Barbadian Art Glut: Alison Chapman Andrews’ Collection in the City; “There & Back” at Bridgetown Gallery; “A-Merge” at the Main Guard, Garrison & “Tierra Y El Mar” at Aweipo, Crane Resort

Barbados certainly is not lacking for art shows at the moment once again, almost a month after Kadooment when there was a similar overload – still, is it not better that people have a lot of culture to choose from rather than wonder if Bajans are indeed cultured?

APOCRYPHA: "I'm Bob Marley & I approve this , uh, message..." {Ras Akyem painting observing a basic Rastafarian tradition}

APOCRYPHA: "I'm Bob Marley & I approve this, uh, message..." {Ras Akyem painting observing a basic Rastafarian tradition}

Alison Chapman Andrews is an artist of her own right, yet at Queen’s Park Gallery she shows her collection of other artists’ art – whether it’s risqué work from Winston Jordan; Impressionistic glimpses of Heidi Berger’s perception of Alison herself; or even showing her magnanimity in exhibiting work of her ex-husband Stanley Greaves.

Ewan Atkinson had multiple roles WAY before Eddie Murphy did!

Ewan Atkinson had multiple roles WAY before Eddie Murphy did!

The whole stroll through Queen’s Park Gallery is a treasure – every step you find a masterpiece… Whether it’s digital abstractions from William Cummins or convoluted schizophrenia from Ewan Atkinson’s digital Jungian paths or Ras Akyem’s vivid palettes. Running through to October 2nd, it’s not to be missed and go again to savour what you missed the first time around! Unfortunately, no items are for sale… If you wish to buy some art for yourself? Stay with the A’s…

William Cummins' digital vividness

William Cummins' digital vividness

Why not pop over to the Main Guard at the Garrison for a trio collage of Allison Bohne, Ahmad Boodhoo and some of the works of the late Aubrey Cummins? Here’s a bit more on the show directly from the living artistes, A-Merge, which is possible through the kindness of His Excellency, Paul Brummell – the UK’s High Commissioner to Barbados;-

Who are the A’s and how did they merge. First off, the A’s are Aubrey, Allison and Ahmad and their mergence came through friendship. Aubrey and Ahmad were friends from the 70’s. Allison and Ahmad were also friends from the 70’s.

Martin's Bay - as under the brushes of Allison Bohne

Martin's Bay - as under the brushes of Allison Bohne

Ahmad Rasheed Boodhoo was very active in the 70’s with De PAM and had exhibitions all over the place right up to the late 80’s. After that he was here and there ,not much was seen of his art. He re-emerged in 2007 and is widely known as Rasheed Boodhoo the award winning Photographer, but this is not what he wants to be known as he prefers as I coat “I was, is and will always be Ahmad the artist”.

Like Robert Johnson's origins and Eric Clapton's album... "Crossroads" from Ahmad Boodhoo

Like Robert Johnson's origins and Eric Clapton's album... "Crossroads" from Ahmad Boodhoo

Allison Bohne in the late 70’s did her CXC “A” level art at Community College under the watchful eyes of Hartley Alleyne. She did not pursuit art as her friends did but engaged in the teaching of her skills to others at the Alexander and Foundation schools she was the art teacher there for a short time .Her love for sharing her knowledge ,though privately continues up to now.

She is an interior decorator and runs Art’s Art, art supply show in Pelican Village. Fulfilling her “dreams” she things it is time for she and her art to emerge.

The late Aubrey Cummins was one of, if not the best singer song writers to grace this land of ours but few have known or gotten the chance to see the artistic side of his artistry.

The late Aubrey Cummins' "Little Princess"

The late Aubrey Cummins' "Little Princess"

Aubrey left a few pieces of his soul and passion for you to see, I say few because he was evolving and only God knows how much greater as an artist he could have become. From his early days of pastel to his last days of acrylic come and see his journey for yourself.

Aubrey, Allison and Ahmad love the medium of pastel, Aubrey and Ahmad have a new love for acrylic but Allison stay with her first love pastel.

Here's a lady who believes in getting matters off her chest...

IMAGE COURTESY - Mark King: Here's a lady who believes in getting matters off her chest...

The shelf life of that show is like a cherry blossom, exquisitely brief, until Saturday afternoon at 1:00 pm… Also swift is There & Back which examines Alicia Alleyne’s work and that of Photographer Extraordinaire Mark King, this show concludes Friday 17th.

