We are delighted to host a solo exhibition by Nastassia Pratt entitled 'The Architecture of Community'
It is a particularly apt time to view Pratt's meticulous watercolor and assemblages of Bahamian homes. Having just endured Hurricane Dorian and witnessed homes fracture or disappear, the future of our architectural design seems undetermined. Pratt's work offers an historical perspective by depicting the exterior of some of the oldest buildings in Nassau and the out-islands. One of the things that draws the artist to document these specific spaces is that they were built with community in mind:
"The aesthetic of these kinds of homes is a dying one and I hope to celebrate them. By nature of how these buildings are designed they encourage community and I hope to continue highlighting these neighborhoods and homes to encourage Bahamians to look back to our architectural history for its common-sense approach to community living and planning.
It is because of her interest in community living that Pratt obtained her architectural degree from Ryerson in 2016 and will continue her studies this year, focusing on Urban Planning. Pratt's visual practice is an extension of her architectural research and she draws on these skills to build the paintings off of the surface of the paper, resembling an architectural model. These artworks depict small areas of the communities we live in now, but Pratt's combined skills allow her to offer ideas for the future of Bahamian design.
Artist BioNastassia Pratt was (born 1985, The Bahamas) is a watercolor artist and architectural modeler. She received her associate degree in architecture from The University of The Bahamas and BA in architectural science from Ryerson University (2016). Pratt has also worked on curatorial teams, most notably as assistant curator at The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB). Most recently Pratt has been involved in the Carrot City international exhibitions contributing as project graphic designer and researcher for exhibitions in Toronto, Madagascar and Ecuador. 'The Architecture of Community' is Pratt's sixth solo exhibition. She currently lives and works in Canada.
We are delighted to support the work of K Smith alongside the work of
his great great grandfather and great great grandmother. The exhibition
showcases the journey of a family's artistic practice, culminating with
contemporary artist K Smith.
K Smith has always been drawn to architecture as subjects for his drawings. All of the drawings he completed in Canada between 1977 and 1987 are architectural graphite drawings of prairie family homes, one room country schools, as well as historic commerical buidlings. Smith's images allow us to reminice about the buildings and landmarks that no longer exist or that have been altered over time.
Caroline Grace Lodington, the great great grandmother of K Smith, was also an artist like her husband, Edward William Smith, the great great grandfather of K Smith. Caroline Grace Lodington's India ink drawing of Bishops College near Calcutta was created in 1823, only three years after the college was erected.These two drawings completed 171years hang side-by-side and reveal an inherited interest and skill within photo-realism. Two Centuries of Smith 1819-2019 reads like a family archive that we can unpack through beautiful and considered drawings.
We are delighted to be exhibiting a solo presentation of Kendra Frorup's most recent artworks.
A Bahamian artist that lives and works in Tampa, Florida, Kendra Frorup works primarily in sculpture and print-making. She is inspired by her sensory memories of home, The Bahamas, and refers to these familiar sounds, tastes and smells within her works. Tamarind fruit cast in bronze, resin sugar-apples and ceramic coconuts are layered on top of screen-prints and mono-prints of roosters, chickens, straw-baskets and local architecture. Each work can be compared to the experience of walking down a busy side-street in Nassau or an out-island; the artwork is an assemblage of this sensory experience into a physical object.
The title 'Tingsy', a Bahamian colloquialism to describe a person as materialistic, makes light of Frorup's prolific creation and layering of objects and material. Drawing from her interest in print-making, a process that allows an artist to create a continuous series from a single image, Frorup's motifs and objects repeat, layer and overlap seemingly endlessly. The audience may wonder where one work begins and another ends. Objects are added to objects even as the work is being hung for exhibition, Frorup's practice has no full-stop, but is dynamic, moving and experimental, beautifully oblivious to the finality of exhibition.
RED RAIN is a selection of paintings from the collection, bringing together artworks from different decades, countries and of course artists to hang side-by-side. This exhibition gives an intimate view into the journey of a collector and is a visual feast!
