By Malika Pryor Martin.
Spring Exhibition Reception.
All are invited, March 22nd at 7pm.
See you there!
The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas is striving to do the most and in the best way in anticipation our two new exhibitions, “We Suffer to Remain” and “Traversing the Picturesque: For Sentimental Value.”
“Traversing the Picturesque: For Sentimental Value”, explores works that were created prior to 1960, here in The Bahamas. They represent the more pastoral and curated Bahamian ideal, designed by visitors and almost always through a colonial lens. The works, a survey of time and a specific perspective within it, explore a period in Bahamian art creation wherein Bahamians themselves were rarely author. The worldview of the indigenous person, their communal or individual experience was left little if any space for meaningful exploration. Instead, the works represented the romantic notions of people, often cultural passers-by, of a space about which they functionally knew very little. This can be felt in the beauty and ambiguity of the brush stroke. It is especially poignant in the discount lack of human presence and experience.
No doubt though, the works are lovely and speak to an understanding that although it is not the experience of most Bahamians, it is indeed the true memory of thousands, who spent countless summers in Nassau and the Family Islands, who dined at homes along the shores of the country (whether born or adopted) that we call home, who sailed along the shores, who lived, explored, vacationed and retired here. The exhibition is an opportunity to see the country as it was seen before the winds of independence and development began to change its course.
Brought to The Bahamas in partnership with and through the support of the British Council, “We Suffer to Remain” is a special exhibition that speaks to and attempts to unpack the many dynamics of perhaps the most impactful occurrence to the Caribbean region: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and the institution of slavery that compelled it. Featuring Scottish artist Graham Fagen and response work by three Bahamian artists: John Beadle; Sonia Farmer; and Anina Major, the exhibition explores the pain, shame, and incredible weight of a legacy that we all inherit by virtue of being both the descendants of the enslaved and the holder. It encourages the viewer to contemplate the beauty that comes from such seemingly insurmountable difficulty and challenges us to face hard truths regarding a sordid and shared past.
“We Suffer to Remain”, features multiple conversations reading the works and the artists who have created them, including an engaging Artists’ Talk on Friday March 23rd, at 7 PM and a public lecture on the campus of the University of The Bahamas in partnership with the Art Department there, on March 26th, at 3:30 PM.
Both “Traversing the Picturesque: For Sentimental Value” and “We Suffer to Remain” will open to a rousing reception (which you are all invited too free of charge) at a fabulous reception on March 22nd, at 7 PM. Both shows will remain open to the public until July 29th, 2018. For more information on the double-opening or how you can engage these wonderful events, visit nagb.org.bs or contact the NAGB at 328-5800.