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.

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