In pictures: Bringing Venice to the UK
Take a look inside the UK tour of Sonia Boyce and Alberta Whittle’s powerful Venice Biennale exhibitions, and see how your support has helped audiences at home to enjoy these shows.
Every two years, the Venice Biennale showcases the work of hundreds of artists from around the world. It's arguably the biggest date in the art world’s calendar, and a regular pilgrimage for many thousands of art lovers.
Of course, not everyone can make it to Venice – and, thanks to the hard work and creative programming of arts organisations and curators across the UK, they don’t need to.
For the past few years, Art Fund has supported organisations in England, Scotland and Wales to bring work by artists showing at the festival to these shores, so that audiences across the UK have the opportunity to enjoy some of the highlights of Venice closer to home.
Below we take a look at two brilliant exhibitions from the 2022 Venice Biennale that we’ve been able to help UK audiences enjoy.
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A look inside Alberta Whittle's 'create dangerously'
Alberta Whittle’s exhibition create dangerously, which showed at the Modern in Edinburgh until 7 January 2024, brought together a rich range of her work, with sculptures, digital collages, watercolours and more taking over the ground floor of the Modern One venue.
As well as brand new work, the exhibition featured Whittle’s film installation Lagareh – The Last Born, which she presented at the Venice Biennale in 2022.
Commissioned by Scotland + Venice, the film explores the subjects of abolition, rebellion, ancestral knowledge, and love.
Shot in Scotland, England, Barbados, Sierra Leone and Italy, it brings together a collection of scenes which give focus to the strength of contemporary Black women and acts of resistance.
Whittle’s work frequently addresses the brutality of colonialism, the Transatlantic slave trade, and the ongoing climate crisis; but, with a deeply personal slant, and weaving in stories of family and belonging, it offers a message of hope and invites the viewer to imagine a world outside of these systems.
Thanks to the support of Art Fund members, we were able to support the UK premiere and Scottish cinema tour of Lagareh – The Last Born, as well as its presentation in Edinburgh as part of the largest exhibition of Whittle’s work to date.
Feeling Her Way in the UK
As well as the UK presentation of Alberta Whittle's film Lagareh – The Last Born, we were also able to support the UK tour of Sonia Boyce’s exhibition Feeling Her Way, which won the Golden Lion for Best National Participation at the 2022 Venice Biennale.
An equally immersive exhibition, Feeling Her Way uses a combination of video, collage, music and sculpture to spotlight the vocals of five musicians: Jacqui Dankworth, Poppy Ajudha, Sofia Jernberg, Tanita Tikaram and composer Errollyn Wallen.
Boyce brought the five musicians together at Abbey Road Studios in London and Atlantis Studios in Stockholm to improvise and interact; footage of these sessions is interspersed among vibrant wallpapers and geometric structures in the gallery space.
A celebration of female creativity and collaboration, the work, which was commissioned for the Biennale by the British Council, is an expansion of Boyce’s ‘Devotional Collection’ – an archive built over 20 years which honours the substantial contribution of Black British female musicians to public life and transnational culture.
Following its run in Venice, Feeling Her Way was shown at Turner Contemporary in Margate and most recently at Leeds Art Gallery with support from Art Fund.