The D'Aguilar Art Foundation is delighted to host a fundraising party and art market. The proceeds of which will assist our incredible colleague, Letitia Pratt, to attend School of Art Institute of Chicago to study for her MFA in writing.
The exhibition will act like an art-market featuring artworks to purchase by Rashad Adderly, Melissa Alcena, Delton Barrett, Richardo Barrett, Margot Bethel, Nadia Campbell, June Collie, John Cox, Sonia Farmer, Blake Fox, Kendal Hanna, Lynn Parotti, Alessandro Sarno, Heino Schmid, Natascha Vazquez, Allan Wallace, Natalie Willis, Sofia Whitehead, Tessa Whitehead.
The D’Aguilar Art Foundation is pleased to present ‘The Likeness of Being’, an exhibition featuring the portraiture of five Bahamian artists: Keith Thompson, Kachelle Knowles, Gio Swaby, Spurgeonique Morley, and Allan Wallace. Each of their works explore the themes of preserving the body – specifically the black body – as it navigates the natural and social environments around them.
These deeply personal works all explore the artists’ individual experiences - whether it be in the Bahamian environment as a black man from a particular part of Nassau, or the Canadian environment as a black Bahamian woman – and celebrates the self in response to the people and places around them. Incorporating realism and folklore, these works present the artist’s different perspectives of self, and the unique and vibrant ways they view their individuality.
With Kachelle Knowles’ portraits, she celebrates the black male body: depicted in delicate pencil-marks, and adorned with meticulous colour and pattern, Knowles’s portraits dispel the archetype of the aggressive, sexualized black male, while inquiring into the complexity of identity and stereotype.
Keith Thompson’s series of portraits are inspired by his own experiences growing up around crime and gang culture. Entitled “Fear”, these photo-realistic self-portraits as a man being detained by a Bahamian police officer exercises his own dread of easily falling into criminality. These portraits acknowledge that his image as a black male subjects him to these expectations -- and with delicate gouache strokes, his own vulnerability and humanness are pronounced, countering the harsh perspective in which society views him.
Celebrating the sewing tradition passed down through her matriarchal lineage, Gio Swaby’s self-portraits are sewn, not drawn. She collages fabric, canvas and thread to create silhouettes of her clothed and unclothed body, distinguishable only by her signature afro hairstyle. These works are a homage to the quietness of a woman’s routine: the delicacy of self-care, the sewing of clothes, and the artistry of creating love for oneself in a foreign space. As a Bahamian living in Western Canada, Swaby’s work grapples with experiencing her blackness in a landscape that perceives her as “the other”.
Allan Wallace will create a mural that incorporates the hanging vines on the south facing wall outside of the gallery. His three portraits will suggest that the vines are towering afros. Working in an instinctive and easy manner, Wallace creates beautiful portraits from his imagination.
Spurgeonique Morley is exhibiting six paintings of a black female in lingerie inspired by a connection she made through instagram. Mimicking the instagram-selfie in which the subject can be unapologetically sensual and vulnerable, Morley creates work that explores the sexual and egotistical side of the female self. With Mermaid scales bedazzling the skin and curly blue hair, Morley’s subject becomes a creature of folklore. She pairs inspirational quotes with these aspirational portraits , a technique originating from advertising. Is she advertising herself, or is she telling her own story? Perhaps it is a combination of the two.
About the Artists:
Kachelle Knowles is a contemporary artist who explores the ideas of gender identity, cultural preservation/ production, and social relations within the black community. She received her bachelor’s degree in illustration at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, Canada. She is currently working as a practicing artist in Nassau, The Bahamas.
Keith Thompson is currently pursuing his AA in fine art at the University of The Bahamas. It was there where he started his profession as a full-time artist in the genres of painting, sculptor, digital art, illustration and ceramics. Through his opportunities at U.B, he has participated in numerous private and open call exhibitions. Thompson has made artwork for numerous businesses, homes, and churches.
