Jamaica Biennial 2017 – Invited Artists: Phillip Thomas

Phillip Thomas – High-Sis in the Garden of Heathen (2017)

Here is another feature from our Jamaica Biennial 2017 archives:

Phillip Thomas was born in 1980, in Kingston, Jamaica. Thomas received his BFA in Painting in 2003 from the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts and received the Albert Huie award for Painting at the end of his studies there. He later earned his MFA at the New York Academy of Art. Phillip Thomas has exhibited extensively locally and internationally and is represented in major collections. His awards include the Bronze Musgrave Medal for excellence in art in 2014, the Public Prize in the 2006 SuperPlus Under 40 Artist of the Year competition and the Aaron Matalon Award in the 2008 National Biennial. In his oil paintings and mixed-media works, artist Phillip Thomas combines the imagery and traditions of the Old Masters with contemporary textures and patterns to create a new iconography. As he puts it, “You want a way to lure people into the image, and then it unfolds itself, like a very slow car crash. I try in many ways to present the audience to themselves.” Thomas lives in Kingston, Jamaica.

Phillip Thomas – High-Sis in the Garden of Heathen (2017, detail of work in progress)

Jamaica Biennial 2017 – Invited Artists: Jasmine Thomas-Girvan

Jasmine Thomas-Girvan -Parallel Realities, Dwelling I’m The Heartland of My People (2016), installation (detail)

Jasmine Thomas-Girvan was the recipient of the Aaron Matalon Award in the recently closed Jamaica Biennial 2017. Her two installations were on view at Devon House.

Jasmine Thomas-Girvan was born in 1961, in St Andrew, Jamaica. Thomas-Girvan attended the Parsons School of Design in New York, where she received a BFA in Jewellery and Textile Design. While she is still best known as a jeweller, Jasmine’s recent work has moved into the realm of larger mixed media sculpture and installations that evoke poetically the epic histories of the Caribbean. Thomas-Girvan has exhibited in the USA, Jamaica, Trinidad, Venezuela and Mexico. Her awards include the Tiffany Award for Excellence at Parsons, the Prime Minister of Jamaica’s Certificate of Recognition, the Commonwealth Foundation Arts award in 1996, the Aaron Matalon Award for her contribution to the NGJ’s 2012 National Biennial, and the 2014 Silver Musgrave Medal of the Institute of Jamaica. Thomas-Girvan lives in Maraval, Trinidad.


Jasmine Thomas-Girvan – The Real Princess (2016), installation (detail)

Jamaica Biennial 2017 – Invited Artists: Samere Tansley

Samere Tansley – Banana Red (2017)

Samere Tansley participated in the recently closed Jamaica Biennial 2017 with the painting Banana Red. Here is a short feature:

Samere Tansley was born in 1944, in Worcestershire, England. She attended the Stourbridge and Birmingham Schools of Art and Goldsmith College in London, England. In 1985 she received a silver medal in the annual Jamaica Festival exhibition and since 1975 she has exhibited extensively both locally and abroad. Tansley’s work is inspired from the visual richness of the Jamaican environment and people, and reflects the abundance of the land and the sharp contrasts of light. She is best known for her still lifes and iconic portraiture of Jamaican women. She lives in St Andrew, Jamaica.

Jamaica Biennial 2017 – Invited Artists: Phillip Supersad

Phillip Supersad – Fragment 1 (2017)

The Jamaica Biennial 2017 has now closed but we continue to post features on the participating artists.

Phillip Supersad was born in 1957, in Manchester, Jamaica. Supersad was educated at the Jamaica School of Art (now the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts), where he has taught for some 30 years. His ceramic work is well represented in local public and private collections and he has exhibited widely both locally and internationally. His work ranges from functional ceramics to representational sculptural pieces that depict female strength and male-female relationships. Stylistically and thematically, his work draws from his ancestral cultures in Africa and India. In 2007 he was awarded the Silver Musgrave Medal. He is also an accomplished drummer and the lead in the drum band Akwaba. Supersad lives in Kingston, Jamaica.

Phillip Supersad – Fragment 2 (2017)

Last Sundays – June 25, 2016: feat. EarthKry

The National Gallery of Jamaica’s Last Sundays programme for June 25, 2017, will feature a special exhibition of Selections from the National Collection and music by EarthKry.

The EarthKry band was born and nurtured within the halls of the Edna Manley College of The Visual & Performing Arts in Kingston Jamaica. Their journey began in 2012 with a twist of fate which brought together lead singer and guitarist Aldayne Haughton, keyboard player Phillip McFarlane, drummer Kieron Cunningham and bass guitarist Kamardo Blake, to play a series of small gigs. Drawing inspiration from Bob Marley and The Wailers, The Beatles, John Holt, Black Uhuru and Steel Pulse, the group soon cemented a wholesome fusion of Roots Reggae, Souls and Rock genres for a fresh but universal sound. The band chose its name, EarthKry, to signify its mission to voice the grievances of the downtrodden through the vibrations of their music. Befittingly, their debut single 9 to 5 echoes the daily tribulations of the working class who are barely able to make ends meet from their menial wages.

In April 2015 EarthKry entered The Ostroda Festival’s World Reggae Contest with their 9 to 5 single where they became the only Jamaican band to make it to the top ten, placing 7th out of 102 entries from across the globe. With a series of live performances at local hot spots they have already begun making their mark on the local scene, impressing their audience most notably at Merritone’s 25th Anniversary Show, Chronixx’ Capture Land Tour, and Rebel Salute 2016. Through the guidance of musicians Nambo Robinson and Maurice Gordon, the band released their first E.P Hard Road in October 2015 during their island Hard Road Tour, followed by their US tour of 10 states. Their debut album SURVIVAL will be released on June 30.



Visitors will also be able to view the Edna Manley Galleries, the Historical Galleries, and as well as a temporary exhibition consisting of selections from the Gallery’s modern Jamaican collection, featuring major works by Edna Manley, Barrington Watson, Albert Huie, Marlon James, Eugene Hyde, Ebony G. Patterson, Everald Brown, Colin Garland, David Pottinger, Gloria Escoffery, Prudence Lovell, Renee Cox, Cosmo Whyte, and others.

The National Gallery of Jamaica’s doors will be open from 11 am and close at 4 pm on Sunday, June 25, 2017 and the programme will start at 1:30 pm. As is customary, admission will be free and there will also be free tours of the Permanent Collection. Contributions to the National Gallery’s donations box are as always appreciated. The National Gallery gift and coffee shops will be open for business and proceeds from these ventures help to fund programmes such as Last Sundays as well as our exhibitions.

Jamaica Biennial 2017 – Invited Artists: Tina Spiro

Tina Spiro – DEEP SEE – Phase I (2017)

Here is another post from our Jamaica Biennial 2017 archives.

Tina Spiro is a New York born artist who began her artistic career as the protégé of American sculptor David Smith while she was still an undergraduate student at Skidmore College. She obtained her MFA from Pratt Institute and began her teaching career at Hunter College in NYC. She moved to Jamaica in 1969 but spent a decade in Miami, Florida, from 1999-2009, where she distinguished herself as both an artist and a professor of art. She returned to live in Jamaica in 2009. She is the recipient of numerous honours and awards, and was cited by New York artcritic Valerie Gladstone as “one of the most important artists of her generation.” Spiro lives in St Andrew, Jamaica.


Tina Spiro – Majaica (n.d.)