Talk Art
Talk Art
Jul 16, 2020
Shawanda Corbett (QuarARTine special episode)
Play • 1 hr 7 min

Robert & Russell meet artist Shawanda Corbett, best known for her ceramics, paintings and performances. Shawanda is a recent recipient of The Turner Bursary which replaces the Turner Prize 2020, recognised for her significant contribution to contemporary art in the UK during the past 12 months. 

We discuss the themes within “Neighbourhood Garden”, her current debut solo exhibition at Corvi-Mora gallery in South London, studying at the Ruskin at Oxford University, her admiration for her tutor Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, the ceramics of Magdalene Odundo and her love of jazz music including Eric Dolphy, Charles Mingus, Alice Coltrane & John Coltrane. We discuss cyborg theory and growing up with a disability, the question of “what is a complete body?” and the influence of Bauhaus and Sci-Fi. We consider the importance of collaboration in creating her performances particularly with choreographers, notably her brother Albert Corbett and the role and vital energy of, and connection to, the audience. We discuss theatre and dance such as Pina Bausch and Katherine Dunham who kept dancing even when in a wheelchair later in her life. Finally we discuss family and her experiences growing up, her memories of childhood and her inspiring grandmother Mary Bells who was a big supporter and ally to the trans and gay community in New York during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s.

Shawanda is pursuing a doctoral degree in Fine Art at the Ruskin School of Art and Wadham College, University of Oxford. "Her practice-led DPhil focuses on the relationship between differently-abled body and abled body as cyborgs. In replacing disability theory with cyborg theory, Corbett’s practice is challenging her to be the primary maker and performer in her conceptual practice. She applies prosthetic making and the transitional period for prosthetics to techniques in filmmaking, analogue photography, and live performances."

Visit her current solo exhibition at Corvi-Mora, running until 31st July 2020.

Follow @Cyborg_Artist on Instagram and official website website You can also view images at her gallery too @CorviMora. For images of all artworks discussed in this episode visit @TalkArt. We've just joined Twitter too @TalkArt. If you've enjoyed this episode PLEASE leave us your feedback and maybe 5 stars if we're worthy in the Apple Podcast store. Thank you for listening to Talk Art, we will be back very soon. For all requests, please email

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