Jamaican British artist Joy Gregory (b. 1959) and Whitechapel Gallery have won the £110,000 Freelands Award. Founded in 2015, the annual award goes to a public arts institution in the UK to stage a solo exhibition by a mid-career woman artist. As a part of the grant, the artist will receive a £30,000 fee for presenting old and new work.
Whitechapel Gallery and Joy Gregory were selected amid a shortlist consisting of Camden Art Centre and Ain Bailey, Chapter and Imogen Stidworthy, Goldsmiths CCA and Christina Mackie and QUAD and Becky Beasley. Each of these institutions will receive £10,000 to mount their proposed exhibitions.
Active since the 1980s, Gregory often works with the impacts of colonialism on ideas of health, beauty and knowledge. As her first monographic exhibition the show will survey her expansive practice in photography, video, film installation, performance and textiles. A new work – one based on her ongoing research on linguistic and folkloric traditions among descendants of indigenous and enslaved people in the Caribbean and Americas and communities in the Kalahari – has also been commissioned.
The exhibition will be held at Whitechapel Gallery in autumn 2025.