The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas (NAGB) will open the Eighth National Exhibition (NE8) on December 15, 2016, at 6:30 pm. For the past 13 years, the NAGB has committed itself to the nurturing and fostering of a healthy creative ecosystem and it continues to push the frontiers and foundations of cultural value and consciousness across the nation and its diasporas.
With contributions from more than 60 artists, writers and scholars, this eighth iteration of the National Exhibition, under current Chief Curator Holly Bynoe, will present a rich, four-month long artistic program, interweaving ON and OFFsite exhibitions, performances, screenings, symposiums, readings and education workshops.
Looking the institution’s mandate and acknowledging our surrounding environment and creative ecology, it was imperative to move outside the walls and develop collaborative partnerships. This expansion of the National Exhibition will secure another safe and neutral space, Hillside House, allowing for more diverse works and programming to be produced thereby increasing the visibility and viability of ongoing practices.
The biannual National Exhibition stands apart as a laboratory – a site where artists, researchers, writers and educators can question, interrogate and develop ideas about their current concerns, while witnessing and paying testament to complex global dynamics. For the National Exhibition 8, we want to explore the institution’s catalytic role in navigating societal configurations that take into consideration cultural and social paradigm shifts, the impact of globalisation, along with the changing status of nationhood in The Bahamas and its wider citizenry.
Tamika Galanis. From the series ‘Hacking the Narrative”.
Treating the NE as an environ, an organic entity with its various forms and traces, it engages with multiple narrative devices in relation to artistic production and practices of thought with a handle on current realities, specifically addressing gender equality, postcolonial concerns, feminism, blackness, the myth of independence and the crisis of nationhood.
ONsite participating artists at NAGB include (in alphabetical order): Caroline Anderson, The Commission of the Queer, Richardo Barrett, John Beadle, Joann Behagg, Margot Bethel, Ian Bethell-Bennett, April Bey, Paula Boyd-Farrington, Dede Brown, Claudette Dean, Dwan Deveaux, Sonia Farmer, Tamika Galanis, Steffon Grant, Charlotte Henay, Ken Heslop, Susan Katz-Lightbourn, Jordanna Kelly, Anina Major, Jodi Minnis, Navarro Newton, Dereck Paul, Holly Parotti, Lynn Parotti, Jackie Pinder, Leanne Russell, Steven Schmid, Dave Smith, Giovanna Swaby, Edrin Symonette, Max Taylor, Angelika Wallace-Whitfield, Christina Wong, and Averia Wright.
Poets: Nikera Cartwright, Trameco Gibson, Yasmin Glinton, Keisha Lynne Ellis and Letitia Pratt.
OFFsite participating artists at Hillside House include (in alphabetical order): Virginia Cafferata, Del Foxton, Ivanna Gaitor, Clarence Green, Kay Hardy, Ken Heslop, Susan Jensen-Sweeting, Jo Morasco, Angelique V. Nixon, Keisha Oliver, Cynthia Rahming, Andre Sturrup, Lowree Tynes, Alicia Wallace, and Natalie Willis.
Lynn Parotti. From the series Slaves Houses, no. XIX. Image courtesy of the artist.
We are also thrilled to be introducing the inaugural National Exhibition Researcher in Residence Hilary Booker. The US-based scholar will present ‘The Moonflower Room’ which combines the intellectual and creative lineage from which Booker developed her theoretical framework with research findings about interview participants’ hopes and dreams for the future. This will include an edible cartography composed of plant-based foods that she will prepare from primarily locally-produced ingredients and a radical library of books and bushes. By placing books, bushes and plant-based foods together, Booker hopes to demonstrate that plants, land, oceans and foods are their own sets of knowledge critical to development whose essences are best experienced and expressed viscerally.
The National Exhibition 8 will be on view at the NAGB (West and West Hill Streets) through April 16th, 2017 and at its OFFsite Hillside House (Cumberland Street) will open on Saturday, December 17, 2016 at 6 pm, and will run through the end of February 2017.