Gio Swaby is a mixed media artist whose practice encompasses installation, textiles, collage, performance, and video. Swaby was born and raised in Nassau, The Bahamas where she obtained her Associate of Arts degree at The College of The Bahamas in 2012. In 2014, she moved to Vancouver, British Columbia to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree majoring in Film, Video and Integrated Media at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Swaby completed the program in 2016 and is currently based in Vancouver.
Allan Pachino Wallace is a visual artist who specializes in murals and live-paintings. Wallace studied at The College of The Bahamas under the tutelage of Antonius Roberts and excelled at life-drawing, finding his niche in portrait painting. Wallace creates intricate, sometimes surrealist scenes, portraits and nudes from memory. He currently lives and works as an artist in Nassau, The Bahamas.
Spurgeonique Morley was born in Nassau, The Bahamas on the island of New Providence, and she has had a passion for art from a very young age. She graduated from The University of The Bahamas in 2017 with a Bachelor of Art Education, and she is currently an art teacher at C.H. Reeves Junior High school. Being a student and graduate from the University of The Bahamas has awarded her such great opportunities and exposure into the Art world; this is where her love of various mediums such as Ceramics and India Ink began. She has been apart of numerous exhibitions like, ‘Transforming Spaces’, ‘Issa Wybe’, Central Bank Exhibitions, and others. She is currently branching out into graphite, collage and mixed mediums.
Solo Exhibition by Lynn Parotti
A phrase used during fitness training, ‘Time Under Tension’ refers to how long a muscle is under strain during a set – referencing the stress through the mounting pain that the muscles endure to strengthen and lengthen. Lynn Parotti’s exhibition of the same name uses this phrase to bring to light the constant pressure that coral reefs endure as a result of the compounding impact of our human footprint and subsequent effects of global warming. The metaphor continues as ‘time’ is of paramount importance to the warming seas’ effect on coral.
This new series of paintings titled ‘Bahama Land’ depicts Bahamian reefs in full, exuberant color: images of a landscape that will almost certainly be lost. Created during a time when news headlines read “Major Climate Report Describes a Strong risk of Crisis as early as 2040” (7th October 2018, NY Times), Parotti’s paintings give reason to take action and protect the environment around us. Coral bleaching results in no habitat for fish and sealife, leading to no food for sustenance living in poorer communities and the eventual destruction of the food chain.
Looking to The Bahamas as her primary inspiration for this work, Parotti is particularly attuned to the vulnerability of small island states, and paints hauntingly vivid views of our seascapes that act as both love letters and epitaphs. Art Historian and curator Allison Thompson Ph.D., describes Parotti’s work as “restless landscapes”, stating that “The push and pull of oil paint, its malleable and viscous potential and heightened colour, conveys an energy which is both sensuous and unsettling, a duality which references the uncertain condition of our contemporary existence in this world, but also the potential for renewal.”
Parotti’s thick and descriptive application of oil paint depicts how it might feel to be in the ocean witnessing the distortion of the reef’s form through a series of expressive and compelling brush-marks. These alluring paintings offer spaces that envelop the viewer, affronting us with the pain of losing the crucial importance of our reefs first hand.Lynn Parotti’s TIME UNDER TENSION is an ode to the Bahamian seascape and stresses the need for environmental conservation and action on carbon emissions. Like her former series Tar Baby, Territory, Slick and Green Fuse, this new work, Bahama Land is heavy with warnings of a disappearing part of our home, ultimately encouraging reverence for a space filled with nostalgia, beauty and erosion.
A follow up exhibition, 2 DEGREES C, is scheduled for Volta NY, The Current: Baha Mar Gallery and Art Center, Booth B12, Pier 90 – Berths 3& 4 in New York (March 6-10, 2019).
