Jamaica Biennial 2017 – Invited Artists: Prudence Lovell

Prudence Lovell – Untitled (…a huge and birdless silence) (2017), collage, detail

The Jamaica Biennial 2017 features a four-panel collage by Prudence Lovell, of which two panels are illustrated here. The work can be viewed until May 28 at the National Gallery of Jamaica in downtown Kingston.

Prudence Lovell was born in Framlingham, Suffolk, England. Lovell was educated at the Kingston on Thames Art College and at the Manchester Polytechnic, in England. She has for many years taught at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, School of Visual Arts and produces works in paint, collage and drawing media. She has exhibited locally and internationally and this includes many exhibitions at the National Gallery of Jamaica, most recently Explorations 3: Seven Women Artists in 2015 and Digital in 2016. “The present work seeks to illuminate the contemporary moment of instability and hazard. It contemplates battered black boxes as metaphors for destruction and peril but also as repositories of explanation and knowledge, at the same time as using them as vehicles for allegory and allusion. Collage and imagery reveal and conceal in equal measure but neither the title, ‘..a huge and birdless silence’ (taken from a Philip Larkin poem), nor the work itself offers any ultimate comfort.” Lovell lives in St Andrew, Jamaica.

Prudence Lovell – Untitled (…a huge and birdless silence) (2017), collage, detail

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Digital: Prudence Lovell

Lovell, Prudence - Untitled, Conversation VI

Prudence Lovell – Untitled: Conversation VI, 2016, carbon on mylar

Prudence Lovell is another artist featured in Digital (April 24-July 4, 2016):

Bio

Prudence Lovell was born in Suffolk, England. She was educated at the Kingston on Thames Art College and the Manchester Polytechnic, both in England. Lovell relocated to Jamaica in the 1970s, participating in her first exhibition in the island at the Bolivar Gallery in 1976. Since then, Lovell has become a prominent member of the Jamaican artistic community, participating a number of local exhibitions including the National Gallery of Jamaica’s Annual National and Biennial exhibitions. In 2015 alone, she has exhibited at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts’ Cage Gallery, at the Insides exhibition held at the New Local Space (NLS) in 2015 and, most notably at National Gallery’s Explorations 3: Seven Women Artists (2015-2016). Lovell lives and works in St Andrew, Jamaica.

Lovell, Prudence - Untitled, Conversation VI (2)

Prudence Lovell – Untitled: Say Hello To Nicholas, 2016, carbon on mylar

About the Work

“My work has to do with the global present and takes account of matters, issues, events, and phenomena which impinge on the quality and tenor of daily life in a serious way. In responding, I consciously seek ways, via material, matter and form in which to reference and illumine the Contemporary, both its nature and its substance.”

Prudence Lovell - Untitled (Connected III) (2015) - not in exhibition

Prudence Lovell – Untitled (Connected III) (2015) – not in exhibition

 

Explorations 3: Seven Women Artists – Prudence Lovell

Prudence Lovell - Untitled (Connected III) (2015)

Prudence Lovell – Untitled (Connected III) (2015)

Here is another text panel from the Explorations 3: Seven Women Artists exhibition, which opens tomorrow, May 31:

Bio

Born in Framlingham, England, Prudence Lovell acquired her BFA degree from Kingston on Thames Art College, and then her MFA degree from Manchester Polytechnic, both in England. She lives and works in St Andrew, Jamaica.

About the Work

Prudence Lovell is an artist whose widely ranging concerns coalesce in a number of stunning drawings and collages. To paraphrase her own words, Lovell explores “the history and potential for allusion” found in art as well as the various “truths” found in documentary images. The ambiguities and disjunctions that occur due to the immediacy of photographic and other digital imagery and the seeming reliability of these images, often result in a rupture between perception and reality. Her most recent works, such as Untitled (Connected II) and Untitled (Conversation), are based on Skype conversations with her children, who are studying overseas, and address the moderated reality of online connections, in terms of the ambiguities of the simultaneous experiences and realities of proximity and distance.

O’Neil Lawrence, Exhibition Curator

Prudence Lovell - Pentimenti (1997)

Prudence Lovell – Pentimenti (1997)

About Women’s Art

“Women have always made art but until recently their efforts were rarely as widely seen, recognized and written about as menʼs and were therefore often quite invisible. It wasn’t until the 1970ʼs that this radically changed, and women began to be major players in the art world. Much of the discourse that followed this exposure aimed to discern whether there was an aesthetic that was characteristic of womenʼs art. But in the final instance, I believe that most works of art ─ even those taking the artistʼs gender and sexuality as their theme ─ come from a level of inner truth which generally transcends sexual difference.”

