Shawanda Corbett

Present Tense

27 January – 28 April 2024


About the Artist

Visual and performance artist Shawanda Corbett’s multifaceted practice spans ceramics, photography, painting, performance and film. Her work explores the question of what is a ‘complete body,’ looking at the different cycles of a human’s life through cyborg theory. Corbett uses her perspective as a differently abled black woman to root theory into reality. Cyborg theory describes the breaking down of the distinction between organic and synthetic, human and animal, physical and non-physical, pointing to a post or transhuman chimera that utilizes technology to subvert patriarchal, capitalist, and essentialized systems, categories and lives. ‘We all use something mechanical,’ Corbett says, ‘Computers, electronic mechanisms—it is all cyborg theory.’

Born in New York NY, Corbett spent much of her youth in Mississippi and now lives in London, UK, after having attained a practice-led doctoral degree in Fine Art at the Ruskin School of Art and Wadham College, University of Oxford in 2022. Her work is represented in the collections of The Fitzwilliam Museum, The Harris, and The Arts and Crafts Council Collections, all in the UK. Corbett was awarded the Turner Bursary from the Tate in 2021 and The Kleinwort Hambros Emerging Artist Prize in 2021.

Corbett’s solo exhibitions include: ‘Down the Road,’ Sai, Tokyo, Japan (2023); ‘Art Now: Shawanda Corbett,’ Tate Britain, London, UK (2022); ‘To The Fields Of Lilac,’ Salon 94, New York NY (2022); and ‘Neighbourhood Garden,’ Corvi-Mora, London, UK (2020).

Selected group exhibitions include: ‘Dancing Before the Moon,’ 18th Venice Architecture Biennale, Venice, Italy (2023); ‘New Areas: Contemporary Ceramics at Newstead Abbey,’ Newstead Abbey, Nottingham, UK (2023); ‘New Positions,’ Crafts Council Gallery, London, UK (2023); ‘History in the Making: stories of materials and makers,’ Compton Verney, Warwickshire, UK (2023); and ‘Black Venus,’ Somerset House, London, UK (2023).

Selected solo performances include: ‘Mercy Mercy Mercy, Transfiguration,’ Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK (2023); and ‘breathe.,’ NOW Gallery, London, UK (2020).

On View in Somerset

‘Present Tense’ is on view through 28 April 2024.