By Natalie Willis. This year’s National Exhibition (NE), “NE9: The Fruit and The Seed”, took time to cultivate, to bear fruit, and much care was taken in tending to the roots of art in The Bahamas. The NE serves as a thermometer or litmus test, a finger on the pulse of what is happening in our creative culture here. Of the 38 artists showing work, one particular “fruit” was very, very big indeed.
Heino Schmid’s contribution to the 9th National Exhibition “NE9: The Fruit and the Seed” is, in short, meta. Allow me to explain. His three monumental drawings (measuring in at 9 feet tall by 5 feet wide), housed in heavy, monumental frames, are a gestural portrayal of one human being carrying another on their back. These drawings were then assembled in their heavy frames on the ground floor level of the NAGB, with the heavy glass to protect them slotted in, and then these heavy drawings in their heavy frames were strapped and hoisted to have the 300lb+ weight lifted by the strong backs of several of the NAGB “ninjas”, (along with some very dear friends). In this way, the work is meta, though perhaps self-referential or self-reflexive better serves the description. It’s a sort of divine irony, that works depicting the act of labour of carrying another human being are enacted in the process of displaying the work itself.