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.
We are delighted to present our current exhibition digitally at
can also follow The D'Aguilar Art Foundation on Instagram
and Facebook for content on the exhibition. Please email us at
firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to see the exhibition in person.
We learn to bend and break at home. We learn to be taken care of and to care for. We learn the importance and expression of love. For many, in The Bahamas home is tied to land, a specific place, an island where generations of ancestors walked the same land, or where we’ve moved and found a sense of belonging. In both utterances of home, we deem it indestructible with no concept of its fragility. In the exhibition, A Burning for Home, artist navigate the range of emotions manifested as a result of the destruction of Hurricane Dorian on The Abacos, a collection of islands in The Bahamas, September 1st, 2019. The works in this show delve deep into the memory of the individuals, and land as the artist explore the definition of home. Each artist navigates unique emotions tied to home to bring forth a full spectrum that reflects the multidimensional nature of the home. There is grief, hope, awe, protection, consistency, and resilience. The collective work invites you into a very specific rememorying of the various places and people of The Abacos. In conjunction, the D’Aguilar Art Foundation also presents works by artists Margot Bethel and John Beadle.
A Burning For Home
Cherokee, Marsh Harbour, Fiddle Cay, Treasure Cay, Green Turtle Cay works by Adrian Whylly takes us on a brief tour of Central Abaco, Fiddle and Green Turtle Cay. The work pulls you into the beauty of the environment. The brilliance of blues of sea and sky create a longing to be immersed in the beauty of nature. Down South blue hole peaks out from amongst spotted green. The richness of the blue calling your attention back again and again. Cherokee Long dock invites the imagination to sit along the wooden structure and collect the stillness of the water as an internal reflection. Whylly wishes to share the Abaco he loved in his pieces. He also includes land marks of the bustling city, with images that allow individuals to step into familiar roads or point out locations that would have been used to cement directions within the community. As, everyone from Abaco would know heading north from Snappers is a one way street. He brilliantly captures these moments that make individuals with or without specific memory to The Abacos long for the land and her surrounding waters.
The exhibition stands on the belief that there is one specific duty and that is to remember. To that vein, Attila Feszt recalls moments, on Elbow Cay, during the Hurricane Dorian when only the lighthouse stood visible before him. That became the central focus of the works for this exhibition. His works, Jeffery Forbes Adjusts the Flame, Franklin Sweeting Lights the Burner, and Elvis Parker Studies the Light portray men that have worked for years to ensure the flame burns within the lighthouse. In his work, he examines the connectivity of family. He introduces us to the story of the lighthouse keeper Jeffery Forbes who is a third-generation lighthouse keeper. These men that dedicate their lives to a tradition that requires consistent dedication to a building that stands as a guide and a link to a time that existed before them and one that will continue after them. In the pieces 325,000 Candles which is a direction indication of the measurement of luminous intensity and GP FL W(5) EV15 SEC 120 FT 15M which indicates a group of five white flashes every fifteen seconds at 120 feet above sea level with a visibility of fifteen nautical miles, Feszt explores the internal works of the, Elbow Reef Light station, which is the only manned light station in the world which has not been electrified. Its lens is hand wound AND it is still fueled by kerosene. His exploration brings us an awareness beyond the red and white stripes of a formidable but familiar image. He asks us to take the time to explore more than the external, but to investigate through curiosity how the things that around us function. And in that moment, honor them.
On Green Turtle Cay, Leanne Russell recalls the cycles of reclaiming home by creating a direct conversation between the hurricane of 1932 and Hurricane Dorian. Her work speaks to the resilience of the people of Green Turtle Cay. In The Things We Inherit, we are left wondering if she speaks of the repeated devastation, or the resilience of the people that have learned to stand in the face of destruction. Her work explores the telling of stories as a way to edify and restore community. A feeling of Relief and The Little Maggie forges links that inspire hope as she explores the determination of a people to plan and rebuild as their ancestors have before them. Each work creates a multi-generational bridge, specifically in Home Gone! They live Outside. We see the nuance navigation of multi-generational conversations through the works of The Quarry- Where Hundreds Took Shelter and God Save The King. This bridge invites elders to speak with young adults regarding the tenacity of spirit required to rebuild and establish a place of their own making. Russell explores the responsibility of documentation and storytelling in her work. The meeting of both in her digital re-photography collages as well as her documentary film are a homage. An intentional and intricate rememorying of the Green Turtle Cay community, her ancestors, herself, and the land that provides a place to rebuild.
