Smith & Benjamin’s ‘BAHAMIAN ART & CULTURE’ Issue No. 307 Sharing Art & Cultural News of The Bahamas for 19 Years • • • • CLICK HERE to see onli

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Smith & Benjamin’s
‘BAHAMIAN ART & CULTURE’
Issue No. 307

Sharing Art & Cultural News
of The Bahamas for 19 Years

• • • •

CLICK HERE to see online version.

• • • •

COVER IMAGE:
Study for “The Lord Lift the Land”
by Bahamian resident artist Thierry Lamare
(40" x 24" | Watercolour & charcoal on canvas)
• • •
A retrospective of the artwork of Thierry Lamare is now showing at
The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas in a gorgeous exhibition entitled
“Love, Loss and Life” on view until September 10th, 2017.
• • •

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Friday, May 5th, 2017

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Thierry-Lamare-The-Lord-Lift-the-Land

The Lord Lift the Land" by Bahamian resident artist Thierry Lamare.

Dear Reader,

I will make it short today. Next week Wednesday, our nation will be holding a general election to determine who will form the next government of The Bahamas. These past 5 years have been contentious, harrowing, painful, and miserable for many Bahamians. Leading up to this election, the atmosphere has only intensified the emotions and ill feelings many have towards each other.

My only thought and prayer at this moment is reflected in the title of the powerful and moving image on today’s cover — “Lord, Lift the Land”. This masterful painting by Bahamian resident artist Thierry Lamare exquisitely captures the steely strength, resolute faith and unwavering confidence of a native Bahamian woman. Although carrying the tool of a labourer, the peace she projects shows she carries no burden.

This is what I remember of The Bahamas, of the Bahamian people. Although I am young in age, I remember a time in my country when we were truly each others’ keepers. We were brotherly, we worked hard, we were quick to help another, and for the most part, we were peaceful. Times have changed so quickly and so have the people. We are not where we ought to be, where we could be. For a nation so small, less than 400,000 people, so many should not be in so much turmoil.

In the next few days, I ask my fellow Bahamians to be safe. Exercise your right to vote, but please do it peacefully. Do the right thing for the country, for your fellow man — not for colours and for party.

I can write volumes but I won’t. I will simply end with Lord, Lift the Land. Please.

Dionne Benjamin-Smith
Editor & Publisher
Bahamian Art & Culture

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what’s happening in
bahamian art & culture

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Anuschka-Wright

Anuschka Wright seen here at the Eleuthera–All that Jazz, On the Rocks Lunchtime Concert, April 2, 2017. (©Marc Coeffic)

C O N C E R T :

Jazz at Jacaranda

Sunday, May 7th | At 6:30pm
Jacaranda House
Parliament Street

Jazz at Jacaranda is back! This Sunday, Jazz at Jacaranda features the beautiful and talented Anuschka Wright singing jazz standards and favourites in her own unique distinctive style. Come out and support this young, upcoming Bahamian artist this Sunday at 6:30pm at Jacaranda House, top of the hill, Parliament Street. Reserve your place today. Gates open at 6:30pm. There will be a $15 cover charge. Cash wine bar and light snacks available. For reservations, please email: jacarandanassau@gmail.com.

CLICK HERE for Jazz at Jacaranda’s Facebook page.

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The-Bahamas-Forgotten-History

E X H I B I T I O N :

Bahamas: Forgotten History – Work by Durelle Williams

Friday, May 12th | At 6pm
The Ladder Gallery,
New Providence Community Center,
Blake Road

Next week Friday, May 12th, The Ladder Gallery will be hosting the debut exhibition of emerging Bahamian artist Durelle Williams entitled Bahamas: Forgotten History. It opens at 6:00pm at The Ladder Gallery located in the New Providence Community Center on Blake Road.

Williams explores the Bahamian narrative by revisiting objects, people and traditions that remind us of our rich Afro-Caribbean heritage. The collection of traditional paintings and digital illustrations offer a glimpse into the social, cultural and political moments that have helped shape and define the Bahamian people as a nation. From the woman laboring in the field, to the poised junkanoo dancer, to a recreation of Sir Lynden Pindling throwing the mace on Black Tuesday Williams paints a collection of stories on reflection.

