In the middle of June a lady stopped by the DAF to look at some art. Now, this wasn’t unprecedented: we are a gallery, and we love giving people a view of what we have on display and in our collection. However, what was so special about this encounter is that she was looking for a particular painting that Stan Burnside painted of her many years ago.
“I can’t remember the name,” she said. We looked through photographs of Burnside’s paintings that we have in the DAF collection (23 in total), slowing down on the faces of each portrait until she found her own: entitled Saintly, a small piece delicately rendered more than a decade ago. The lady gushes over the name: “Saintly! Ha!” then she said: “I have to call Stan – “ and off she went, chatting and laughing with him on the phone, thanking him for capturing her face, forever, in oil paint. You can see the kindness and familiarity within the piece: the softness of the eyes and slight curve of the mouth, as if the woman in the painting is sharing a light joke with the viewer, or, with Stan as he painted her. Or maybe it was from memory and Stan looked to capture this softness that he knew her for and share it with us. Whatever the case, the picture is intimate, familiar, and so full of love.
When I was in grad school I had an advisor who often said that you can tell when the artist enjoyed the work that they are making. This is certainly true for Saintly, and all the works we chose for Close. With this show, Tessa and I considered what it is that we love about art and art making: its power to connect with people; to capture humanity; to help us how to remember to love:ourselves, and the people that is captured in our work. So we peeled through the DAF collection to find works that we know were inspired by people (and places) that the artist knew. These works are filled with the closeness and love that can only be captured when working with things that are familiar. It is filled with the enjoyment that my advisor talked to me about, often.
I hope you are able to witness this closeness, and enjoy visiting Close as much as we enjoyed putting it together.
Salt and Earth
Shacqueel Coleby, Dyah Neilson and Omar Williams
Open 5th May – 16th June 2022
The D’Aguilar Art Foundation is delighted to present Salt and Earth, a collaborative exhibition featuring Shacqeel Coleby, Dyah Neilson and Omar Williams.
The exhibition brings together artists that use symbols from The Bahamian landscape to reveal intricate stories about self, Bahamian lore and spirit.
Coleby and Neilson’s works feature fictional figures surrounded by a cornucopia of flora and fauna that weave together a these narratives – symbols like birds, shells and plants remind us of spirits, freedom, and the ancestors. While Coleby’s work arises from community stories and Neilson’s works are more personal, they both use these symbols from the Caribbean landscape to connect nature and the divine.Coleby pulls characters from Caribbean Folklore like John Canoe and the Gaulin Wife and self-made lore about “painted ladies” and reimagines them in a graphic landscape. Neilson’s all-female characters appear to live in the ocean, as part-human part-spirit. The ocean acts as a container for their psychological landscape -- the fish and birds offer clues to external stories or spirits that inhabit this space.Williams, a florist by trade, specializing in local plants, creates arrangements that respond to Coleby and Neilsons work. William’s installations will bring the symbolism from the canvas for us to experience in real time.
These theatrical works are intended to hold the viewers’ attention so that we can examine the layers of symbols and ornate details. This reference to abundance is a contemporary trend in Caribbean artwork, a balm to the political and global feeling of scarcity and corruption.
Shacqeel Coleby (b.1990, The Bahamas) is a multimedia artist who was born in The Bahamas but spent most of his early childhood in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Having moved back to The Bahamas as an adolescent, Shacqeel used painting, drawing and creative writing to cope with challenges in his childhood. After completing secondary studies, Shacqeel transitioned into the workforce where he taught himself how to use graphic design software and ultimately became a freelance Graphic Designer.
Shacqeel’s graphic design abilities have afforded him many professional and educational opportunities, from studying at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) and The University of Hainan (China) to consulting on major branding and marketing projects with the Bahamas Government.
Shacqeel leverages both traditional and digital mediums to create tropical and nostalgic illustrations inspired by history and folklore.
Dyah Neilson (b. 1996 Nassau, The Bahamas) graduated from York University, Toronto, Canada with a BFA in Visual Arts in 2018, after which she returned to The Bahamas. While in high school, she received the top score for the Art BJC (2008) and BGCSE (2012) examinations in the country and received the Governor General's Choice Award in the Annual Central Bank Competition in 2009. Since returning to The Bahamas in 2019, she has taken part in group exhibitions and held her first solo exhibition Love & Fear (2019) at Doongalik Studios in Nassau, The Bahamas.
