Dominique White Deadweight 6

Dominique White

Takes Us Deeper

What's on? | Jul 4, 2024

The Max Mara Art Prize for Women 2023-2024 Winner, Dominique White, uses the vast ocean as a symbol of both connection and separation in her most recent project since receiving the award.

Since its inception in 2005, the Max Mara Art Prize for Women has been a beacon for what many institutions took so many (too many?) years to do. A much-needed re-balancing to represent emerging, female-identifying artists within a lauded, independent gallery and institution such as the Whitechapel Gallery. A collaboration between Whitechapel Gallery, Max Mara Fashion Group, and family-owned Collezione Maramotti joining as a partner in 2007, the biennial award is unique in its structure and mission, seeking to provide more than just financial support to an artist. In its wider, more concrete aid in the form of a residency in Italy that includes creative and professional backing, essential for developing a new body of work.

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The prize's distinctive format nurtures women artists by granting them time, space, and resources to evolve their practice. The winner of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women 2022-2024, Dominique White holds a BA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths and a Foundation in Art and Design from Central Saint Martins and is known for her profound exploration of Afrofuturism and the Black Diaspora.

Her practice intertwines mythology, archaeology, and the maritime history of the African Diaspora, focusing on concepts of racial trauma, displacement, and the ocean as a symbol of both connection and separation.

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In the film Deadweight, White elaborates on her process during her six-month Italian residency. She discusses how this unique opportunity has allowed her to push the boundaries of her practice and delve deeper into the themes of her art.

White’s recent solo exhibitions, such as "May You Break Free and Outlive Your Enemy" and "The Cinders of the Wreck," reflect her ongoing investigation into the remnants of colonial histories and their impacts on contemporary Black identities. Her work often features sculptural forms and installations that evoke shipwrecks and other maritime imagery, symbolising the continual navigation of Black existence through past and present traumas.

The film highlights White's ambition to create an immersive installation for her upcoming exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery in London, and after it will travel to the Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia, Italy, further cementing her role as a significant voice in contemporary art.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary with the 2024-2026 cycle, the Max Mara Art Prize for Women continues to affirm its exceptional role in the art world. It remains an invaluable platform for fostering creativity and visibility among emergent female-identifying artists in the UK and is exemplar as a case study of when fashion brands and Art can combine forces to create an artistic legacy.

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