Russell’s work as a call of memory comes in direct contact with Ivanna Gaitor who explores her memories of Abaco.
Gaitor’s work is a siren’s call. Beautiful and Haunting. Her work comprises of two elements written and photograph. The poem lulls us into the rhythm of the island. The familiar cadence of community. It is a trademark for all that are longing for home and the peace it brings. It is the unclothing of the expectation of the hustle and bustle of city life. There is a promise of safety. A cocoon of protection where one does not have to explain being, one simply is. Her digital pieces call into being the memory of now. It asks us to constantly recall the current state of the those on The Abacos as well as Grand Bahama, that currently live with tarps as a part of their new ‘normal’. By inviting us to remember, Gaitor admonishes us that our work is not yet done. The commentary is honest. She invites us to explore this new facet of home that exists for many within our country as Bahamians. Her work invites us all to examine the reoccurring grief tied to tarps, to wind, to thunderstorms. She reminds us that there are people beneath the tarp who are still waiting to rebuild homes, community and self. Gaitor’s work is a haunting whisper, a lullaby of ‘don’t forget’.
Each artist discusses a process to re-envisioning Abaco. But, the collective body of work reminds us that such a process is not possible without the communal conversation. It is not possible without healing.
Martysta Turnquest says her work is an expression of her “own healing process” and that during that process she explored her adolescence, the loved ones lost and the memories made in a settlement that has now been reduced to a mere pile of rubble. As a poet, she invites us to share her memories of home. Boxes are fitted with photos of loved ones and other memorabilia collected over years. On the glass covers, are poems that tying the artifacts together as a seamless story. A story of home. In T.C.G. , she says, “these friends have been the only home I've ever cared to know.” Such a line speaks to the importance of the friendships formed within Abaco and safe haven provided through those connections. Uncle, a piece that pays homage to a lost loved one says, “The life you gave us, Is the home I go back to.”. Turnquest reminds us that after tragedies like death and destruction that home is not solely a physical place. The memories we have created now become home. The ability to sustain community even after separation and maturation is home. The final poem in her collection is called Sometimes he uses storms. A few lines read, “I found you then, In the wilderness of desperation”. Turnquest explores finding a home in her faith. Her work reminds us that the spiritual can be our home, our grounding place in the midst of destruction and change.
Another poet, Yasmin Glinton uses words to explore very personal experiences as a means of navigating her own healing process. In the gallery, the words “all my baby pictures are casualties now” are painted in black on the wall. This poem is a part of a collection called An Olive Branch. The books are stacked using crates as a reflection of the scarcity of things that remain after a storm. Glinton’s work is broken into three sections Build an Ark (the blame), Shut the Door (the grief) and Find Dry Land (the healing). Glinton reminds us that grief is a process and that each process should be honoured and explored. Though exploration should occur, with safeguards to help navigate a way back to dry land.
This exhibition operates with the hope of people encountering vivid images and poignant words to share the story of The Abacos, her people and her land. The conversation reminds us that home is no longer what it was for many after Dorian. And that the Bahamian community exists within a realm of duality. The voice of one belongs to the collective, and within the collective there are many voices. The voices of Abaconians are important to this exhibition and drives the commentary that these artists wish to make about the islands of Abaco. As collective individuals, they wish for their voices to be heard. Within the larger Bahamian context, they want their island to be recalled and handled with reverence and care.
By: Yasmin Glinton