Preferring fast drying mediums, she works in acrylic paint and colored pencil, and her use of a dry brush technique allows her to build up layers of color while keeping a relatively flat surface. Neilson is deeply inspired by nature, natural and social histories, and the symbolism and metaphors that are ingrained in these histories. She uses symbolism in her portraits to explore the complexities of spirituality, relationships and femininity.
The D'Aguilar Art Foundation is proud to present a selection of Roland Rose photographs in a new exhibition, TIMELESS. After his passing in 2021, Rose's works will be released in curated batches each year. TIMELESS showcases the selection of both 2021 and 2022.
Roland Rose (born 1937, Italy) has been called The Bahamas’ ‘Dean of Photography.’ He was 13 when he traded his harmonica for his first camera, and not long after that purchased his first Kodak Retinette, when Kodachrome film had just been introduced.
He moved to The Bahamas in 1946 with his English parents. His father was the gardens and property manager of one of the original residents of Hog Island, now Paradise Island.
In 1951 he joined the Bahamas Development Board (BDB) as a professional photographer. The BDB later became the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Rose’s photographs of people and scenes of The Bahamas were instrumental in attracting many visitors to the islands. He worked at the BDB for 32 years, recording during his time there, the country’s march through Independence, natural disasters and hurricanes, celebrities and secrets.
Each of Rose’s photographs, whether in color or black and white, tells a story, exposes a slice of life and the brilliant beauty of these islands.
After chronicling the country’s history for decades, Rose started holding solo photography exhibitions in 1996. His first exhibition was at the Marlborough Gallery in Nassau, followed by consecutive exhibitions at the Central Bank of The Bahamas Art Gallery, from 1996-2002. He received a Cacique Award in 1996 for his impact on tourism in the Bahamas. In 2014, he hosted an important retrospective of his photographs of children throughout the Bahamas at The Central Bank.
The D’Aguilar Art Foundation is excited to present Bella Italia, a new collection of collage and mixed media paintings by Sue Katz that reflect on her travels to Italy. For about 7 years, Katz travelled back and forth between there and The Bahamas, taking inspiration from the vibrant landscapes and people. The result is a breathtaking series of artwork that departs from her usual collage work about Bahamian social politics and focuses on her picturesque encounters with the Italian culture.
“Italy has become my happy place,” she says when she is describing the inspiration for the work. She calls the collection of artworks a “scrapbook of her experiences” that she had in cities like Florence and Rome – they are snapshots of the beauty that she encountered that is quite different from her Nassau home. In many ways, this collection is a response to the lockdown restriction that we all experienced in the past two years; the works are a rumination on times when Katz was free to travel, and the bright open landscapes she depicts reflect the joy that was hard to feel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sue Katz (Born in 1962, Boston, Massachusetts, USA) is a multidisciplinary artist known for her complex collages.She often layers colors and patterns and adds other mediums such as depth and richness to her final works. She attended Syracuse University School of Visual Arts and the Rhode Island School of Design and has a BA in Illustration. Katz also studied at the Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, Italy.
The D’Aguilar Art Foundation is delighted to present a solo exhibition of paintings by John Paul Saddleton. Entitled Wading in the Shallows/Plunging in The Deep, this selection of work focuses on John Paul’s studies of water: coastal views and underwater landscapes.
With over 50 paintings in one room, you can see the many approaches John Paul has taken in studying the Bahamian sea. You may recognize some coastal lines and bits of familiar architecture as the artist often works in-situ or en plein-air, capturing familiar scenes in Nassau, Rose Island, Long Island and Eleuthera. More recently, the artist is interested in superimposing a digital veneer on top of a natural environment; junkanoo pattern and computer-code playfully weaves its way into clouds, or worn like a technicolour coat by a flamingo and barracuda.
Take one step back from the inquisitive subject matter and you can see that the entire exhibition reflects John Paul’s fascination with light. The entire gallery is full of dappling brush strokes and sensitive use of colour and tone. Examine any painting for some time and you will see new colours emerge, deeper layers of paint reveal themselves, and the soft glow of light bouncing around the landscape.
John Paul Saddleton’s (born 1968, Nassau, Bahamas) received a Bachelor's of Commerce from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada and continued on to Central Saint Martin's in London, England, where he studied watercolor layering, glass manipulation and advanced color theory.
