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Bahamian art: Presenting. Uniting. Educating.

Mixed Media Blog

Sight and sound at Hillside House A dual-faceted experience unveils at the downtown gallery next month

Enchanting the senses, artist Antonius Roberts and singer Keri Sherman will join forces at Hillside House with a dual-faceted show of sight and sound. An intimate event, the two-part exhibition is titled Hallelujah and its opening night will feature a selection of eight songs to be sung by Sherman and 10 of Roberts’ newest paintings.


Sherman and Roberts have collaborated in the past; she complemented his 2014 Equality and Respect exhibition with a performance and has sung at Hillside House during the holiday season. Keen to perform again in the historic space, Sherman approached Roberts in July 2015 with the idea of another collaborative exhibition.
She selected eight songs – most of them originally sung in foreign languages – which were influenced by her faith and personal beliefs. These she presented to Roberts.
“The reoccurring themes and the lines that run through all the selections are of life, death and love,” said Roberts. “But, out of all of them, even though I had the translated versions, the song that most resonated with me was Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’. I’d heard it before, but as a result of this, I listened to the words, and the song stimulated me to just begin to paint.”


He would listen to each of the eight tracks while working, but returned often to Cohen’s “Hallelujah”. This connection with the song made choosing a name for the show an easy task.
As he picked up on the repetitive themes in the music, Roberts noticed another kind of organic cycle. It was the first time he’d enjoyed painting while listening to music in a long time.
“You can become so busy that you forget life’s simple pleasures,” he said. “As artists, we always feel that we need to make social statements or we need to be inventive to make brilliant, powerful statements. Keri’s offer provided me with an opportunity to just celebrate the joy of painting.”

Evolution
Guests may find the Hallelujah series of paintings reminiscent of another ethereal body of works.
“I’d done a series of work called Bubbles, and I was trying to figure out how to push that to another level,” Roberts recalled. “Bubbles predominantly dealt with just the ocean, but the whole concept of Hallelujah helped me to look beyond the ocean, in some cases look to the sky, to the universe.”
The 10 paintings incorporate many of the blues present in the Bahamian landscape. And while round bubble-like shapes can certainly be found in the works, a supernova quality is present as well.
Roberts sees the series segueing into future explorations of using acrylic paint and objects to complicate the surface of his paintings, making them more densely layered.
“The more I paint with acrylic, the more I’m reminded that acrylic is a plastic medium, and also I see the fusion of plastic of glass and acrylic. I’m exploring the potential of doing more with the paint itself,” he explained.


The duo’s only hope is that Hallelujah will serve as a reminder of enjoying the present moment and simple beauty. Sherman believes guests will find messages of hope and renewal in the music and works.
Roberts added: “I’m always reminded of the fact that we are often inspired by situations and circumstances around us. But how do we impact these situations or circumstances or try to make them a little better or provide opportunity for a little joy, a little comfort?”
Hallelujah opens at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 12. The event is limited to 50 persons, and admission is by ticket only. Tickets are $100 each and should be purchased in advance from Hillside House. Those interested in attending the event are asked to contact Hillside House at 322-7678 or via email at hillsidehousebs@gmail.com.