Artist Toby Lunn is leading people off the beaten gallery path with his newest show, in more ways than one.
The exhibition, titled Follow the Protagonist, features Lunn’s most recently completed body of paintings – one that ‘travels’ metaphorically and visually from canvas to canvas.
“The protagonist is the leading character in a story, and it just seemed fitting. The title came from a conversation I was having with someone, about movement and inspiration and she said, ‘follow the protagonist’. I thought it was a great concept,” recalled Lunn.
The show embodies ownership and maturity; through his abstract paintings, Lunn bounces from aquatic works reminiscent of the Bahamian seas to darker-hued pieces that seem to acknowledge the constructs of racial identity. A series of landscapes completes the show, which is on view at Interni Interiors, an interior design boutique located on Blake Road.
In his search for a venue, Lunn’s criteria was simple – a neutral and welcoming place where visitors could see his works in their homes. Interni offers just that. Run by designer Gabriella Curry, Interni is its own canvas. Curry blends modern, crisp home décor with eclectic eye-catchers to stage a home both interesting and functional. Lunn’s pieces fit in seamlessly. It was his intention, he explained, to help visitors see how his work could be a part of their homes.
“The idea is that the paintings exist in a functional space,” he said. “So as much as I love a super clean gallery, I also love the interactive spaces, like offices, for my work. The idea is that it’s artwork living in a real space.” Still, the exhibition manages to exude something personal. Lunn’s works, largely painted intuitively, change direction in mood and feeling. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that he often works on more than one painting at a time – a practice adopted by some of the country’s most celebrated artists, including Brent Malone.
“The show is almost like different parts of my personality, and I’m owning it now,” he said. “It’s like someone who is multiracial, having been told to pick a side. I’m done picking, and not picking has allowed me a kind of freedom.”
He added: “In the Bahamian art scene there’s always that struggle to identify oneself, and for me, I’m the protagonist. I’m just following my own lead now.” Most of the works in Follow The Protagonist are newer paintings, with a few older pieces dating back to 2011. His works complement and are complemented in return by a graceful series of sculptures by local ceramicist Imogene Walkine. A collection of bright, tropical statement jewelry by Kim Moir completes the exhibition, which is unorthodox, but works in all the ways Lunn hoped it would. This step outside the box might be read as an indication of Lunn’s future career moves. Acknowledging the concentrated market at home, Lunn hopes to take the lead on exhibiting his work internationally and establishing both relationships with collectors home and abroad.
“Any time anyone gets to show somewhere with a great audience, it’s a win-win situation,” said Lunn. “Here, I’ve heard some collectors come in and say, ‘Oh, I’m sorry I already have 500 paintings. I have no room’. You don’t need to burden local collectors when there’s a huge market outside.”
For now, his works seem quite at home in Follow the Protagonist, which is on view at Interni through the holiday season. Anyone interested in seeing how Lunn’s paintings, Walkine’s sculptures or Moir’s jewelry might fit in with their homes and lifestyles are asked to contact Curry at Interni Interiors for a viewing. Curry can be reached at 376-0205.