This post was first published by Gyal In A Gallery and reposted with kind permission on Bajan Art.
Summer (Art Show) Time and the Livin’ is Easy
The “Summer Art Show” was an enjoyable collection of beautiful art. Curated by Kelly Hammack Gibson, the show featured approximately 50 artworks made by 18 artists. It was fun to look around and admire the different styles and subjects.
A Variety of Styles and Shapes
The last time I went to a show at Frame & Art Co, it was rigidly organized. This time, the show flowed organically. Artwork hung on some easels around the room, on the glass of the large window, and even among the frames. Additionally, the wide variety of shapes, sizes, and textures created visual interest. Overall, the show felt very welcoming.
A Look at the Art
Almost the first pieces that I saw were “Sunbathers I” and “Sunbathers II” by Alexandra “Zanny” Hanschell. Almost flat pink and white shapes depicted the white sand, pink umbrellas, pink skin, and pink swimsuits of the bathers. Cool blue touches provided shadows. I almost wanted to see the shapes pushed to an even greater flatness, like the flat background. These pieces clearly captured the vibrant intensity of a noon-day sun.
Nearby hung “Scale It” by Lorna Wilson. This large piece used various gel textures to create a pattern of large fish scales. Rich turquoise, gold, and the tiniest splashes of red added a marine vibe. A closer glance revealed bits of sand embedded in the piece. It looked like it would be fun to touch. However, I of course resisted.
Alison Chapman-Andrews contributed three pieces:“Day at Flower Forest,” “Buddha Plant”, and “Wisteria and Door.” As always, her mastery of shape, colour, and texture produced lush images of Barbadian flora. Though small, each painting packed a punch.
Summer Study Required
Ronald Williams’ brash digital print “Swagga” was a study in contradictions. It grew on me the longer I looked at it. At first glance, the figure seemed to embody flashy materialism. He had a glittery gold top hat, glittery shoes, snakeskin body texture, and logos galore. But then I noticed a few things. The fancy silkscreened shirt depicted the famous picture of the whipped slave. It had Marcus Garvey’s quote “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots” on top the image. The blingy chain was a bust of reggae artist Bob Marley. The man’s face was actually an African mask.
The question was then: is this image depicting how those of African descent can build on the painful past and even use it as a flashy visual weapon? Or is it showing that important aspects of the past are being buried under material things? Whichever the case, it was very thought-provoking.
Two other extremely different pieces also prompted some closer inspection. Hilary Armstrong showed two intricate plant studies in charcoal. One featured a pineapple still growing on the plant. The other showed a fern leaf lovingly rendered to the last tiny detail. These quietly iconic images begged some closer examination. Unfortunately, the shiny glass in their frames made that slightly challenging.
Let There Be Lighting (But no Glare)
Several pieces in the show suffered from bright florescent lights shining on very shiny glass. This produced some reflections that made it difficult to enjoy the work clearly. In particular, the wall with Versia Harris’ “Parataxic Distortion no 17” and Llanor Alleyne’s series of women were difficult to view. This was a pity, because the pieces looked very interesting. Versia Harris’ piece appeared to depict a ‘glitch in the matrix’. Llanor Alleyne skillfully used collage to show shapes that made four different women in fancy hats. Each managed to have her own personality despite having no features.
Verdict on the Summer Art Show
Overall, this was a fun and enjoyable show. However some tiny part of me could not help but wish for a few more challenging pieces to really make me think. But then again, it’s summer time, and the livin’ is easy. It’s a show worth going to.
The Summer Show will be up at Frame & Art. Co from July to August 2017. The cover image shows an assortment of artwork at the Summer Art Show, including some of the work by the artists Heather-Dawn Scott, Versia Harris, Rosemary Parkinson, and Melanie Blomgren.
Llanor Alleyne, Hilary Armstrong, Melanie Blomgren, Rasheed Boodhoo, Alison Chapman-Andrews, Rosalie Chiara, William Cummins, Heather-Dawn Scott, Tanya Foster, Alexandra Hanschell, Versia Harris, Mario Holder, Rosemary Parkinson, Bethany Pile, Simbah Pilé, Corrie Scott, Ronald Williams, and Lorna Wilson