The NGJ is continuing its Last Sundays programme, whereby it is open every last Sunday of the month, in addition to its regular opening hours, and will thus be open to the public on January 24, 2013, from 11 am to 4 pm.
As a special feature, the NGJ will be screening of the Jamaican feature film Better Mus’ Come (2010), which will start at 1:30 pm. Better Mus’ Come is a dramatic love story framed by a fictionalized account of the political violence of the 1970s in Jamaica. Directed by Storm Saulter and written by Joshua Bratter, Paul Bucknor, and Storm Saulter, the film has received significant acclaim and received the Best Feature Awards at Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival and Bahamas International Film Festival, the Best Director Award at the Pan-African Film Festival, and the Best Actor Award at American Black Film Festival. The film has also screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the British Film Institute. The African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM) recently announced the launch of its new label, ARRAY, dedicated to multi-platform distribution of black independent film and the label’s first acquisition is Better Mus’ Come, for all US distribution rights.
Visitors will also be able to view the 2012 National Biennial, a special performance piece by Ebony G. Patterson and the NGJ’s permanent exhibitions. Storm Saulter is in one of 86 artists represented in the Biennial.
As has become customary on Last Sundays, general admission and tours are free on that day. The film screening attracts a contribution of $ 200 per person and seating is limited to 80 persons in all, to be admitted on a “first come and first served’ basis. Tickets for the film can be purchased in advance from the NGJ – please call 922-1561 for more information.
The National Gallery of Jamaica is delighted to announce the resumption of its innovative child art programme, Saturday Art-Time, on Saturday September 15, 2012.
Allan “Zion” Johnson – Peacock (2001), Collection: NGJ, Gift of Herman van Asbroeck.
Allan ‘Zion” Johnson (birth name: Isaac Johnson) was born May 28th, 1930, St Andrew, Jamaica. At the age of 11 years, he went to Kingston Senior School, where he took some lessons in making furniture, which he started painting. Zion recounted what happened next:
I made a pushcart and decorated and painted it and wrote passages on it from the Bible. Soon other people asked me to make carts for them and that way I started to make a little money. I also made “Ludo” boards and painted and sold those too.
He decided to try painting and drawing in about 1965. He took a few lessons in painting at the University, helped by a friend, but soon gave that up. He started exhibiting regularly in 1980 and quickly gained recognition as a self-taught, Intuitive artist. He was featured in several major NGJ exhibitions, such as Fifteen Intuitives (1987) and Intuitives III (2006).
Zion lived and worked in August Town, near Kingston, where he had a small studio. He died in 2001 and is survived by his mother, Estella Gordon, who celebrated her 103rd birthday in 2012.
Allan “Zion” Johnson – Untitled (1992), Aaron & Marjorie Matalon Collection, NGJ
Dr Edward Watson, brother of Barrington Watson, speaks on behalf of the Watson family at the opening of Barrington: A Retrospective on January 8, 2012.
HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM ALL OF US AT THE NGJ!
(Photo: Olivia McGilchrist)
This first in a two-part feature on Eugene Hyde was researched and compiled by Monique Barnett, Curatorial Assistant.
Rex Nettleford in discussion with Jamaican painter Eugene Hyde, who was working on his 1966 exhibition The Dance (photographer unknown)
One of the most ambitious developments to take place within the realm of the
Jamaican art movement was the formation of the Contemporary Jamaica Artists’ Association (CJAA) in 1963. It emerged at a time when Jamaica had already established several galleries, a tertiary institution of art (the Jamaica School of Art), and a viewing public along with competent critics – all indicators of the professionalization of Jamaican art at that time. This association of professional artists was geared towards building “respectability for the profession as well as [making] art a financially viable concern and [elevating] it to a standard comparable with other movements abroad” (Archer-Straw & Robinson 1990, 57). The founders of the Association, Karl Parboosingh, Eugene Hyde and Barrington Watson, all shared strong commitment to the adoption of modern approaches to art in Jamaica. Hyde in particular was responsible for introducing a number of international artists to exhibit in Jamaica during the sixties and seventies. Described as a quiet and systematic worker, he was possibly the first of Jamaica’s artists to develop the idea of working ‘serially’- creating a series of works based on a single theme. In fact, it was his Flora series (1969-1973) that brought him public recognition as an accomplished young Jamaican painter.
Eugene Hyde - From the Croton Series (1974), mixed media on canvas, Collection: NGJ