Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection – Gallery 4: Harmony Hall Intuitives

 

This is, for now, our final post on the Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection exhibition, which continues until November 4.

Jamaica has a long and rich history of popular and self-taught art but this has not always been fully valued and documented. There have however been several major efforts over the years to recognize the artistic mastery and significance of artists who have come out of this sphere. This started with the recognition of John Dunkley and David Miller Senior and Junior by the nationalist intelligentsia in the 1930s and 40s. In the 1960s, as Mallica “Kapo” Reynolds—a Revivalist bishop — received significant support from the young politician Edward Seaga and Jamaica’s first Director of Tourism, John Pringle. Kapo’s personality and work were, for instance, used in the Tourist Board Board advertising, as part of a campaign to convey that Jamaica was more than just a beach but had a rich and distinctive culture – a campaign which paved the way for later cultural tourism initiatives such as Harmony Hall. The emergence of the Rastafari movement in the 1960s also helped to validate and give visibility to popular cultural production.

The defining moment of what is now labelled as Intuitive art came with the National Gallery of Jamaica’s ground-breaking Intuitive Eye exhibition in 1979,which featured the work of a wide range of self-taught, popular artists such as Dunkley, the Millers and Kapo, as well as several newer exponents.  This exhibition was curated by David Boxer, the National Gallery’s Director/Curator at that time, who coined the term “Intuitive,” as an alternative to derogatory terms such as “primitive” and “naïve.” While the National Gallery’s promotion of the Intuitives was not uncontroversial, it was supported by a passionate group of collectors and enthusiasts. This included Annabella Proudlock, who had been friendly with artists such as Kapo since the 1970s, and Harmony Hall, which opened in 1981, quickly became the main private counterpart of the National Gallery in the promotion of the Intuitives.

Harmony Hall is best known, locally and internationally, for its association with Intuitive art, and particularly its Harmony Hall Intuitives exhibitions, which were held annually from 1982 to 2014. Annabella and Peter Proudlock maintained a close, supportive relationship with the Intuitive artists they exhibited over the years. Not surprisingly, the Intuitives are very well represented in their collection, with many of the works acquired from the Harmony Hall Intuitives exhibitions or directly from the artists.

This gallery highlights works by Mallica “Kapo” Reynolds, Albert Artwell, Allan “Zion” Johnson and Birth “Ras Dizzy” Livingston – all major exponents of Intuitive art. It includes early works by these artists that were acquired before Harmony Hall was established and owned by Annabella, which also illustrates that there was a longer history of association which paved the way for what was later achieved at Harmony Hall.

Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection – Gallery 3: Living with Art

Another post on the Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection exhibition, which is on view at the NGJ until November 4.

The thematic structure of this exhibition is designed to encourage the viewer to approach the works on display for their potential to tell particular aspects of the story of Ogden-Proudlock family, and it is important to note that they lived with all of these works at their Te Moana home, in configurations which were often quite different from what is presented in these galleries. This gallery attempts a more intimate look at what it meant to “live” with this extensive collection and the installation in this section reflects less of the conventional gallery aesthetic and more of the reality of living with a large collection.

There were interesting demarcations within the Proudlock home, with the more public areas of the living room displaying their beloved Jamaican Intuitives, most of which are to be found in Gallery Four, but which are represented here by the works of Zaccheus Powell and William “Woody” Joseph. The living area also featured works by friends such as Lisa Remeny, whose surreal work depicted daily life at Te Moana itself, Graham Davis, and Jonathan Routh (whose works on the Harmony Hall theme can be seen in Gallery Two). The exuberance found in the colours and subject matter of the “tourist” art that was mounted in their large kitchen reflected their travels to locales such as Haiti and Costa Rica, while the more intimate areas of the bedrooms held works that were more restful or of personal significance, such as Angela Landels’ portraits of Annabella, Sebastian and Jessica in Gallery One, or works by close friends and frequent Harmony Hall exhibitors such as Colin Garland, Albert Huie and Graham Davis.

Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection – Gallery 2: The Harmony Hall Story

 

Another post on the Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection exhibition, which continues until November 4.

Harmony Hall was originally built in 1886 and was renovated and restored in 1980-81, opening on November 14, 1981 as a gallery and craft centre, with a restaurant on the ground floor.

Harmony Hall attempted to bridge the gap between what has at times been disparagingly referred to as “tourist art” and the local and regional art worlds. It quickly became the premier North Coast gallery, known for its promotion of a wide variety of mainstream artists and craftsmen, but primarily the Jamaican Intuitives, and featured works by artists such as George Rodney, Colin Garland, Albert Huie, Zaccheus Powell, Everald Brown and Mallica “Kapo” Reynolds. That Annabella Proudlock, who was Harmony Hall’s Managing Director, and her husband Peter Proudlock, who was also a partner in Harmony Hall, collected most of the artists they exhibited at Harmony Hall reflects the close and supportive working relationships they maintained with these artists and their collection thus also tells the story of Harmony Hall.

