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

(242) 328-5800

Bahamian art: Presenting. Uniting. Educating.

Mixed Media Blog

If an entire population moves, is it still a nation?: Post-Irma and Post-Colonial devastation

Natalie Willis

By Dr Ian Bethell-Bennett. A few weeks ago, this question was asked in a column that focused on the death of legendary artist Sam Shepard.  Today, I ask this question again in the wake of Hurricane Irma’s devastation to the map of Bahamianness and Caribbeanness.  As a people who survived the reality and the legacy of slavery and resettlement, we do not take time to process our grief.  We do not sit and ponder! We do not have time.  Our lives are so often predetermined by external forces that are both visible and invisible to the eye that we are always moving.  What has occurred over the last two weeks is mostly invisible, aside from the obvious and daunting structural and spatial devastation we see on the surface. 

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The Clapboard House: A Disappearing Relic within The Bahamian Landscape

Natalie Willis

By Keisha Oliver. In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma’s devastation, as the Caribbean recovers and rebuilds, it would be remiss not to pause and reflect. In moving forward, there is much to be considered from our survival and journey as an island people. Our social and physical landscapes have and will continue to weave the rich cultural fabric of our existence once we continue to value and preserve them.

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The Art of Survival: Rebuilding for the future

Natalie Willis

By Malika N Pryor. When I moved to The Bahamas in 2013, I knew that it was possible to encounter one of them. Like the unspeakable name of a villain in a famous children’s book turned film series, I talked about the storms that originated on the shores of West Africa in a low voice, as if I’d awaken them if spoken at a regular volume. Most Nassau residents I encountered were largely unbothered, and I was amazed at how casual most were when it came to the conversation of hurricanes. Then, in 2015 Joaquin hit the southern islands and I realised how incredibly close they could be. I ached for those who had lost nearly everything and for their family members who watched from their screens in New Providence.

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Internationalising The Bahamas and its Orange Economy: Creating industries for the 21st Century

Natalie Willis

By Dr Ian Bethell Bennett.  According to the governor of the Central Bank of The Bahamas, John A. Rolle: “The Concept of Orange Economy been around for 20 years. All sectors whose goods and services are based on [Intellectual Property], Architecture, Art... [this is the] [e]volving space of creativity. . . 4.3 trillion dollars [are spent in it] 2/12 times military expenditure”... London, New York, Miami, all bring in millions a year from the Creative Industries.  This is where the growth is in the economy; it is not in the imports that drain the cash from the national coffers.  Shakespeare in Paradise is a tremendous example of the local Orange Economy.  As the world advances into a service-oriented economy, where more people enjoy entertainment outside of their homes, or entertainment that they can access through the World Wide Web, we also stand to gain access to untapped markets.  However, we, as the people of The Bahamas, have to be there.  Currently, we are not. 

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We Lost Two Cultures That Day: Hurricane Irma and the loss of cultural material

Natalie Willis

By Natalie Willis. It’s easy to think of culture as being purely in the hands of the people: it’s in our mother tongues, our food, our dance and architecture. And, in many ways, it is. But it also leaves a residue, it sticks to our spaces and buildings and trees and forests and oceans, so that when our elders pass on, they leave just a tiny bit of themselves around for us to remember what we come from and we build upon that. With this in mind, and with heavy heart, we must look to the implications of Irma and her aftermath. Both Inagua and Ragged Island were deemed uninhabitable this week and it is important to look at the full extent of what that means... We lost two cultures.

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Blank Canvas: September 6, Averia Wright and Spurgeonique Morley

Katrina Cartwright

Returning to “Blank Canvas” are two young Bahamian artists who, until now, have been known as ceramicists. Averia Wright, completed her BFA in Ceramics at the University of Tampa, returned home to work at the NAGB for 4 years as an Assistant Curator, and is now completing her masters (MFA) in “Expanded Practice” at Ohio University. Spurgeonique Morley received a BA in Art Education from UB and was one of the first year of graduates under the newly-formed university. As a practicing artist she has presented at the NAGB, in Transforming Spaces and at Hillside House, among other locations.

 

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Wood You?: Sustainable views on material and relationships

Natalie Willis

By Keisha Oliver. This past summer at the University of The Bahamas (UB) Oakes Field campus through a meeting of creative minds, an enthusiasm to produce was met, with a heart to preserve. UB’s Carpentry and Visual Arts Departments collaborated to host an intensive wood workshop in June designed as a pilot project to foster a sense of community through craftsmanship and creativity.

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David Gumbs in "My Dreams Aren't Your Dreams" Exhibition Opening at The Island House

Natalie Willis

The Island House introduces its current artist in residence hailing from St Martin, David Gumbs. Gumbs will show his work as part of a group exhibition of his work alongside some of our Bahamian beloveds, artists Heino Schmid, Spurgeonique Morley, and Averia Wright. "My Dreams Aren't Your Dreams", curated by Tessa Whitehead, will be on at The Island House opening Friday, September 15th, 2017, starting with a forum and discussion with the artists at 6:00pm and a chance to explore the interactive spaces at 7:30pm. All are welcome to attend this open event. 

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From the Collection: “Woman With Flamingoes” (1996-97) by R. Brent Malone

Holly Bynoe

By Natalie Willis

It is time to revisit an old favourite with the detail and context it truly deserves. A cross-hatch of brushstrokes, full of the looseness, movement and vibrancy associated with R. Brent Malone’s work, gives way to the key figures from which this piece in the National Collection gets its title. “Woman With Flamingoes” (1996-97), a gift to the Collection donated in memory of Jean Cookson, depicts a flamboyance of flamingoes with a woman staring beyond the frame. Though the flamingoes are bustling and full of movement, she is purposefully still. Malone renders her the focus of the work amidst a pink and crimson cacophony of tropical birds.

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The Culture of Space: Places for Art

Holly Bynoe

By : Dr Ian Bethell-Bennett

The post office stands at the top of Parliament Street on East Hill street, a monument to 1970s development. It stands now condemned. The Churchill building stands condemned, much like the Rodney Bain Building on the verge of Parliament Street Hill on the way to the post office.  Condemned buildings populate the city of Nassau.  The shift has been rapid; from a thriving colonial backwater settled by administrators and Loyalists to a post-colonial shadow of colonial rule, to a derelict city of decay. This shift has been enormous. 

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Blank Canvas: August 23, Lavar Munroe

Katrina Cartwright

On this week’s “Blank Canvas,” Amanda is visited in the studio by Bahamian artist Lavar Munroe.

Born and raised in Grant’s Town, Munroe has been moving from strength-to-strength on the global stage and is well-known in international art circles, having participated in the prestigious Venice Biennale, as well as having had museum and gallery shows. He studied at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) and completed a Masters at Washington University in St. Louis in 2013. Since then he has had a studio practice based largely in the United States.

 

 

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All of My Emotions: New Works By Alistair Stevenson explains Fragility

Holly Bynoe

This time last year Bahamian ceramicist Alistair D. Stevenson was preparing for his solo exhibition ‘Pomp & Pageantry’ at Doongalik Art Gallery. Stevenson’s practice at the time was concerned with translating fine art and organic forms into man-made designs in his effort to explore the commercial ceramics market. His work examined the burden of beauty through ornate sculptural objects and elegant statement necklaces, which personified flamboyance and egoism.

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