Programme: Art - PhD/MPhil

Start date: September 2016

Mode of study: Full time

Based on unraveling concepts of history and memory, Alberta Whittle’s research focuses on activating new ways of rethinking relationships to the past, present and future. Key to this process is working collectively in diaspora conversations. Foregrounding these conversations is an analysis of creative strategies employed to question the authority of postcolonial power, its implications and its legacy.

Alberta is a PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh, where her practice-led research uses performance as a method to provide important moments for negotiating reciprocity, coercing and demanding that audiences participate in their own discomfort. Often insisting on some level of audience participation, Alberta’s performances attempt to reveal our complicity with systems of oppression, systems, which we often choose not to see or acknowledge.

Alberta has exhibited in various solo and group shows, including at the Johannesburg Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale, FRAMER FRAMED (Amsterdam), Royal Scottish Academy and David Dale Gallery (Scotland), BOZAR (Belgium), National Art Gallery (Bahamas) and at the Apartheid Museum, Goethe On Main and Constitution Hill (South Africa). More recently, Alberta’s work is part of there’s something in the conversation that’s more interesting than the formality of (a title) at The Showroom in London and innercity at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) in Scotland.

Since 2016, Alberta has been a Committee member of Transmission Gallery in Scotland and a Board Member at SCAN (Scottish Visual Arts Network) since 2017. Her critical writing has been published in Visual Culture in Britain, Visual Studies, Art South Africa and Critical Arts Academic Journal.

Across 2018-20, Alberta is joint curator alongside Euan Gray and Elaine Rutherford on a multi-sited research project looking at politics of migration at the City Arts Centre (Edinburgh), MANY Studios and the Reid Gallery (Glasgow), Inverness Museum and Art Gallery (Inverness) and Alice R Rogers & Target Galleries, St, John’s University (Minnesota), both within Scotland and the Americas.

During 2018, Alberta will be undertaking research residencies at RAW Material in Dakar, Senegal and at GOMA in Scotland. She is the 2018 recipient of The Margaret Tait Award.