This powerful installation continues the Gallery’s international research interest in complex narratives around blackness and cultural identity.
Alberta Whittle was born in 1980 in Barbados, and works between Barbados, Scotland and South Africa. She has developed a visual, oral and textual language to question accepted Western constructs of history and society and the legacies of slavery, colonialism and the current climate crisis.
Incorporating film, sculpture, performance, photography, and digital collage, Whittle creates interactive installations to confront colonial history and start important conversations about healing and reparations. The artist explains that ‘Mammmmmmmywata is a mythological avatar whose mission is to facilitate new mechanisms for discussing decolonization and memory. She is based on the creolised, mythological figure of Mami Wata, as well as Yemanjá in Brazil, mamlambo in South Africa and Maman de l’Eau in Trinidad. Rooted in belief systems from West Africa…she has landed in Scotland, appearing in videos, encouraging us to get WOKE, advertising her powers to decolonize from within and demanding REPARATIONS NOW... The convenient amnesia of Scotland in disavowing its role within the slave trade is a significant cause for concern, necessitating a demand for reparations.’
The Cairns Art Gallery acknowledges the Gimuy Walubarra Yidinji and Yirrganydji as the Traditional Owners of the area today known as Cairns. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, names or voices of deceased persons in photographs, film or text.