IMAGE COURTESY - Mark King: Sleepless In Seattle Series, significance? Have no idea... Two can live as cheaply as one? Up to the viewer!

IMAGE COURTESY - Mark King: Sleepless In Seattle Series, significance? Have no idea... Two can live as cheaply as one? Up to the viewer!

The chance to speak with the artists over the weekend seemed more like Salem, Massachusetts in the 17th century than a modern-day enlightened interaction with Mr King. I found Alicia’s use of glitter rather prosaic and even forgettable. I think it was best summed by Alison Chapman-Andrews who asked if Alicia plans to sell any of her work? The attempt at making glitter a cultural focal point was as much a hit as a blimp made of molybdenium…

Mark King (mic in hand) is an excellent conversationalist, although some that day did not appear to appreciate it?

Mark King (mic in hand) is an excellent conversationalist, although some that day did not appear to appreciate it?

However, most of the crowd seemed to lap that up and accept it as good, when the real sexy work of the show was savaged almost like what Christ must have endured before the cock’s crow! Nick Whittle suddenly behaved like only he was an art or photography expert and asked Mark what happens when he is not there to explain the pictures? (Mark gave a brief exposition on how he came to snap many of the pieces on display)

All that was missing were rotten tomatoes, pitchforks & torches

All that was missing were rotten tomatoes, pitchforks & torches

Sarah Venables complained of the pictures’ sizes, she thought they’re too small to scrutinise – I had to resist saying to her to buy new spectacles. Then Sheena Rose shocked me and joined in the petty tirade and objected to the fact that Mark King only used pins to mount his photos and she found it distracting? I am still trying to understand what is up with that crew? Here’s Mark’s own summation of why he shot what he did;-

Much of my 2010 summer was spent traveling. My travels found me in San Francisco for a month, Vancouver for a week and Chicago for a weekend. Leading up to the summer I was selected for the ninth installment of the Cheaper Show, an international art exhibition held in the heart of Vancouver City. I figured that it would be a good idea to make an appearance and since Vancouver is so close to my old home of San Francisco I should stop by on my way north.

I set out with a basic goal in mind. The plan was to seek new experiences, reconnect with old friends, cultivate relationships, have a camera at the ready and keep a journal. I managed to do everything except keep that journal. The following images are a mix of formal portraits, candids, street photography, daily scenes, the mundane, the tongue and cheek and loose narratives. It serves as my after-the-fact journal. Shown together, these images provide insight into my perspective as it relates to a varied experience.

Maybe as Aicia Alleyne is petite and unassuming as opposed to Mark King's gregariousness and loquacity which may have set the crowd's hackles up? I just dunno...

Maybe as Alicia Alleyne is petite and unassuming as opposed to Mark King's gregariousness and loquacity which may have set the crowd's hackles up? I just dunno...

I found the photos the best thing of the show, he didn’t even need Alicia Alleyne, truth be known, as for the back-story? I thought the pictures were great with or without a tale, since if I didn’t know, then I’d imagine an origin for myself – I guess the others were too limited in their scope or their brains were too lazy to invent a creation of the snap.

This is not sludge, it's an extreme close-up of Alicia Alleyne's work - not impressed.

This is not sludge, it's an extreme close-up of Alicia Alleyne's work - not impressed.

While you still have time, go to Hincks Street and check the young man’s effort’s, I can see why UWI would snap him up to teach students Photography – those who choose to learn under his almost mystical tutelage will become great shutterbugs themselves.

Leandro's work is supposed to reflect land as well, but appears aquatic for the most part

Leandro's work is supposed to reflect land as well, but appears (via colouring) aquatic for the most part

For those of you who like to roam for your art, there’s Cuban transplant Leandro Soto, whose title is ‘Land & Sea‘ in English, it’s a rather soothing visual panorama at the Aweipo Gallery at the Crane. It runs to the 2nd of October, and here’s more from curator Juliana Inniss;-

La tierra y el mar”, his second solo show in Barbados, opens at Aweipo Gallery at the Crane Hotel on September 18, 2010 and runs until Oct 09, 2010. Almost to the day, one year ago, Leandro Soto was the featured artist for the inaugural opening of the Aweipo Gallery. In this exhibition, an all new body of work has been inspired by our landscape, and it presents a spectacular and very refreshing interpretation of the land and the sea.