Durelle Williams  2017-1

Artist Durelle Williams

Durelle Williams was born in 1987, Nassau, Bahamas and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Animation from the Academy of Art University in 2012. Williams is a tattoo artist, illustrator, animator and creative director of local tattoo parlour and art hub, Uprising Studios. He has participated in several art competitions and exhibitions in The Bahamas with hopes for his first solo exhibition to springboard his career as a professional visual artist.

The Bahamas: Forgotten History will be on display until Friday, June 9th, 2017. For more information or for updates on the show please call 327-1660 or email The Ladder Gallery on laddergallery@npcconline.org.

CLICK HERE to RSVP and visit the exhibition’s event page.

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Islands-of-the-World-Wedding

Seventh Edition
of Islands
of the World Fashion Showcase

Saturday, May 20th
At 7pm Sharp
Humidor Piazza of Graycliff Hotel & Restaurant

Integrating the visual arts with a diversity of cultures and the bio-diversity of underwater life in the pristine seas surrounding The Bahamas, under the theme “The Colour of Love”, the seventh edition of Islands of the World Fashion Showcase will explode in a burst of tropical colours in the romantic setting of the Humidor Piazza of Graycliff Hotel & Restaurant on Saturday, 20th May 2017.

DKlypse Swimwear by Kristen Cartwright of The Bahamas, Sun, Sea and Sand by Persida Louison of Haiti, and Rock That Style by Greg Williams of Barbados are the individual designers presenting their new collections. Exiles, which is a collective and collaborative initiative encompassing several designers will be making its second major presentation at IWFS.

Designers selected to come under the Exiles label this year include Brynda Knowles and Renaldo Johnson of The Bahamas, Saint George Fashion House by Kazz Forbes of Turks & Caicos, and Raymond Brown of the United States of America. In addition, Mr. Johnson, as a budding designer, was chosen to launch the premiere of the “Haute Arte Couture” collection, which fuses fashion and art, challenging the designer to interpret a piece of visual art and translate that into a unique fashion garment. Mr. Johnson selected art pieces by Bahamian artist John Edward Cox and Cuban artist Alberto Lago. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article in The Bahamas Weekly.
CLICK HERE for Islands of the World website.

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save the date

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jazz-in-bloom-2017

C O N C E R T :

Anuschka Wright’s
Jazz in Bloom: More than a Concert

Sunday, June 18th
At 7pm
British Colonial Hilton

Having just released her first studio album, the EP “Jazz for Sale”, in Montreal, Canada, Anuschka Wright now has her focus on producing another amazing show at her highly anticipated annual concert event, “Jazz In Bloom”, scheduled for Father’s Day, June 18th at the Hilton Hotel.

Since graduating from Concordia University last June, Anuschka has embraced several great performance opportunities both here in The Bahamas and in Montreal. Her most recent event was as a featured performer at this year’s Eleuthera: All That Jazz Festival in Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera.

CLICK HERE for more information about Jazz in Bloom or call: 421-7991.

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art & culture news
from the bahamas

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Play-the-devil

© 2014 Abigail Hadeed / Play the Devil Pictures Ltd / Splice Studios

Bahamian film wins awards at Nashville Film Festival

The 2017 Nashville Film Festival has officially announced its winners and honorees this past Saturday. The rapidly growing competition received over 5,500 submissions this year, and 303 of those films and shorts were selected. Winning films were selected from a jury of representatives from across the country.

The film “Play the Devil” (2016) by Bahamian writer/director Maria Govan won two awards: Best Screenplay and an Honorable Mention in the Narrative Feature Competition.

“Play the Devil” tells the story of Gregory, a gifted student from a working class family, is favorably positioned to win a coveted medical scholarship, and yet is secretly cultivating a desire to become a photographer. James, an established businessman, uses his wealth and access to pique the young man’s latent artistic inclinations. When James cannot accept Gregory’s boundaries, the relationship spirals into a fateful dance on Carnival’s Monday night.

CLICK HERE for full list of winners.
CLICK HEREto visit the Facebook page of “Play the Devil”.

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Keisha-Ellis

Keisha Ellis

Keisha Ellis

She loves taking her readers on fantastical journeys, but her most important work to date is far more grounded. Keisha Ellis talks about her new book which seeks to make the Bahamian Constitution accessible to all, as well as her efforts to get former colonial powers to consider reparations towards The Bahamas.

by Cara Hunt

Keisha Ellis is as creative with her writing as she is passionate about helping advance her country. The local writer/political scientist holds a master degree in International Political Economy. She is a political science lecturer at University of The Bahamas, and is a member of the Bahamas National Reparations Committee.

