Colette Whiten

Colette Whiten is a Canadian sculptor; her work explores power and political relationships through both content and medium.

In the early 1970s, Whiten produced a groundbreaking series of body cast works combining sculpture, installation and performance. September 1975, 1975 is an example of work from this period in which she cast herself and two friends in plaster. 

In the 1980’s Whiten began to work with cross stich embroidery resulting in sculptures which featured portraits of political leaders pulled from newspaper stories.  Following this Whiten created a series in which she focused on the representation of anonymous women in the media, women seen mourning their dead, waiting to vote, protesting in the street and bearing arms against oppressors. 

Interested in increasing the physical size of her work Whiten began to experiment with a loom. These investigations lead her to the bead-curtain sculpture series, Haitians Watch, 1994-1996. 

Whiten has received numerous teaching awards over her 38-year career as a professor at the Ontario College of Art and Design University. Born in Birmingham, England, she now splits her time between Haliburton and Toronto, Ontario. 

In 2013 Colette Whiten was a recipient of the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts