Winner of art prize for woman to make film on Italian theatre

Corin Sworn Portrait. Pic: Alan Dimmick (Whitechapel Gallery)

Corin Sworn Portrait. Pic: Alan Dimmick (Whitechapel Gallery)

The winner of the Whitechapel Gallery prize for women has won a trip to Italy to develop her artwork further.

Corin Sworn, 37, from Glasgow, won the prestigious Max Mara Art Prize for women. The award is designed to promote female artists who have not have had a solo exhibition, giving them time and space to develop their ideas across any medium.

Sworn received the award at a ceremony at the Italian Embassy after presenting her proposal inspired by 16th century travelling theatre troupes.

For her prize, Sworn will be provided with six months accommodation in Italy to work on a dramatic film and installation about renaissance street theatre.

The artist will then showcase a solo exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery and at Italy’s Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia in 2015.

Iwona Blazwick, Whitechapel Gallery Director, said: “Corin is a vivid storyteller. The judges were swept away by her proposal inspired by the 16th century Italian Commedia dell’Arte travelling theatre troupes woven together with oral histories.

Blazwick added: “We can’t wait to see the impact of her scripts and film-making and anticipate a dramatic installation at the Whitechapel Gallery.”

Sworn, who creates films and installations exploring the way objects can circulate stories and histories, will study the diverse art scene in Rome, Naples and Venice.

Corin’s winning proposal was inspired by the history and elaborate costumes of the Commedia dell’Arte and rejuvenated the improvised theatrical comedy performances by acting troupes, which toured through Italy from the 16th century onwards.

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