In 2012, John Paul completed an ambitious 32-foot long mural for the new Lynden Pindling International Airport. His mural depicts the history of the Bahamas in condensed form, from the country’s early beginnings. In 2019, John Paul exhibited in group exhibition Transition at The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas.
are delighted to invite you to our new exhibition 'Preserving Our Coral
Reefs', featuring artwork made by the students of Uriah McPhee. In
response to a school-wide project exploring ocean conservation, imagined by
science-coordinator, Mrs. Shaphell Knowles, students from kindergarten
to sixth grade made beautiful sculptures depicting underwater
The students were encouraged to use recycled material and the results are so creative and resourceful; you can see recycled-cardboard sharks, treasure made from beer-bottle tops, coral fashioned out of pasta, octopuses cut out of plastic cups, and of course students used a lot of glitter, Styrofoam and pizzazz, drawing from our roots in junkanoo.
We are delighted to announce the opening of CONTACT TRACE, a solo exhibition by Angelika Wallace Whitfield.
Wallace-Whitfield presents a series of paintings and drawings made during the Covid19 lockdowns. The work is a continuation of her interest in the female figure, in femininity and strength, but as the title suggests this body of work also focuses on contact and connection. Wallace-Whitfield describes in her own words how the illustration of connection between bodies was an exploration of what she experienced and questioned during the past year in the pandemic:
"As media coverage on COVID-19 increased, so did my knowledge on how the virus spreads. The way it travels from one human or object to the next, unknowingly, without intention. Human interaction becomes a vehicle. COVID-19 made me question the ways in which we impact everyone we are in contact with, physically, mentally, emotionally, in formative and reformative ways.
What else other than COVID-19 adheres in this way, as trace or evidence of human interaction; somatically, physiologically or otherwise? In what other ways are pieces of ourselves left on or within others? How do our interactions with others, brief or long-term, impact them permanently? How do these evidences of interaction manifest themselves? How do we recognize which traits of others are of us, or of past interactions? Is it possible to trace the origin?
During my time in lockdown, I further developed this concept; answering these questions by interrogating trace and highlighting its relation to human interaction. Trace is both genetic and organic, in nature; It relates to origin and journey. Human adaptability, especially pertaining to migration and racial mixing, emphasizes the ambiguity of genetic trace. As a woman of West Indian, British and Bahamian decent, I have long been fascinated with how I came to be. There is much to dissect in both the physical and somatic areas of this."
The vivid imagery from Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s epic poem, “Ulysses”, provides inspiration for Between Earth and Heaven, a new exhibit now open at the D’Aguilar Art Foundation, featuring 28 works from our permanent collection.
We are all thoroughly fed up… weary of waiting for our lives to continue after an abrupt halt in March 2020. We put so much on hold: Our social celebrations, our travels, setting new goals, achieving longstanding aspirations.
But the elderly, many of whom have suffered from drastic sequestration, might have suffered the most from the pandemic. While they are often hidden out of sight -- and therefore out of mind – the little time they have left on their personal time lines continues to dwindle.
They have lived full and productive lives; they have raised their families; they have contributed to their communities. And they had also consciously set aside this precious and often limited time to fulfill lifetime goals – goals that could not be previously pursued due to the commitments and time constraints of their younger years.
Instead of taking that longed for voyage, of connecting with old friends and colleagues from years ago, of returning to memorable destinations of their youth, they are faced with the rigid boundaries imposed by Covid.
Their dramatic predicament is not unlike the frustration expressed by Ulysses in Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem, where the protagonist reflects the wretchedness of his weakened constitution, “ We are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven” Though the accomplishments of his heroic youth give him some inspiration, he cannot be sustained on memories alone, crying out that “Some work of noble note, may yet be done, not unbecoming men that strove with Gods".
Ulysses shares vivid images to describe the remote places and settings he still longs to visit: “cities of men and manners”, twinkling rocks, a slow moon climbing over a beloved scene, vowing that it’s “not too late to seek a newer world” and “sail beyond the sunset … and all the western stars, until I die”
The exhibition includes artwork from the following artists:
The D'Aguilar Art Foundation is delighted to announce our Transforming Spaces exhibition 'Anywhere But Here', which brings together rarely seen international artworks from our in-house collection. Although most of the over 2000 artworks in the DAF collection are by Bahamian artists, founding collectors, Vincent and Marina D'Aguilar also collected artworks from all over the world. During their many travels, they often explored local galleries and visited artist studios. As the global pandemic has forced us to isolate, halt travel plans, and postpone, well .... everything, the DAF will exhibit paintings and sculptures from Haiti, Jamaica, South America, China and Europe. We hope 'Anywhere But Here' will provide some joy and inspiration.
The DAF will take part in the digital presentation with the other Transforming Spaces galleries, you can continue to follow us on social media, and after the opening weekend, we allow visitors by appointment. This might be especially ideal for parents or guardians who are teaching kids at home and looking for an outing.