Parotti’s work is currently included in two touring group exhibitions: Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago curated by Tatiana Flores and exhibited at the Museum of Latin American Art in California, and subsequently at the Wallach Art Gallery in New York and the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum in Miami (2017-18); and in Arrivants: Art and Migration in the Anglophone Caribbean World, curated by Veerle Poupeye and Allison Thompson at the Barbados Museum 2018-19).
The D’Aguilar Art Foundation presents OVERWHELMED, a solo exhibition by Jordanna Kelly. Kelly transforms the gallery space into an immersive installation, weaving painting-assemblages together with trails of hundreds of painted paper dots. As in Kelly's last solo exhibition, Bugs, Blessings & Barriers, she uses the intricate paper pieces as individual works and also assembles and layers them to build the larger installations. The repetition and layering creates a landscape that appears both macro and micro; resembling terrariums, looking through a microscope or something more universal. Kelly's says of the works, “I wanted to create these environments – these little worlds – to be all-enrapturing, so when the viewer looks at the work, they are mesmerized by the many things that are going on. I want their eyes to bounce from patterns, to levels, to layers.”
Jordanna Kelly is a multimedia artist who uses ephemeral figurative patterns to create delicate assemblages. She won the Central Bank art competition in 2016 and she is currently the Creative Arts Studio and Gallery Manager at Baha Mar Art Studios.
The D’Aguilar Art Foundation is pleased to announce our upcoming exhibition, pARTicipate!, a show that aims to highlight the playfulness and accessibility of art. The exhibition intends to be a medium by which children (and fun adults) can learn to appreciate performative artworks of all kinds: from singing sculptures to painting you can walk into, pARTicipate! encourages its viewers to play with the artwork shown in the gallery.
The show features five prominent Bahamian artists: June Collie, John Cox, Kendra Frorup, Natascha Vazquez and Margot Bethel. Each artist created a piece of interactive artwork surrounding themes of play, folklore, and storytelling. Each piece displayed will encourage the viewer to participate physically with the artwork and become a part of the piece’s story. Here are the ways each artist does this:
Dollhouse expands June Collie’s well-known murals in an installation that is explores the internal architecture of her paintings. The piece encourages the viewer to interact with the home she has created.
Cox’s wearable sculpture Blessed Redeemer is a homage to his mother, who would use this phrase as a form of sigh. It perches on your shoulders in the same way a Junkanoo costume would, transforming the wearer into a superhero (like his mother).
Kendra Froup’s assemblages of beading, straw work and prints responds to your movement with sound and light. She draws from a multi-media practice that explores the iconography of Caribbean Life.
Vazquez’s six paintings all explore the story of the Lusca, a monster resembling an octopus that resides in blue holes around the Bahamas, in bold, colorful ways.
Bethel’s installation is inspired by folk storytelling through music. Her instruments create sounds with indigenous seeds in recycled containers explores the connection between music and nature.
If you would like to organize school visits to see this exhibition, visiting times are scheduled for the 24th to the 28th of September; however, if your school is interested in organizing field trips outside of that time frame, we are happy to accommodate you.
Tel: 322-2323 (during office hours Tues & Thurs 10am-4pm)
Delton Barrett's Imagined Landscape: Photographer Finds New Self in Solitude
Letitia Pratt Interviews Delton Barrett
The D’Aguilar Art Foundation’s new exhibition, “Nurture,” is the product of the most recent experiment of Delton Barrett, an emerging photographer. Hailing from the south of New Providence, Barrett’s preoccupation with creating digitally enhanced, innovative photographic stories has become the catalyst for the experimentation in his work. He often stages scenes within the environment in surreal, fantastic ways, intending to investigate the way his body blends with the space he inhabits. The images that grow out of these explorations are playful renditions of the environment that surrounds him, ultimately communicating a deep connection between his body and the natural world.
Barrett’s ultimate goal is to reflect himself within the landscape that surrounds him; to mirror his masculinity within the foliage that he blends his body into. He asserts his oneness with the roots of trees that stretch far underground. His intentional placement within the unspoilt landscape communicates a need to be seen something deeply, intrinsically apart of the land in a way that brings to the forefront the question of his own freedom – his body, like the land once colonised, now a prop for rebellion against the colonial gaze.
