Review Of All Things Considered At ARTSplash Gallery

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This post was first published by Gyal In A Gallery and reposted with kind permission on Bajan Art

“All Things Considered” at Artsplash Gallery in Hastings proved to be a beautiful little show with lovely work, but I must confess to wishing for a richer variety of themes and images. (You can view my reviews of other shows at ArtSplash here, here, and here.)

Blue as far as the eye can see

Curated by Lois Crawford, “All Things Considered” featured 46 pieces of art by 12 artists. A quick glance around the room revealed a predominance of natural imagery. Like “Elemental” before it, there was a strong focus on water and the colour blue. This is an island, after all.

To Take a Look Around

But looking around the room, a piece that caught my eye was Lorna B. Wilson ‘s“3 Jack Fish.” The carefully rendered fish appeared on a solid black background. This gave them a very majestic and important air—a certain gravitas, if you will. They looked like they belonged in a Biblical story.

Near to that work was Julia Seymour’s triptych “Peace I”, “Peace II”, and “Peace III”, all acrylic on canvas. These images depicted the Barbadian countryside, but rendered in rather flat graphic shapes. By leaving most of the images as sky, Seymour did convey a sense of peace, and I enjoyed looking at these images.

Work by Lois Crawford (sculpture), Julia Seymour (left), Lorna Wilson (centre) and Cathy Gill (right).

A particularly striking piece was , Cathy Gill’s “Bird of Paradise”. This brilliant image seemed to have a fluid quality in the paint, particularly around the brightly coloured leaf bracts. This 18 x 36 piece certainly caught the eye.

Cathy Gill (Left) and Lillian Sten-Nicholson (right).

Looking around further, noticed that some artists appear to be experimenting with pouring and marbling acrylic paint. Both Julianne Gill’s piece “Brizo” and Cathy Alkins’ pieces “Reflection” and “Movement” looked to have been created with poured or marbled paint. However, the pieces had completely different feels. “Brizo” evoked the vibrant ocean in movement, while “Reflection” and “Movement” looked like still water on a rather dark and stormy day. It was an interesting change of pace.

And near to “Brizo”, I found myself particularly curious about Juliana Inniss’ work. Her ceramics sat on a little shelf in a corner, which allowed me to fully admire them next to each other. Though I know very little about ceramics, I appreciated the clear differences in technique, and the way she experimented with her medium. I particularly liked “Black and White Crackle Box #1”, a raku-fired ceramic piece. It had an fascinating look.

A Charming Show

As always, the Artsplash show proved to be rather charming—though I do find that the charms begin to wear a little thinner. The work fit together beautifully on the walls, and the room’s small size made for an intimate viewing experience. I particularly enjoyed it on the opening night, with a glass of wine in hand.

A Muggy Kind of Heat

However, Artsplash’s intimacy can also have its drawbacks at times. Artsplash normally makes for a cozy little place to sit and have a cup of coffee. Unfortunately, the large fan broke down and had to be removed. The normally pleasant area became a stifling sauna, except when a soothing breeze chanced by. Hopefully that fan will be working again soon!

All Things Considered?

However, the lack of a working fan merely inconvenienced me. To my mind, the greater issue was a lack of variety. With a name like “All Things Considered”, I expected to see a rich variety of work addressing a number of themes. “All Things Considered” shouldn’t just cover the beautiful, the charming, and the pretty. I kept hoping to see something uncomfortable, or painful, or controversial, or confusing, or even flat-out ugly. But it never materialised.

Over the summer, I have slowly expressed my growing dissatisfaction with the large number of purely ‘pretty’ or more accurately, ‘comfortable’ shows in Barbados. And I suppose that came to a head here. To me, art reflects life, and life is certainly not always a song. And I must admit that I was very hopeful to see that reflected in this show, and was a bit disappointed to not see the show live up to its title. Don’t get me wrong—what was there was good, but I keenly felt the lack of what was missing.

Perhaps the Glass is Half Full

Then again, perhaps I’m taking the show in the wrong spirit. Perhaps the best way to look at this is that “All Things Considered”, life really is rather lovely. I suppose I’m contrary—I like to see life with a bite of excitement, and that’s not always pleasant.

Verdict on All Things Considered

Despite the lack of a working fan, “All Things Considered” was a lovely show to go see, with some beautiful work by its artists. However, I could not help but be disappointed that there was not a wider range of themes and subject matter.

“All Things Considered” will be at Artsplash Gallery from September 15 to November 8. You can find the Artsplash Gallery hours at their website.

Artists: Cathy Alkins, Lois Crawford, Cindy Edghill, Norma Farmer, Cathy Gill, Juliana Inniss, Julianne Gill, Julia Seymour, Sherridean Skeete, Arlette St. Hill, Lillian Sten-Nicholson, Lorna B. Wilson,