The handsome Victorian-style Harmony Hall building quickly became a landmark, and was recognized as a national monument by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust in 2003. It appears as a subject in the work of several of the artists in this exhibition and these tributes also stand as a testament to the lasting and productive relationships that were built by its proprietors. Welcome to Harmony Hall (2006) by Michael Parchment depicts an active, cheerful space filled with patrons; Irise’s Blue Hole at Harmony Hall (1987) reflects on the beauty of the building, and several of Jonathan Routh’s raucously politically incorrect works place Harmony Hall in various fictitious historical contexts and pay tribute to the rising profile of the gallery.

Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection – Gallery 1: Family Portraits

The Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection exhibition opened yesterday July 30 and continues until November 4. Here is our second post on the subject:

Perhaps the most personal works in a collection are those that hold sentimental value or depict moments in the lives of the collectors themselves. This first gallery contains drawings depicting Annabella, Sebastian and Jessica Ogden by David Ogden’s sister Angela Landels (who was a well-known fashion illustrator); a bust of David Ogden by Valerie Bloomfield; and a portrait of Annabella and Peter Proudlock on their wedding day by Anghelen Arrington Phillips.

Annabella’s own collages can also be regarded as portraits, or rather as self-portraits: they signal her affinity to the sea, which she lived by for the majority of her life in Jamaica, but also the need to create, which continued throughout her life with all her endeavours.

Annabella’s now iconic boxes were built initially by past students from her days working with Operation Friendship and decorated by Annabella, but would later feature the work of artists ranging from Mallica ‘Kapo’ Reynolds to Harmony Hall partner Graham Davis. First produced after the death of her first husband David Ogden as a way to support her young family, the evolution of the Annabella boxes presents a vivid portrait of the relationships with various artists and craft makers that were nurtured and supported by Annabella.

Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection – Introduction

 

The Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection exhibition opens this Sunday, July 30, and will continue until November 4. This is the first of a series of posts based on the text panels in the exhibition.

The Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection exhibition features a generous, near-complete selection from the joint collection of Annabella and Peter Proudlock, which forms the largest part of this exhibition, along with works that were owned by Annabella and her family before her marriage to Peter, and two works that were previously part of these collections but are now owned by others, Annabella’s son Sebastian Ogden and her friend and associate Maxine Walters.

The exhibition provides a vivid picture of the lives, artistic interests, professional and personal relationships, and cultural entrepreneurship of several personalities who have played a vital role in the development of Jamaican art, individually and through Harmony Hall, which has been the premier art gallery and craft centre on the Jamaican North Coast since it opened in 1981. Much of the work in this exhibition was acquired from Harmony Hall exhibitions and a number of works actually depict the Harmony Hall building.

The central personality in the stories told by this exhibition is Annabella Ogden Proudlock, who was the Managing Director of Harmony Hall until she passed away in 2015. Annabella (née McCartney), a successful London – based fashion model, fell in love with Jamaica when she visited for a swimsuit shoot for Silhouette in 1966 and moved to the island that same year. She worked with Operation Friendship, an inner-city charity in Kingston, from 1966 to 1978, and was responsible for that organization’s pioneering and very successful local Christmas card programme, which featured the work of children in the programme and various local artists.

After the death of her first husband, English-born cinematographer, artist, musician and writer David Ogden in 1978, she moved to Ocho Rios in 1979 and started the production of the Annabella Boxes, finely crafted cedar boxes with reproductions of Jamaican art that quickly became a classic in the local craft industry. The following year, she was part of the team that acquired and restored the Harmony Hall building. Annabella oversaw most of the artistic direction at Harmony Hall for nearly twenty-five years and is best known for her close, supportive work with the artists and craft producers who exhibited and sold their work at Harmony Hall, especially the Intuitives. She served on the National Gallery of Jamaica Board for many years, until 2012, and in later life became an artist in her own right, who produced meditative collages from shells and other found sea objects. This exhibition is also our tribute to Annabella.

Annabella and David had two children, Sebastian, who is a graphic designer and advertising executive, and Jessica, who is a fashion designer and textile artist. Peter Proudlock, a chartered accountant, moved to Jamaica from England in 1981 and became a partner in Harmony Hall. He and Annabella got married in 1985 and he continued managing the gallery after she passed away in 2015, until his own death in 2016.

Harmony Hall, which is located near Ocho Rios in Tower Isle, St Mary, was constructed in 1886, as part of a pimento plantation and served as a Methodist manse. It had been modernized and served as a family home in the 20th century until it came on the market in 1979-80. The house was lovingly restored by a team consisting of Annabella, Graham Davis, the architect Ben Eales and the artist and designer Dawn Scott, who designed the fretwork decorations that were based on traditional Jamaican patterns. The building was in 2003 recognized as a National Monument by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust.

