Barbados’ Gallery of Caribbean Art – Speightstown: Bill Grace & Alison Chapman-Andrews until December 3

There are not one but two artists on show in Speightstown until the 3rd of next month. Both are at the West Coast branch of the Gallery of Caribbean Art, one of the duo is Alison Chapman-Andrews whose views on her own works are as follows –

When I arrived in Barbados in 1971, I painted cane fields on rolling hills and plantation houses with their avenues of royal palms. These pictures have become historic documents although they weren?t meant as such.

Producing paintings of the large vista changed to exploring the cool oasis of gullies found in limestone landscape. Here the land and vegetation is natural, surviving from past times. As my focus narrowed, individual tree trunks and leaves became the subject, the whole existing in an imaginary place and landscape.

My interest in pattern and colour, mathematics and structure has remained constant.

Texture has become important over the years. I am now more concerned with the feeling of paint itself, in thin drips or thick, straight from the tube, moved by finger painting.

Texture is achieved too when found material like the natural weaving of coconut fibre and sea fans, or man-made burlap, lace and cottons are adhered. Usually these are primed, forming the ground of the work; sometimes the patterns are left and become part of the work, as in the collages shown here.

Bill Grace has graced this News-Blog before, and is the other artist on show in St Peter, he explains his fixation with mandalas –

?In wilderness is the preservation of the earth.? – The Sierra Club.

Exploring East Coast hills and gullies began my education and fed my soul. Yet the ocean is the wilderness I immersed myself in. Bodysurfing and snorkeling, sailing the open sea, beach combing and delighting in tidal pools. Images from these formative interstitial places imprinted on me, my art pointing to the wonders of our ocean plane.

For a while my work grew a monolithic focus. Now I see myself returning to a wider range of works; and remember Ken Corsbie saying ?I?d like to interview the eight artists who produced that one man show?.

I find myself wondering how best to protect nature, contributing to global consciousness.

?If we cannot drink the water and breathe the air, we cannot do any thing else, so don?t sit this one out, do something for our planet!? – Carl Sagan, Astrophysicist.

Mandalas celebrate, encourage and heal. ?We are the reef?; ?We are one?!

So it may be close to Independence time but everyone is gearing for Xmas shopping, why not do both? Keep Bajan with a gift from Bill or Alison and give it for the Yuletide season.

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