Just recently, she completed what she described as her most significant work ever, her book ‘The People’s Constitution: A Layman’s Interpretation of the Constitution of The Bahamas’. She initially got the idea for the book when she realised that many of her students were not familiar with the country’s constitution.

“Few citizens understand the Bahamian Constitution,” she said. “It is not taught in schools and even most adults have never actually read it. Because it is written in legal terms, many people find it difficult or tedious to read.”

“Releasing the book was a pretty big deal for me,” she told Tribune Weekend. “The idea to do it came as a flash – that was the moment of inspiration. However, once I sat down and began, that inspiration quickly left me. However, because it something that I wanted so badly to complete, I worked on it even when I questioned whether or not anyone would be interested in it.” [...]

CLICK HERE for full article on Pg 4 in The Tribune Weekend.

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Da-Family

Da Family, winners of the first Da Bahamian Ting Song Competition. Their entry “Das Da Bahamian Ting” beat out 138 other entries for the $25,000 grand prize.(Photo: Kemuel Stubbs)

Da Family
run t’ings

Sammi Starr, Ossie Andros, Lady Shema, Sealy Hayley Simone, Caleb and Kamiah take $25,000 top prize in Da Bahamian Ting Song Competition.

by Shavaughn Moss

It’s all about Da Family and “Das Da Bahamian Ting”. Sammi Starr, Ossie Andros, Lady Shema, Sealy Hayley Simone, Caleb and Kamiah who comprise Da Family rose to the top, beating out 138 other entries to be named winners of Da Bahamian Ting Song Competition with their song “Das Da Bahamian Ting” to cart off the $25,000 top prize that Sammi Starr said would be invested in the group.

“We believe in doing the best that we can — 100 percent effort in everything, whether that’s production or singing, so we’re glad about the outcome and proud to be the first winners,” said Sammi Starr.

“It’s been a long time coming in terms of us recording together so we’re probably just going to go in the studio and do more music, and of course look forward to working with [Ministry of] Tourism and other ministries just to take Bahamian music, Rake ‘n’ Scrape and Junkanoo to the world,” he said. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article in The Nassau Guardian.

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‘The Liberal’ (2002) in the Thierry Lamare retrospective “Love, Loss and Life” currently on view in the temporary galleries of the NAGB through September 10, 2017.

The Liberal

Thierry Lamare’s sincerity in rendering Bahamian life.

Thierry Lamare’s ‘The Liberal’ (2002) is one of those works in the National Collection that commands attention. This realistic depiction of one of Lamare’s muses, the force that was Joyce, is currently on view at the NAGB in the recent unveiling of our spring exhibition, “Love, Loss and Life,” a retrospective featuring over 111 works by Lamare.

Joyce stands center stage and packs a lot of presence. She is almost confrontational with her arms folded as she looks straight at you, eyes meeting your gaze with a face that has a mouth set stern. It makes you think that perhaps she didn’t want you looking at her at all, but in growing to understand Lamare’s practice, we know he wasn’t quite one to just take a random snap of an out-islander and bring home that treasure from his expedition to render. No, he holds a certain kind of closeness with his subjects where they don’t become subjects at all but friends, comrades, and companions. As Ophelia — one of his other muses who (like Joyce) called Long Island home — became an ‘eternal’ part of his ‘art and heart,' Joyce is forever immortalized as one who touched his soul, and it shows in his work.

Lamare is French by birth but has spent the last 30 years devoting his time and creative efforts to inserting himself into the Bahamian narrative and finding a way to help us record and tell our stories with a sort of integrity that we often find ourselves dubious of for non-native Bahamians. Lamare is very much Bahamian and French, holding a dual sense of national identity to himself, as both landscapes have so irrevocably shaped his life. Even before he could fully move here, half of his heart remained in the islands with his wife, Joie, and his care for the culture of the islands and its people is made clear in his almost dutiful practice and precision in presenting aspects of Family Island life. [...]

CLICK HERE for full story in The Nassau Guardian.
CLICK HERE for Thierry Lamare’s website.

