Now that the Jamaica Biennial 2014 is behind us, we are pleased to let you know what we have in store for the rest of the year, in terms of exhibitions.
The first major exhibition will be Explorations III: Seven Women Artists, which is scheduled to open on May 31 and features work by Kereina Chang-Fatt, Berette Macaulay, Amy Laskin, Prudence Lovell, Judith Salmon, Jasmine Thomas-Girvan and Miriam Hinds-Smith, seven mid-career artists who are highly accomplished but who have not yet received significant national attention. This exhibition is presented as the third edition of our Explorations series, which started in 2013 with Natural Histories and explores the major issues and themes in our collection and in Jamaican art. Explorations III: Seven Women Artists asks whether the notion of women’s art is relevant in Jamaica today and how the work of female artists has been and is positioned vis-à-vis the conventional artistic hierarchies in Jamaica.
This will be followed by Young Talent 2015, which will feature the work of six to eight artists under forty years old. The Young Talent exhibitions, which were inaugurated in 1985, are designed to unearth and encourage new and emerging artists and to provide a platform for the development of contemporary art in Jamaica. The call for submissions can be found here – please note that deadline for submissions has Young Talent 2015 has been extended to Friday, June 26 and that the exhibition is now scheduled to open on August 30.
Our final exhibition for the year will be Explorations IV: Masculinities which is scheduled to open on December 6. Masculinities, which is being curated by O’Neil Lawrence, explores the representation of masculinity in Jamaican art, with a special focus on works of art from our collection, and relates these representations to the dominant and alternative constructions of masculinity, personhood and nationhood that have emerged in pre- and post-independence Jamaica.
While we prepare these three new exhibitions, and also work on reorganizing the modern section of our permanent exhibitions, select works from our modern collection are on view in the central galleries, including Edna Manley’s Negro Aroused (1935) and Beadseller (1922), Ronald Moody’s Tacet (1937) Albert Huie’s Crop Time (1955), Alvin Marriott’s Banana Man (1955), Barrington Watson’s Mother and Child (1958), Everald Brown’s Cotton Duppy Tree (1994) and several other public favourites.
At National Gallery West, our new branch at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre, we will start our new season in mid-May with Xaymaca: Nature and the Landscape in Jamaican Art, which will feature work from our permanent collection, from the colonial period to the late 20th century, including a photographic selection. The exhibition celebrates the spectacular natural beauty of Jamaica but also acknowledges how nature and the land carry the baggage of history and geo-politics, as is perhaps best illustrated by Colin Garland’s In the Beautiful Caribbean (1974), which takes centre stage in this exhibition. Some of the other artists in this exhibition are: George Robertson, J.B. Kidd, A. Duperly and Sons, Herbert Hood-Daniel, Edna Manley, Albert Huie, Michael Lester, Kapo and Everald Brown. This will, funding permitting, be followed by a condensed version of the Women’s Art exhibition that will first be shown in Kingston. Later in the year, we will offer two consecutive exhibitions that explore the work of artists who are either based in Western Jamaica or have their roots there. More news about these two exhibitions will follow as the research and preparation period progresses.