TRIBUTE TO ANNABELLA PROUDLOCK

Annabella at Gifts for the Nation

Annebella Proudlock (l), with Barrington Watson and Joseph Matalon at the NGJ in 1999

The National Gallery of Jamaica pays tribute to Annabella Proudlock, artist, collector, art patron and gallerist, who passed away on February 14. She was the Managing Director of Harmony Hall and a former Board member of the National Gallery of Jamaica.

Annabella Proudlock was born in Wales and worked as a fashion model in London before she moved to Jamaica in 1966. She worked with Operation Friendship for many years, initially as a basic school teacher and later as a fundraiser who developed a line of products that included Christmas cards, notelets and calendars. The latter involved reproductions of Jamaican art and it is while working on these projects that she became closely associated with several artists, including Mallica “Kapo” Reynolds. She also started producing her popular Annabella Boxes –  handcrafted cedar boxes decorated with Jamaican art reproductions.

In 1980, Annabella acquired a 19th century manse, Harmony Hall in Tower Isle, St Mary, a building that dates from 1886 and was originally the “great house” of a small pimento plantation and later a Methodist rectory. Together with a team of friends that included future husband Peter Proudlock, Graham Davis, Ben Eales, and the artist Dawn Scott, who designed the beautiful fretwork, the building was restored and Harmony Hall gallery opened its doors in 1981. Harmony Hall was declared a national monument by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust in 2003.

Harmony Hall

Harmony Hall

Harmony Hall represents a revolutionary gallery concept in the Jamaican context, with its strong focus on the self-taught Intuitive artists, its active involvement in craft development and its simultaneous engagement of tourist and local art audiences. The annual Harmony Hall Intuitives and craft fairs that were held at different times of the year were, and still are, much anticipated events on the local art calendar. These initiatives were spearheaded by Annabella, who worked closely with the artists and craft producers to develop and promote their work and to unearth new talent, and she received a Silver Musgrave Medal in 1992 for her “outstanding contribution to craft production.” Annabella was also an accomplished artist who is best known for her collages made from shells and other found objects. She had a solo exhibition of her work at Bolivar Gallery in 2013 and regularly exhibited in the National Gallery of Jamaica’s Biennial exhibition, most recently in 2012.

proudlock,Annabella

Annebella Proudlock – Out-of-My-Closet (2012, mixed media collage), was exhibited in the 2012 National Biennial

Veerle Poupeye, the National Gallery’s Executive Director, remembers Annabella as “an impeccably generous person with a strong moral centre and a wonderful sense of humour and a consummate professional who made a very tangible contribution to the development and promotion of art and craft in Jamaica.” She adds: “Annabella was one of the National Gallery’s longest serving Board members and always provided sound technical and policy advice. She was one of the Gallery’s most committed and enthusiastic supporters and we are very touched that she joined us for the opening of the 2014 Jamaica Biennial, at a time when she was already quite ill. It was a true privilege to have known her and to have worked with her.”

The Board and Staff of the National Gallery of Jamaica extend their deepest sympathies to Annabella’s husband Peter Proudlock, her children Sebastian Ogden and Jessica Ogden, and her many friends.

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6 thoughts on “TRIBUTE TO ANNABELLA PROUDLOCK

  1. Thank you for this tribute. Annabella was instrumental in introducing us to Jamaican art when we moved to Jamaica. Harmony Hall exhibitions – especially the Intuitives – were always a joy and something we looked forward to. Annabella was a beautiful person, inside and out. Her energy and her quiet, generous spirit will be greatly missed.

  2. Such a huge loss for so many of us.. Annabella was and will continue to be a source of inspiration to me; made my life in Jamaica as an artist possible, by her faith and encouragement, beginning decades ago… Her gentle spirit will be remembered in our hearts always.

  3. She was all this and more. A loyal faithful friend to the end. I’m fortunate to have been in her life for so many years and Jamaica was fortunate to have her vision & strength in encouraging ,preserving, promoting local art & handicraft which she did tirelessly.

  4. I do not remember Anabella in the early days, for I did not live in Ocho Rios. I met Peter her husband a number of times at work, then we met occasionally at Kumar’s House on social evenings. Yet when we were more cordial, I have to say that Anabella had a great sense of humour, and possessed charming aplomb.
    When she was ill she faced her problem with courage and perseverance and I had to admire her attitude, and Peter I know will miss her a lot. Indeed all of us will realize, that there is a space missing in our midst. . God Bless you Anabella

  5. Annabelle’s vision, her courage her simplicity,and appreciation for just about everything in Art,brought the community of Ocho Rios and beyond to Harmony Hall. Awareness grew after many exposotions,and consciousness of her prescense ,and her continual effort made many aware of their own talents and the fact that they personally could benefit from it. Jamaica thank you Annabelle,may your soul Rest In Peace.You came all the way from Wales to make your home with us and to make our Island a Better Place.

  6. As a yearly visitor to Jamaica for 46 years, we met Annabella many years ago but it has only been the past 10 years that we have gotten to know her and Peter as friends. We are so lucky to have met Annabella as she always was gracious, kind and full of life. She had the most amazing attitude towards her sickness . Our thoughts and prayers are with Peter and her Son and Daughter.

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