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Sue-Katz-Red-Angel

Sue Katz-Lightbourn, ‘Pink Angel’ (2016), paper mache wings, plaster cast, vintage ads, found objects, dimensions variable.

Empowerment and Equality

The exhibition “Exposed” by Sue Katz-Lightbourn is enjoying an extended life at The Central Bank of The Bahamas for the month of May. This exhibition opens a space for dialogue on women’s issues.

by Dr Ian Bethell-Bennett

Sue Katz Lightbourn’s exhibition, ‘Exposed’, opened at Antonius Roberts’ Hillside House Gallery on the evening of Thursday, April 13th, 2017. The show is a fun, thought-provoking, yet challenging journey through a world of images collected and reassembled out of context and time. Collage and assemblage lend a great deal of lightness and offer accessibility to the serious discussion of women’s roles in society and the mental, physical and emotional controls society places on them.

Katz tackles this minefield of gendered programming and the women who blaze a trail through space and across boundaries, very much in the manner of Virginia Woolf’s 1929 essay ‘A Room of One’s Own’, that declares the need for women to have a private space where they can create and simply be. Women are always being told how to look and how to be in order to be pleasing to the proverbial male gaze.

The entertainment, publicity, and marketing industries all send powerful messages of what is “normal” that make us judge ourselves and others based on entirely artificial and materialistic ideas and images. Katz captures the innocuous, unrelenting attack on our psyche that is so often unperceived. [...]

CLICK HERE for full story at the Nassau Guardian.

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Maestro Marlon Daniel conducts the BMA Orchestra.

World-renowned conductor leads Bahamian students in concert

US prodigy Marlon Daniel led Bahamian students and members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force and the National Symphony Orchestra in a week-long workshop which culminated in a successful concert at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Kirk last Sunday.

The students who participated in the Bahamas National Orchestra Workshop, which ran from April 17-22, are members of the Bahamas Music Academy (BMA) and comprise the youngest and largest string orchestra in the Bahamas.

Maestro Daniel is considered on of the most dynamic conductors of his generation. His artistry has been described as “fabulous and exceptional.” He is also one of the foremost exponents of music by composers of African and African American descent.

In addition to holding many prestigious positions at international music festivals, Maestro Daniel also heads the Global Outreach Initiative for the Ensemble du Monde, an American chamber orchestra hailed as “the future of classical music.” [...]

CLICK HERE for full article on Pg 8 in The Tribune Weekend.

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Baha-Mar-Terrel-Carey

Baha Mar (Photo: Terrel Carey)

Baha Mar’s Opening:
In Words and Pictures

Financial analyst Richard Coulson and his daughter, Amanda, Director of the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, offer different but approving views of a landmark occasion.

Richard Coulson
“What a swell party this is!” sang Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby 60 years ago in the film ‘High Society’.

Last week, Nassau enjoyed another swell party as the vast 1,800-room Baha Mar hotel/casino complex celebrated - finally, but smack on schedule - a so-called “opening reception”.

Like any good party, it must have cost a small fortune. Possibly 400 Bahamians and visitors quaffed champagne and downed snacks and sushi for up to three hours. Since no paying guests had yet checked in, it was all expense and no revenue for the owner, Hong Kong’s international conglomerate Chow Tai Fook Enterprises (CTFE), flagship of the well-known Cheng family. [....]

Jonathan-Bethel-Baha-Mar

Paintings by Bahamian artist Jonathan Bethel at Baha Mar.

Amanda Coulson
It was an extremely exciting and pleasant surprise to see that Bahamian art was still front and centre of this mega-resort on its opening last Friday.

Since this concept was specifically conceived and promoted by Sarkis Izmirlian, many of us were sceptical that this vision would be carried over under the new management.

Fortunately Graeme Davis, after a long career with the Rosewood brand, understands that art is not mere decoration but rather an important vehicle to attract the high-end travellers who form a crucial part of the “Orange Economy” and who spend far more dollars per day than your average cruise ship passenger.

Mr Davis therefore re-hired John Edward Cox as Baha Mar’s Creative Director to continue the work of running an in-house art department, dedicated studio spaces and an art gallery, entitled The Current. Aside from the large-scale unique commissions, smaller artworks and rights for Bahamian prints and editions in all the hotel rooms were purchased in 2012-2013.