“In Jamaica, despite Edna Manley ushering in modern art, its first practitioners were mainly men but in recent decades this has evened out and I believe few would now claim that it is any disadvantage to be a woman artist in Jamaica except in surmounting the eternal challenge of work, motherhood and family life. That challenge I believe, often contributes to perspectives which differ and diverge from those of men and which sometimes reveal themselves through the adoption of specific content, in formal choices, the use of materials and working practices.”

Prudence Lovell

Prudence Lovell - Praxis (Parturition and Presentiment) (2003)

Prudence Lovell – Praxis (Parturition and Presentiment) (2003)

Coming Up – Explorations 3: Seven Women Artists

The Explorations III: Seven Women Artists exhibition, which will open at the NGJ on Sunday, May 31, asks the question whether any concept of women’s art is relevant in Jamaica today – it is part of our Explorations series, which examines the big themes and issues in Jamaican art, the first of which was Natural Histories (2013) and the second: Religion and Spirituality in Jamaican art.

Seven Women Artists, which is curated by Senior Curator O’Neil Lawrence, features the work of seven mid-career female artists who live in Jamaica or art part of its diaspora and who work in a variety of media: Jasmine Thomas-Girvan, Judith Salmon, Miriam Smith, Prudence Lovell, Kereina Chang-Fatt, Berette Macaulay and Amy Laskin – a small but representative sample of accomplished female Jamaican artists. We invite viewers to explore whether there are any commonalities that set these artists’ work and careers apart from those of their male counterparts and whether there is any justification to label them, individually or collectively, as “women artists,” or their work as “women’s art.” We have also asked each of the artists to produce a statement on the subject that will be reproduced in the catalogue and the exhibition text panels.

Jasmine Thomas-Girvan - None but Ourselves (2015)

Jasmine Thomas-Girvan – None but Ourselves (2015)

The sculptural and sometimes wearable work of jeweller Jasmine Thomas-Girvan explores the complexities of Jamaican and Caribbean histories as well as the cultural implications of those histories.    Her spectacularly surreal assemblages often employ or are inspired by naturally occurring plant matter and oftentimes actively utilise found objects that have a personal resonance with the artist. Her work None but Ourselves references the intellectual legacy of Marcus Garvey highlighting the importance of the transmission of liberating values to the next generation.

Judith Salmon - Pockets of Memory (2012)

Judith Salmon – Pockets of Memory (2012)

The dynamics of memory are at the heart of the installation and assemblage work of Judith Salmon. Salmon who creates work that has, in some instances, involved an element of interactivity for instance Pockets of Memory (which invited viewers to leave notes or other things that had personal significance and made the audience a part of the creative process) explores the way in which memories are preserved obscured or lost over time. She utilises fibre, wax and various printmaking techniques to create work that contains multiple conceptual and also physical layers.

Miriam Smith - Justice Denied (2014)

Miriam Smith – Justice Denied (2014)

Miriam Smith is known for her mixed media artwork prioritised by her manipulation of fibres and textiles. Her work also reflects her experience of bookbinding, some in the form of actual books are often symbolic pages weaving a personal history that highlights life changing experiences but is also at its heart very much concerned with historical and contemporary social injustices. The multi-panelled work Justice Denied…1600 and Still Counting reflects that focus and challenges the viewer to do the same.

Prudence Lovell - Untitled (Connected III) (2015)

Prudence Lovell – Untitled (Connected III) (2015)

Prudence Lovell, an artist who’s widely ranging concerns coalesce in a number of stunning drawings and collages. To paraphrase her own words Lovell explores ‘the history and potential for allusion’ found in art as well as the various ‘truths’ found in documentary images. The ambiguities and disjunctions that occur due to the immediacy of photographic and other digital imagery and seeming reliability of these images and the often result in a rupture between perception and reality. Her most recent work, such as Untitled (Connected II), is based on Skype conversations with her children, who are studying overseas, and address the moderated reality of online connections, in terms of the ambiguities of the simultaneous experiences and realities of proximity and distance. Continue reading