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West and West Hill Streets
Nassau, N.P.
The Bahamas

(242) 328-5800

Bahamian art: Presenting. Uniting. Educating.

Artist Directory

John Beadle

NAGB

About John Beadle:

The son of a Jamaican and a Bahamian, John Beadle was born in The Bahamas in 1964 and grew up on the island of New Providence, where he presently lives and works. Beadle holds a BFA and an MFA in painting from The Rhode Island School of Design and Tyler School of Art of Temple University. He is a multi-disciplinary artist whose repertoire includes painting, printmaking, sculpture, installation, earthworks and the festival arts. Many of his works reflect the despair of illegal migrants who arrive by boat from Haiti. Beadle demonstrates great dexterity through his use of different materials such as incorporating oars and machetes into his works. He has been instrumental in transforming the contemporary Bahamian art landscape by forming art collectives and working toward a creolization of fine art practices. In 1991 Beadle was named Emerging Artist of Latin America and the Caribbean in Nagoya, Japan. Beadle’s works have been exhibited in The Bahamas, United States, Germany, France, Dominican Republic, Brazil and New Zealand.


General Statement

“I tend to use material that are a part of the everyday experiences or have been. I see it as a song one knows some of the words to… this part knowing/ familiarity allows one to sing along…allows partial access which, I think, may lead to a more meaning engagement with the work. Material… the found, already weathered stuff carries with it a fragmented narrative that makes for very interesting placement possibilities. Space is an important part of our experience… we are granted move of it at times and at others it’s stripped for up, so to use this as working material is very interesting for me… even in the close confines of a sculpture or an installation. The idea of head space, body space and out of space is material of one’s life time.”


Artist Statement

The piece investigates the legacy of chattel slavery through the use of simple and outrageously unique imagery to introduce a f constructed metaphor into the discourse to stimulate the sensitive. What if the implements of restriction for the chattel were presented in another context, one that belongs to today’s celebration? There is a particular emphasis on sports entertainment and those sports that are populated predominantly by “Afro­athletes”. What issues would this address? In what context would we now see Michael Jordon’s flight to the basket, Pelé’s foot work and acrobatics with the soccer ball, Bolt’s fleet of foot performance? Would the hurdler and long distance runner bring another kind of emotion to the surface? It is open to all sorts of interpretation; it is fun, yet has a heavy side to it. The piece is not a critique, but an investigation, answerable only in the experiencing.