Annalee Davis is taking steps towards enhancing the local art scene. The Barbadian artist and entrepreneur intends to create an environment which functions as a production space for her work as a contemporary visual artist as well as a space which could become a meeting ground for artistic collaboration.

As the first globalised space in the world, the Caribbean is known for being many things simultaneously. I have decided to ‘hybridise’ my Manipura Studio, which is located at the Milking Parlour, and make it suit a range of needs,” said Ms. Davis, a contemporary visual artist who has exhibited work in both Barbados & the Caribbean as well as internationally.

{File Image} Annalee Davis (centre) at the 10th Habana Bienal in Cuba with students from the University of Habana March 2008. - Manipura Inc. provides a unique Caribbean experience through imagery and discussion on Caribbean society. The company manages two artistic brands - Annalee Davis, a contemporary body of work that looks at universal issues through a Caribbean lens and Manipura, a commercial line that celebrates the beauty of the Caribbean. The range of products offered includes paintings, limited edition prints, home decor, installations, objects and several more.

She revealed that her immediate focus was to maintain her creative production as a contemporary visual artist while building her commercial line Manipura as a successful creative brand. The longer term vision is to form an alliance with a colleague to shape an independent platform which supports the exchange of ideas concerned with visual arts produced by practitioners whose investigations are rooted in the Caribbean and who are interested in collaborating on a variety of projects.

I have been in conversation with a colleague about using the Milking Parlour Studio and its environs, as a gathering space to encourage young artists to meet, share and engage with each other,” she said. “Young artists who graduate from BCC or from abroad and choose to return to Barbados, desperately need spaces which acknowledge and support their production. My interest is to contribute to this need by providing space at the Milking Parlour Studio where we can experiment, converse and engage with one another,” she said.

Ms. Davis, whose work is purposed to both celebrate and critically understand the Caribbean, thinks that her Milking Parlour Studio could become a location where younger artists gather and interface with those who have been functioning in the critical contemporary arts arena, both regionally and internationally.

I would like the venue to eventually become a place for young artists to be exposed to information that would make them more aware of the cultural environment and the richness of the regional informal networks. There are several artist led initiatives throughout the region which are lending critical support to the visual arts including Alice Yard in Port-of-Spain and the Popopstudios Center for the Visual Arts in the Bahamas, among others,” said Ms. Davis.

I would like the Manipura studio to evolve into a space where a performance may happen, a conversation might unfold, a young artist would show her latest drawing, or a collaborative project may be realised’ she added.

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