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I is AnOther

28 Sep, 2012 at 12:00 am - 8 Dec, 2012 at 12:00 am

A photograph of a collage art piece depicting a cut out of a young boys head in black and white surrounded by yellow and blue lace and a patterned mask over his face

In 2012 the physically small but culturally rich island nation of Jamaica celebrates its 50th anniversary of independence. At this time it seems poignant to call for an independence of critical thought with regard to the island’s rich artistic community, often invisible to the rest of the world beyond the recording studio or stage. Featuring artists who share the island nation as a commonality by heritage alone, this exhibition highlights the best contemporary talent in sculpture, painting, installation, film and video from across the diverse Jamaican diaspora.

Comprised mostly of found objects given new purpose, Nari Ward’s dramatic installations examine issues of identity, poverty, race and consumer culture. In response to the exhibition’s primary concern of highlighting distinctive cultural signifiers of identity within the Caribbean community, Nari has chosen to exhibit Domino Men; human scale reproductions of game pieces made of burnt wood, tyres and used clothes. Whilst rich in playful connotations, the pieces are imbued with a strong sense of the perishability of things and allude to the “domino effect”, i.e. a mechanical chain reaction of creating, constructing and then destroying that serves as a metaphor of our behaviour as human beings.

Hurvin Anderson’s paintings flirt between abstraction and figuration. Their tranquil scenes merge unstable ideas of memory, conjoined histories, and cross-culturalism. In particular, the series of work represented in this exhibition examine the newly formed identity of the recently displaced Caribbean immigrant in the United Kingdom. The works add gravitas and quiet introspection in spaces that act as catalysts for social interaction in immigrant communities.

Ebony G. Patterson presents the Of 72 Project. The series is a reflection on the deaths of 73 members of the Tivoli Gardens community in West Kingston, Jamaica, who were killed during a state of emergency in May 2010. 72 of the victims were male, while one was said to be female. The project comprises 73 hand embellished figures representing the persons still yet to be recognized and identified.

As a leading force in the Jamaican film industry, Storm Saulter’s filmmaking captures Jamaica’s gritty present and details of the past that are often overlooked or ignored by the population. In his installation for this exhibition, Saulter comments on the average Jamaican’s attitude towards the environment and littering in particular.

Photographer and filmmaker Peter Dean Rickards specializes in capturing another side of island life. Unconventional characters, violence and the raw energy of the street are at the heart of a body of work that gives a voice to the dark underbelly of Jamaican society. In this exhibition Peter’s diverse work acts as an amplifier or medium for an assemblage of artists and personalities who are either willingly or unwittingly playing into his lens. Part critical parody, part unfiltered portal Rickards’ documentary style comments on the distinctive local attitude toward contemporary art, and provides a platform for a repertoire of characters that reflect elements of Jamaican society almost too rare to believe. The fine line between truth and satire is at the crux of work.

We would like to acknowledge the following organizations in their support for this exhibition: The Andy Warhol Foundation, Small Axe Inc, Monique Meloche Gallery, Galleria Continua, Lehmann Maupin Gallery, Thomas Dane Gallery, New Caribbean Cinema and Three Sixty Degrees.