As recently as a few weeks ago, original works were still being snapped up from artists’ studios and the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas’ most recent National Exhibition to continue to fill the lobbies and public spaces. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article in The Tribune.

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Those who Stayed

Those who stayed

The tale of the hardy few who built Green Turtle Cay.

Visitors often describe New Plymouth on Green Turtle Cay in Abaco of The Bahamas as a charming fishing village, its narrow streets, clapboard homes and colourful flowers reminiscent of a New England town.

But beneath this sweet façade is a past of piracy, poverty and privilege. Hints of New Plymouth’s history are all around. A rusted anchor at Settlement Point. Two cannon standing guard on the public dock. Broken tombstones on the beach. An old jail with stairs that lead nowhere.

For more than a thousand years, settlers have come here, drawn by the safety of the land and the bounty of the sea. And as the waves contour the shore, so have these migrants shaped this tiny cay.

By fate and occasionally by force, most were carried away. A resilient few remained. This is their story.

Author Amanda Diedrick, a writer for more than 25 years, is a ninth-generation Bahamian who counts Loyalist settlers Wyannie Malone and Nathan Key and pirate Matthew Lowe among her ancestors. [...]

CLICK HERE for full story at Little House by the Ferry.

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Johann-David-Schoepf

Johann David Schoepf

Bountiful Bahamas agriculture in the 18th century

Forgotten Facts

by Paul C. Aranha

“Cotton was said not to be dependent on rain and to grow in all seasons, taking quick and strong hold of the rocky soil.”

In recent articles, I have written about some of the berries and fruit that used to be so common place in Nassau and that Johann David Schoepf, during his 1783-4 visit, had found several large orchards full of coffee trees, growing well, bearing heavily and producing beans of the best taste.

Because Schoepf was not only a physician but, also, a botanist and a zoologist, much of his writings were about nature. He said sugar cane was thriving and sugar and rum were being produced, but the costs made it impossible to compete with West Indian prices.

Indigo, of excellent quality, was another plant under cultivation, but on a small scale because of a shortage of fresh water with which to treat it. Cotton was said not to be dependent on rain and to grow in all seasons, taking quick and strong hold of the rocky soil. Schoepf had no way of foreseeing the chenille bug that would ravage cotton crops and destroy the Loyalists’ plantations.

Maize was the only grain produced but the quantity was “by no means sufficient. America sends many cargoes here, to supply the lack.” Tamarinds were mentioned: “The shells were husked and the inner parts set in earthen pots, between layers of brown sugar.” [...]

CLICK HERE for full article on Pg 25 in The Tribune Weekend.

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artist opportunity

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IDB sponsors Open Call for the Most Innovative Start-Ups in the Caribbean

Deadline for submitting applications: May 14th 11:59 pm (EDT)

The IDB and Miami Dade College are launching an open call to select the most innovative startups from Latin America, the Caribbean and South Florida in the following categories of the creative and cultural industries:

Design with Social Responsibility, Gastronomy as an Agent of Transformation, Multimedia to Save the World, Sustainable Fashion, and Stereotype-Free Music.

A total of 17 startups from Latin America, the Caribbean and South Florida will be selected. These startups will participate in Demand Solutions Miami. The IDB will subsidize airfare and accommodation for the 12 most creative startups from the Latin America and the Caribbean region.

Participants must be over 18 years old as of March 1st, 2017 and be founders or co-founders of the startup.
The startup must be solving a challenge that improves lives.
The startup must have at least one year and no more than three years since it began operating and it should be legally registered.

CLICK HERE for full details and application.

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art news & stories
from the caribbean
and around the world

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Clockwise from top left: Hurvin Anderson, Andrea Büttner, Lubaina Himid, and Rosalind Nashashibi. Photos by Vanley Buke, Andrea Büttner, Edmund Blok, and GAJ, respectively.

Turner Prize shortlist dominated by painters and older artists as Tate lifts age limit

Hurvin Anderson, Lubaina Himid, Andrea Büttner and Rosalind Nashashibi are in the running for coveted award that reflects the best in British art today.

by Ben Luke

The 2017 Turner Prize shortlist, announced 3 May, immediately reflected the Tate’s recent decision to lift the age limit of the shortlisted artists. Since 1991, artists over 50 have been excluded from the prize, but this year’s shortlist includes the painter Hurvin Anderson, 52, and another painter and multimedia artist, Lubaina Himid, who is 62.

