sees a student from South Africa join as Exhibition Invigilator. Whittle herself holds a longstanding relationship with South Africa where she is currently Research Associate at The University of Johannesburg and has exhibited at Constitution Hill and within the South African Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale.

Norah Campbell, Head of Arts, British Council Scotland and Scotland + Venice partnership board member:

“The programme has had a hugely positive impact for those taking part over the years, and I’m sure this year will be no different. The invigilators will have a unique opportunity to build lasting global connections, grow their professional network, experience a vast range of contemporary art, and most importantly – to generate ideas for their own work and practise.”

With widening access and participation to the arts a key priority for Scotland, the Scotland + Venice Professional Development Programme is well positioned to give students and early career practitioners a broad experience of the process of international arts development – an invaluable opportunity designed to diversify and safeguard the future of contemporary art in Scotland.

Dr Marianne Greated, School of Fine Art, Glasgow School of Art:

“The Glasgow School of Art is delighted to continue our successful partnership with Scotland + Venice as it recognises and celebrates MFA alumna Alberta Whittle’s work in the 2022 Venice Biennale. Our partnership provides an opportunity for GSA students to apply professional practice and arts education in a global arts context. This year’s selected GSA students will have the opportunity to expand their artistic and curatorial experience through the expert training and mentoring of the Scotland + Venice exhibition team with support from Alberta Whittle and establish professional networks at a transitional point in their careers. We wish all the participating students well as they engage on their Scotland + Venice experience.”

As Exhibition Invigilators for Whittle’s deep dive (pause) uncoiling memory, those taking part in the Scotland + Venice Professional Development Programme will gain invaluable experience of invigilating an international exhibition in the awe-inspiring venue of the historic Docks Cantieri Cucchini.

PDP participants listening to artist Alberta Whittle discuss her work at her studio in Glasgow Sculpture Studios. Alberta is showing a watercolour painting in hues of green, blue, yellow and black.

Photo by Lori Anderson, PDP participants with Alberta Whittle at Glasgow Sculpture Studios

Continuing a long-standing commitment to the development of future talent within arts and culture, the programme is now enjoying its eleventh year in Venice and has supported over 120 students and early career practitioners from across Scotland with invaluable skills development at a vital moment at the start of their contemporary art careers. The participants in this year’s programme have recently spent time with the artist in Scotland ahead of travelling to Venice, and enjoyed hearing first-hand about the production techniques employed by Whittle and production partners Dovecot Studios and Glasgow Sculpture Studios in the creation of deep dive (pause) uncoiling memory. The touching themes of Whittle’s work which cover pressing societal matters such as climate change, police brutality, decolonisation, and intersectional representation were also explored during the participants’ time with the artist – with the much acclaimed anti-racism organisation Intercultural Youth Scotland joining the in-person artist sessions.

Sarah Knight, University of St Andrews:

“This opportunity will allow me to expand and engage my artistic knowledge, providing invaluable experience as both an art history student and part-time practising artist. I am also excited to be working with Alberta further, as she places her trust in us to be her representatives when presenting and discussing her works which portray such socially relevant though simultaneously such personal messages. Experiencing Venice in this context will really be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, one that I am sure will benefit both my studies and my future.”

Moira Jeffrey, Director, SCAN:

“Scottish Contemporary Art Network (SCAN) is delighted to support the Scotland + Venice Professional Development Programme to open up to wider recruitment. It is a fantastic opportunity for professional training, work experience and individual development. SCAN’s research shows that all kinds of barriers exist that prevent talented people from joining the visual arts profession or from progressing in their chosen field, and our experience of supporting the programme is that it can change professional lives. We are confident that our participant Joanne Lee will be a brilliant ambassador for Scotland and for Alberta Whittle’s project. Alberta’s vital and moving work makes an important contribution to global conversations on climate justice, decolonisation and care and comradeship. Alberta was on SCAN’s board of trustees for many years and we are proud that we can support her work, and Scotland, overseas at this important moment.”

The 2022 Participants are:

Aqsa Arif, supported by British Council & Scotland + Venice
Angus Pattison, City of Glasgow College
Karyn Priestley, City of Glasgow College
Dana Leslie, DCJAD
Chloe McHardy, Edinburgh College supported by a-n
Kirsten Grant, Edinburgh College
Carys Reynolds, Edinburgh College of Art
Ellis Ludlow, Edinburgh College of Art
Phoebe Heins, Edinburgh College of Art
Ruby Allen, Glasgow School of Art
Julia Johnstone, Glasgow School of Art supported by Stichting West Coast Foundation
Leya Mckay, Gray’s School of Art
Rhona McGuire, Gray’s School of Art
Althea Young, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Joanne Lee, supported by SCAN
Shalom Mushwana, University of Johannesburg
Eilidh Gilmour, University of St Andrews
Sarah Knight, University of St Andrews
Katherine ‘Kate’ Wilcox, University of St Andrews

The exhibition will be presented at the Docks Cantieri Cucchini, a fully accessible space located between the main sites of La Biennale, the Giardini and Arsenale. The exhibition opens to press from the 18th to 22nd April and to the public on April 23, 2022 with supporting digital programming running on the Scotland + Venice website (www.scotlandandvenice.com). The exhibition will run through to November 27, 2022.

Note to editors


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.  www.scotlandandvenice.com

The Scotland + Venice exhibition venue is the Docks Cantieri Cucchini, (S. Pietro di Castello, 40, 30122) situated between the Giardini and Arsenale, the two main sites of the Biennale.  The venue was first used by the Scotland + Venice partnership for the 2019 presentation by Charlotte Prodger, SaF05.

Twitter: @scotlandvenice
Facebook: @scotlandandvenice
Instagram: @scotlandvenice

Alberta Whittle Biography

Alberta Whittle has been based in Scotland since moving here to study firstly at Edinburgh College of Art and later on the Master of Fine Arts programme at The Glasgow School of Art. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh and Research Associate at The University of Johannesburg.

Whittle was awarded a Turner Bursary, the Frieze Artist Award and a Henry Moore Foundation Artist Award in 2020. She was the Margaret Tait Award winner for 2018/19. Her work has been acquired by major public collections including the National Galleries of Scotland, Glasgow Museums Collections and the Contemporary Art Research Collection at Edinburgh College of Art, as well as by other private collections.

Selected solo exhibitions and presentations include: Art from Britain and The Caribbean at Tate Modern (2021); Kunstal Trondheim, Norway (2021); Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh (2021), Liverpool Biennale (2021), Art Night London (2021), The British Art Show 9 – Aberdeen (2021), Glasgow International (2021), Glasgow International (2020), Grand Union, Birmingham (2020), Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee (2019), Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow (2019), The Tyburn Gallery, London (2019) and FADA Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa (2018).

Forthcoming exhibitions include The British Art Show 9 – Plymouth (2023).

Further information: https://www.albertawhittle.com/

Media contact

For more information or for media requests please contact Studio Tuku

Sophie Amono, sophie@studiotuku.com, +44 (0) 739 444 6305