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“Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection” Opens at National Gallery’s Last Sundays on July 30

The National Gallery of Jamaica’s new exhibition, the Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection, will open on Sunday, July 30, 2017. Paul Issa will be the guest speaker at the function, which will start at 1:30 pm, and this will be followed by a musical performance by singer Stephanie.

The Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection exhibition documents some fifty years of collecting, mostly of Jamaican art but also of art and craft from elsewhere in the Caribbean and Central America. The exhibition also tells the story of a particularly group of people who made their lives in post-Independence Jamaica and who were deeply immersed in the cultural and artistic developments of that moment, to which they actively contributed.

Annabella Ogden Proudlock, who had been a successful fashion model in London in the 1960s, moved to Jamaica with her first husband David Ogden in 1966. David Ogden became a partner in Perry Henzell’s Vista Productions company, which did pioneering work in film and television production in Jamaica, and Annabella started working with Operation Friendship, an inner-city programme for children where she first taught and later directed the Christmas card programme. They had two children, Sebastian and Jessica.  After David died in 1978, Annabella moved her young family from Kingston to Ocho Rios and entered the local craft industry with her Annabella Boxes, finely wrought cedar boxes decorated with Jamaican art reproductions that remain as classic Jamaican craft items to the present day. Annabella then teamed up with a group of friends—the artists Graham Davis and Dawn Scott, the architect Ben Eales, and, soon also, the chartered accountant Peter Proudlock, who became Annabella’s second husband—to restore Harmony Hall, a 19th century Methodist manse in Tower Isle, St Mary. Harmony Hall opened in 1981, with Annabella as the Managing Director, and quickly established itself as the premier art gallery on the Jamaican North Coast, with regular exhibitions and ongoing stock display of local art and craft. While Harmony Hall has shown a wide range of art and artists, the Gallery is best known for its association with the Intuitives, with the much-anticipated annual Harmony Hall Intuitives exhibitions and regular solo exhibitions. Annabella Proudlock was actively involved in scouting new talent and maintained a close supportive relationship with the new and older Intuitives, and this approach also carried over in her involvement in craft development, for which the annual Easter Craft Fairs were a major outlet. Annabella passed away in 2015 and Peter Proudlock in 2016, which marked the end of an era in Jamaican art.

 

 

Illustrating the extent to which art collections are also historical artefacts, much of the work in the Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection is directly associated with the Proudlocks’ involvement with Harmony Hall and its artists, and the Harmony Hall building even appears as a regular subject. The exhibition also includes several works that Annabella collected before Harmony Hall was established, art works and craft items that were collected during their many travels in the Caribbean and Central America, and a few key works that were first in Annabella and Peter’s collection but are now owned by others. The Proudlocks actively lived with their collection, which could be found in all parts of their home, including the spectacularly decorated kitchen, and the exhibition therefore also speaks about living with art. The exhibition also includes photographs and documentary material on the lives of Annabella, David Ogden, Peter Proudlock and their family and friends, and, of course, on Harmony Hall.

The guest speaker on Sunday, July 30,  Paul Issa, who was long-time friend of Annabella and Peter Proudlock, is a well-known Jamaican hotelier, philanthropist and actor. He is Deputy Chairman of the House of Issa and its subsidiary Issa Hotels & Resorts Ltd. which owns and operates Couples Resorts, and he is Chairman of the Issa Foundation.

Stephanie

Stephanie is a singer, songwriter and model, whose reggae fusion sound incorporates the essence of reggae, R&B, soul, dancehall, and pop. After a stint with the Ashearibbean Performing Arts Company, where she trained and toured as a singer, dancer, and musical theatre actor, Stephanie provided backing vocals for local and international artists, such as the Basque Band singer Fermin Muguruza and reggae acts such as Groundation, Cherine Anderson, Coco Tea, Chaka Demus & Pliers and Mr Vegas. She also recorded two studio albums with Sly & Robbie for Sony Music Japan. Along with Chantelle Ernandez and Scantana, she formed the group UNITZz, whose two albums J Paradise and J Lovers gained tremendous success in Japan. A seasoned songwriter, Stephanie is signed to Rebel America Inc (a production and publishing company in Dallas, Texas) where she writes and records songs for placements on television shows, movies, international ad campaigns, and labels. In February of 2013 Stephanie founded the indie record label Havatio Music. Her debut EP Real Woman and debut album The Christmas Collection were released by Havatio in 2013 to rave reviews. Additionally, along with a group of music industry professionals, Stephanie is a Director for the Gungo Walk World Alternative Music and Arts Festival that is held annually at the Edna Manley College.

The opening of the Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection coincides with the National Gallery’s Last Sundays programme for July 2017. While the opening function starts at 1:30 pm, and will be followed by the musical performance, the National Gallery’s doors will, as usual, be open from 11 am to 4 pm. The event is open to the public and admission is free; all are cordially invited. Contributions to the donations box are gratefully accepted and the gift and coffee shops will also be open. Proceeds are used to fund exhibitions and programmes such as Last Sundays.