Announcing the shortlist, Alex Farquharson, Tate Britain’s director, says: “The upper age limit originally helped the prize define itself as an award for a breakthrough moment in a more emerging artist’s career. But now this remit is so well established, I think we can safely acknowledge that artists can experience a breakthrough at any age, without any risk of the prize becoming a lifetime achievement award.”

Alongside Anderson and Himid on the shortlist are two artists who work in a range of media: Andrea Büttner, 45, who was born in Stuttgart but lives in London and Berlin, and Rosalind Nashashibi, 43. “This year’s shortlist reflects the best in British art today, which means that it’s international in scope and addresses our current moment,” Farquharson says. “The shortlist includes British artists with Jamaican and Palestinian heritage [Anderson and Nashashibi] alongside artists born in Germany and Tanzania [Büttner and Himid], all of whom live and work in the UK. This diversity of backgrounds, identities and experiences reflects the British art scene at large and can be seen in the international themes and subjects of their work.” [...]

CLICK HERE for full article in The Art Newspaper.

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New generation: the youthful architecture and design collective Assemble celebrate after winning the 2015 Turner Prize for their housing regeneration project in Liverpool (Photo: Reuters/Russell)

Why try to fix the Turner Prize when it ain’t broke?

There is a downside to dropping the age limit of 50 for qualifying artists.

by Ben Luke

This year’s Turner Prize shortlist marks the most significant shift in the award for 25 years: the age limit of 50, established in 1991 and in place ever since, has been abolished. In a press conference on 3 May, the jury’s chair and Tate Britain’s director, Alex Farquharson, said that age limit “originally helped the prize define itself as an award for a breakthrough moment in a more emerging artist’s career. But now this remit is so well established, I think we can safely acknowledge that artists can experience a breakthrough at any age without any risk of the prize becoming a lifetime achievement award”.

So now, just as when the prize was inaugurated in the 1980s, any British-born artist, or overseas-born artist living and working in Britain, can be considered for the prize. Immediately, two artists who would have been ineligible for the prize last year are on the shortlist: the painters Hurvin Anderson, 52, and Lubaina Himid, 62, alongside Andrea Büttner, 45, and Rosalind Nashashibi, 43.

For those who remember the early years of the prize, the any-age-goes approach may set alarm bells ringing. The award was set up in 1984 to draw attention to new developments in contemporary art. It was, for the first few years of its existence, both a mess and a flop. The critics hated it, artists seemed embarrassed by its existence, and initially they were given hardly any notice and very little exhibition space to show their work to a bemused public. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article in The Art Newspaper.

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Prix Pictet 2017: Richard Mosse wins
prize with heat-map shots of refugees

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Forces us to see the refugee crisis anew … a still from Incoming by Richard Mosse. Photograph: Courtesy of the artist, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York and carlier|gebauer, Berlin.

The Irishman takes the prestigious award with his spectral images of migrants, taken with a camera deemed a weapon under international law.

by Sean O’Hagan

The Irish photographer Richard Mosse has been awarded the 2017 Prix Pictet for his series Heat Maps, made using a military camera that is classified as a weapon under international law. The hi-tech surveillance device, designed to detect body heat from a distance of over 30km, was used by Mosse to track the journeys of refugees from the Middle East and north Africa.

The result is a series of large-scale prints – and an acclaimed film, Incoming – that reconfigures the refugee crisis as a spectral, almost sci-fi drama of human endurance and survival.

Given that the Pictet judges have tended to canonise work that is grandstanding in ambition and large-scale in presentation – Nadav Kander, Mitch Epstein and Luc Delahaye have all won in recent years – Mosse is an unsurprising winner. His application of state-of-the-art technology to the most urgent and contested issue of our turbulent times makes him very much the photographic artist of the moment. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article in The Guardian.

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Zanele Muholi, “Zibuyile” (2015) (all images courtesy of Wave Hill)

Perspectives on female identity

An exhibition at Wave Hill features artists from Australia to the Dominican Republic who make work that subverts archetypal depictions of women.

by Bansie Vasvani

The serene landscape of Wave Hill, which overlooks the Hudson River in the northern enclaves of the Bronx, seems like a stark contrast to the exhibition Outcasts: Women in the Wilderness currently on view at the Wave Hill House, built in 1843 on the lush grounds. Removed from the hubbub of Manhattan, the voices of the “outcasts” in the exhibition provide an emancipatory perspective on female subjects, especially in light of the current administration’s alienation of women and people of color.

