The Blank Canvas- March 1st with Cynthia Rahming, Natalie Willis and Alicia Wallace

This year’s National Exhibition (NE8) has extended beyond the walls of the NAGB to include another art space: Hillside House on Cumberland Street. Three of the artists from the NE8 OFFsite join the “Blank Canvas” to speak about their interventions, all of which deal with the issue of being a woman in general and in The Bahamas, specifically, post-referendum. The works vary widely in their medium and range, but all touch on the topic of how women are viewed within our society and how we try to both fit into and expand beyond those roles.

Cynthia Rahming (far left) is an athlete as well as an artist, having represented The Bahamas in the sport of Judo in the Commonwealth Games; her installation “The Gaulin Wife” is a massive sculpture inspired by the traditional Bahamian folktale. A pair of massive wings that are tied to the ground, the artist asks whether the viewer sees roots, connecting the wings in a meaningful way to the earth or as bonds, limiting movement and flight.

Natalie Willis (second from right), an Assistant Curator at the NAGB, speaks about her video “Rivet” which explores the historical personality of “Rosie the Riveter,” an icon for working women post-World War II, as embodied by Willis as she wanders the streets of New Providence, trying to find her own “place” as a mixed race, bi-national woman from Grand Bahama.

Alicia Wallace (right) is known more as a writer than an artist but was invited to participate in a collaborative artwork led by Grand Bahamian artist Del Foxton together with seven other individuals. As a writer, Wallace turned to works and created a text-based piece which questions our reliance on labels to identify or pigeonhole persons in society. All works are on show at Hillside House through Friday, March 3rd, when the OFFsite part of N8 closes.

The “Blank Canvas” is hosted by Amanda Coulson, Director of the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, and airs every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. on Guardian Talk Radio 96.9 FM