This past Monday, Barrett visited the Foundation to talk about how he manages to capture this magic of freedom in a photograph. We sat among his photos and thought about them for a while.
Letitia Pratt: I want you to tell me of the process of creating these photos, first of all.
Delton Barrett: Okay. The process starts with an idea. And from there is looking for location. After I find the location it’s about setting up how it should look and all that.
LM: So, how do you find the location? How do you decide …
DB: …which is the right one?
DB: Based on the concept. If, for example, I have a nature theme I would look for a place with a lot of foliage, and place myself within the negative space within the area. That way I could stand out more within the photo and blend in at the same time.
LM: So you’re placing your body in this negative space – it’s usually your face I see within your work – this emphasis on your face and your gaze. Why do you think it’s important to place yourself in your photographs? What are you confronting when you are looking into the camera that way?
DB: It would defeat the purpose if I don’t [show my face] because I am making self-portraits. And as the subject I want you to see what type of mood I am in. The feeling…the expression… all of that.
LM: So the foliage is indicative of your mood most of the time?
DB: Basically, yes. It’s me adapting to the surroundings. It’s calm. Green is so calm. You can’t be around green and not be calm. I want to capture that calmness.
LM: You told me when we were setting up this exhibition, that it was your intention to become one with green. Why is that important to you? I guess, like you just said that it reflects your mood.
DB: Exactly…expression, it builds the mood, and basically puts more emphasis on the idea. Whatever the idea may be.
LM: So landscape for you means something considerably different for you than, let’s say, the usual tourism photos of serene beaches and scenes of downtown Nassau, right?
DB: Yes. I like the solitude. You don’t have a lot of people around, distracting you from doing…or creating what you’re trying to do. I find it’s best that I take pictures when no one is around because it actually helps make a better photo. A lot of people comment that they hve never seen places like this before, and that’s the kind of reaction that I want. I don’t want the picture to be something you see every day, like downtown. Well, unless I do want it to. Certain ideas require different spaces.
LM: But most of them you need solitude.
LM: What are these ideas?
DB: Okay, for example, Failed Attempts to Fly, is a photo of me ‘attempting’ to fly on the beach. I needed to be on the shore alone in order to keep the focus on me as the subject. That way the picture would be stronger. But if I wanted to go to a populated area for a photo…like ….
LM: Goodman’s Bay.
DB: Like Goodman’s Bay, it would be different. If I wanted that reaction, I would do that, I would engage with people, crowded areas and the public. But for most of the work in this exhibition, it isn't necessary.
LM: So you don’t want the reaction from anybody when you’re in the solitude of nature.
DB: I want the reaction, but not in the present. I want the reaction after I take the photo.
LM: When I think of land, especially regarding the connection you have created between it and your body within your work, I think about ownership, and this history of colonisation of both land and the Black body. How do you think your process reclaims both of these things? Because I do find your photos as a sort of reclamation in a way.
DB: That’s actually one of the reasons why I like going in nature. It actually feels free. You know. Living in the south, where I do my photoshoots, a lot of people aren’t on that particular beach. It’s basically just the sea, breeze, and there might be some birds, dogs, or one or two people running on the shore but it’s just nature, nature, nature. And I think that’s where most of my ideas come from; being in solitude. In the natural space you get to see a lot of things in nature that transform into ideas, along with random props like bottles, cans, buckets and tires, you know how people dump their trash.
LM: Yes, you use them a lot in your photos, especially in Media Intoxication.
DB: And most of them are on the spot and untouched photos; I really don’t have to stage anything. And then, viewers comment “how you get that on the beach”? Well, it was always on the beach, I just highlighted and played with it. It’s just now a part of my scene. I feel like everywhere I shoot I have ownership of the place because it’s now my setting and I can do whatever I want to it and have control over the environment. I have the freedom to.