3 BARBADIAN ARTISTS SELECTED FOR THE LIVERPOOL BIENNIAL – CULTURE MINISTRY OF BARBADOS PROVIDES SUPPORT
Barbados’ National Art Gallery Committee is pleased to announce its participation in the Liverpool Biennial with the inclusion of three Barbadian visual artists in the first Caribbean Pavilion.
Ewan Atkinson, Ras Ishi Butcher and Ras Akyem Ramsay have been commissioned to make new work under the Biennial theme “City States”. The artists along with six artists from The Bahamas and three artists from Martinique will present their work in the Caribbean Pavilion at the Contemporary Urban Centre, a major gallery space of international pavilions in the heart of Liverpool.
For the twelve artists this experience is unique in that for the first time artists from the Caribbean will be collectively making new work that responds to the environment of the City of Liverpool whilst maintaining a distinctive stance on what might be called a 21st century Caribbean modernist aesthetic.
The Liverpool Biennial opens in September 2010 and is one of the biggest contemporary art biennials; Barbados’ exhibition can be seen September 18th until the 28th of November 2010. The last Biennial attracted over 800,000 visitors from around the world; this year organizers expect to reach the 1.5 million mark. NAGC Chairperson Alissandra Cummins estimates that approximately 2000 people will visit the Caribbean Pavilion each day and over 200,000 visitors for the duration of the exhibition.
Sponsorship for the Barbados artists was facilitated with the assistance of the Ministry of Community Development and Culture through the efforts of its National Art Gallery Committee and David A. Bailey MBE, acting director of the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas. Sufficient funding support was raised from The Central Bank of Barbados, the Virgin Atlantic Airways Barbados Office, the National Cultural Foundation, International Curators Forum and the Andy Warhol Foundation to allow the artists essential time on-site in Liverpool for making new work. During this time the artists will further benefit by their interaction with regional and international colleagues as part of this immersive experience.
The strategic importance of the Barbadian artistic presence at Liverpool is a direct outcome of the development projects the National Art Gallery Committee has been engaged in with David A. Bailey since 2007 under the Black Diaspora Visual Arts (BDVA) programme. As identified within the BDVA Strategic Plan Barbados’ artists must be seen to participate in major global art arenas in order to excel on the world stage. The Liverpool Biennial is such an arena where curators, artists, critics and collectors from around the world would see the exceptional work Barbados artists have to offer.
Participation in Liverpool Biennale Caribbean Pavilion launches the September 2010 – March 2011 BDVA programme of local, national and international events supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation and partners – the Liverpool Biennial and the International Curators Forum. The next BDVA event is an international Caribbean symposium and moving image presentations planned to take place in Barbados and Martinique in February 2011. Themed around the lives and writings of two important Caribbean icons – CLR James and Aime Cesaire – the BDVA symposium will re-examine the ideas of these writers within the visual arts 21st century Caribbean diaspora context.