Bathsheba Drum” captures the morning light peeping through the trees and the camouflaged houses nestled up in the hills in the rugged terrain of this popular East Coast spot.

This is a detail of "Treasures Underwater" which appears very similar in colour to "Bathsheba..."

This is a detail of "Treasures Underwater" which appears very similar in colour to "Bathsheba..."

Ever present in Soto’s work is the influence of the Orishas, which he skillfully intertwines with his themes of the sea – “Underwater Dreaming”, “Into the Blue”, and “Call of the Sea” depicted in a myriad of brilliant blues, with strong use of symbolism, give his work a deeper more personal meaning. This exhibition is a mixture of paintings on canvas, and Sumi-e drawings.

Aweipo Gallery is open daily from 10 am to 6pm. The artist’s talk is scheduled for 26 Sept, 2010, from 6pm to 8pm.

2 Responses

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  1. The Bridgetown Gallery?s current exhibition ?There and Back? includes a picture of a flying dinosaur ? a pterodactyl, I think it is called. I had forgotten the name until two Sunday?s ago, when the exhibiting artists gave a talk about their work and Ian Bourne (alias The Bajan Reporter) identified the creature on the spot. Bourne may or may not have realized that he was surrounded by another kind of dinosaurs: people who willingly show up on a Sunday afternoon to engage in a subtle discussion about art ? people, who take the time to reflect on what they see. On this occasion, however, attendees and artists came out only to find themselves misquoted and ridiculed by Bourne in a self-satisfied slapdash review (published online in ?The Bajan Reporter?).
    If the review surprises, it is less for the irony of someone reprimanding people for their ?petty tirades? in what can only be described as a petty tirade, than for Bourne?s extremely skewered representation of the discussion with Mark King. As I recall it, King responded (with ease) to a number of questions of which many were flattering and others mildly critical, but certainly not hostile. In Bourne?s report, King?s work was ?savaged? and his plight compared to that of Christ ?before the cock?s crow?. Such twisting of facts on the part of a professional, experienced reporter like Ian Bourne is uncanny. By casting himself in the role as King?s sole rescuer in a sea of philistines, Bourne may however have hoped to cloud the extent of his own actual knowledge and understanding of art (beyond his spontaneous and unsubstantiated enthusiasm for that which he finds ?sexy?) – as reflected in his frequent use of exotic terms like ?pterodactyl? and ?molybdenum?, Bourne is no stranger to a tactics of distraction.
    When I therefore find Bourne?s dismissive comments on the works of Alicia Alleyne lamentable, it is not because we profoundly disagree on the merits of her work, but because Bourne?s backhanded statements reflect a complete lack of will (or ability?) to engage with the work at all. For someone purporting to be a journalist/art critic to be so ? as Bourne will have it: ?limited in scope and brains ? or too lazy? is unfortunate, for the result is sludge-criticism.

    Therese Hadchity, September 16th 2010.

  2. Therese – I am not surprised that a reaction like yours would emerge… But you left out a number of sidebars – the “pterodactyl” was a photo from Mark’s exhibition, not very good curatorship on on your part to leave that off, why omit that? You also omitted the fact that Alicia Alleyne is one of your students and so your defense is almost mandatory – so in addition, you are biased in the same manner you accuse me, you also avoided the fact I have the whole exhibition recorded on audio and am perfectly willing to upload same and let the public decide, apart from the very simple premise that I too have my own right to display what I saw that afternoon. But then I forgive you as English is not your native tongue. I also may have to allow you largesse (another big word to keep you scurrying to your dictionary, I must really test your knowledge of English, eh? Although that is a French word our Language borrowed…) as it is the first time I have entered a review where I was less than flattering to either Zemicon or Bridgetown Gallery, because you comparing my “backhanded statements” to “sludge-criticism” is totally cretinous considering the support I have given the gallery over the years in all of its incarnations (One only has to use the Search Engine in top right corner of my website and key in “Zemicon” to see what pops up), but then your excess verbosity to make up for your command of a lingo which is not your mother tongue is expected – as is your contention that one must have some sort of certification to review as opposed to a well-studied man on the street approach. Is this a Nordic thing? TTFN (That’s an acronym or shortening of Ta Ta For Now, had no wish for my erudition to sludge your so-called perceptions, eh?)!

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