Guest curators Deborah Frizzell and David Weil’s impetus for the exhibition comes from the American artist and activist Nancy Spero’s representations of the female subject in her printed collages on paper. Long considered an outsider herself, Spero’s use of ancient art, mythology, folklore, porn, and magazines that conflated histories and cultures from across the world resonate with what other women artists around the globe are doing today. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article in Hyperallergic.

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The Drum Major Instinct, a Theater of War Production, with Councilman Jumaane Williams (Brooklyn’s 45th District) reading the text of King’s sermon (all photos by David Andrako)

A timely performance of MLK’s final sermon takes viewers to church

The Drum Major Instinct, a performance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final sermon, sought to evoke that feeling of being in church on a Sunday morning.

by Seph Rodney

“We are little bundles of ego,” and this is a fact that “runs the gamut of human life.” This is the core premise of the argument made by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who almost comes back to life via the voices of the film and TV actress Samira Wiley and New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams (who represents Brooklyn’s 45th District).

The words of King’s last sermon, “The Drum Major Instinct,” fills the BRIC House Ballroom as Wiley and Williams alternate reading successive passages from the homily. As they do this, two combined gospel choirs — the Phil Woodmore Singers, from Ferguson, Missouri, and the Voice of Hope Singers from Brooklyn and Queens — interject with songs familiar to those who have grown up in or near the black Christian church. I recognize “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” and “If I Can Help Somebody” from my own time in that church.

This performance, The Drum Major Instinct, co-produced by BRIC and Theater of War Productions, is constructed to evoke that feeling of being in church on a Sunday morning — and it succeeds in this ambition. I feel that the whole audience is being exhorted to be better than we typically are, to find our way to being advocates for justice, peace, and righteousness. [...]

CLICK HERE for full article at Hyperallergic.

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about the cover

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Thierry-Lamare-The-Lord-Lift-the-Land

Study for “The Lord Lift the Land” by Bahamian resident artist Thierry Lamare (40" x 24" | Watercolour & charcoal on canvas)

“The Lord Lift the Land”

by Thierry Lamare

Artist Thierry Lamare recounts the story that inspired the title of the painting featured on today’s cover:

“A few years ago, I asked Ophelia about her 8 foot fishing boat, the one she used to go out into the ocean to fish. She told me she didn’t have the boat anymore.

“Because of my surprise she proceeded to tell me that her boat sank about one mile from the coast when she was out fishing with Betty one day.

“Ophelia thought she would never make it to land because Betty was clinging to her as she tried to swim. She had to tell Betty that she had to swim on her own, that she was not strong enough to swim for both of them. Betty let go and began to swim but Ophelia lost sight of her fairly quickly.

“Ophelia started to swim but it was difficult going as the heavy clothes she wore to work to protect her from sun and mosquitoes weighed her down.

“She thought she had lost Betty and that she too would not make it, so she prayed to the Lord for help. Suddenly, in her own words, “The Lord lifted the land for me.” As she attempted to swim to land, she encountered a high reef (which surprised her as she knew it was very deep where she was.) She was able to rest on it and catch her breath.

“Ophelia finally made it to shore having found a few reefs to rest on along the way. Once on shore, to her great relief she discovered that Betty made it to land also. Her uncompromising faith had worked again.

“When Ophelia got a new boat, I brought her some life jackets; I am practical and was worried for her. But I don’t think she ever took them with her on the boat. Then she stopped going out to sea.”

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about us

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Smith & Benjamin’s Bahamian Art & Culture eMagazine

Art & Culture were
created to uplift the
spirit of mankind.

Bahamian Art & Culture eMagazine
is an email magazine concentrating on the
art & culture of The Bahamas and the world around us. It is published once a week and is a service of Smith & Benjamin Art & Design, a design firm based in Nassau,
The Bahamas offering graphic design,
custom illustration, fine art, art marketing,
art brokerage and publishing.

Dionne Benjamin-Smith, Editor & Publisher:
dionne@smith-benjamin.com
Stephanie Shivers, Account & Office Manager:
stephanie@smith-benjamin.com

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