THIRTY: ISLAND LIFE PERSPECTIVES
Saturday, April 1st, 2023
Sunday, May 14th, 2023
Works from The National Collection
Curated By: Zearier Munroe-Wilkinson & Amaani Hepburn
Location: Exuma Arts Network Gallery, George Town, Exuma
The exhibition “Thirty” is named for the thirty inhabited islands of the total 700 in the Bahamian archipelago. It is curated specifically with our Family Island audiences in mind and examines the similarities and disparities in the lived experience from these islands. It is an exploration into dualities and shades of gray. The Family Islands are preferential for their safety from crime but lack many basics resources. They are the leaders in undisturbed natural environments but fall significantly short in vital infrastructure. In some cases, to gain the former we must relinquish the latter but often the issues are far more complex than we initially realize.
Our perspectives are colored by our experiences, and informed by our environment, both of which vary from island to island. There are as many perspectives in this world as there are people. With such a wide and varied ocean of experiences and outlooks, what appears to one as “this” to another can appear as “that”. How then are we not drowning in this sea of uncertainty and chaos? It is because, as this exhibition seeks to underscore, two or more things can be true at once. The nature of most things exists in gray, defying singular definition and connotations. Up or down, left or right, in or out, black or white, we are conditioned to assume that it must be one or the other. However, we are often forced to see past basic understanding, to the truth of the paradoxical nature of the world.
The Bahamian context highlights the inherently complex existence of being a part of an archipelago. There is no standard Bahamian experience — a reality that is compounded by the scattered nature of the country’s islands. “Andros life” is not “Long Island life,” which is not “Cat Island life,” all of which differ greatly from what is experienced when living in New Providence. The Bahama Islands live in a space of siblinghood, similar yet different, separate yet interdependent, complex and ever evolving. From the same historical, cultural, and socioeconomic foundations our islands have branched into a network of varying perspectives, actions, and outcomes.
“Thirty” celebrates our similarities while recognizing those things that create the juxtapositions between Family Island life and city life. Drawing from the National Collection, the show is an amalgamation of works that express the inherent dualities, oppositions, inter-dependence, and coexistences in the idea of the Bahamian experience. As we all stand on thirty unique islands and cays, we are united as one Bahamas.
For more information about this ITE contact our Community Outreach Officer, Zearier Munroe-Wilkinson, at [email protected].