National Gallery to host panel discussion for 2015 Rex Nettleford Arts Conference

Rex Nettleford - Panel Discussion-01The National Gallery of Jamaica (NGJ) is pleased to partner with the Edna Manley College’s 2015 Rex Nettleford Arts Conference to present a panel discussion on the various critical issues addressed by the artists in its current Young Talent 2015 exhibition.

The panel discussion will take place at the NGJ on Friday, October 16, 2015 from 11 am to 12:30 pm. Featured artists Greg Bailey, Alicia Brown, Katrina Coombs, Monique Gilpin, Domanie Hong, Howard Myrie, Richard Nattoo, Avagaye Osborne and Cosmo Whyte will be present to discuss their bodies of work and the panel will be moderated by the NGJ’s Senior Curator O’Neil Lawrence, and Assistant Curator Monique Barnett-Davidson.

The NGJ has intermittently held Young Talent exhibitions since 1985 when Jamaica hosted the International Youth Conference. The fifth in that series held in 2010 was a ground-breaking exhibition featured artists such as Ebony G. Patterson, Phillip Thomas, Leasho Johnson and Oneika Russell who have dramatically changed the Jamaican artistic landscape. Its spin off exhibition New Roots in 2013 featured artists such as Matthew McCarthy, Olivia McGilchrist, Camille Chedda and Deborah Anzinger and brought to the fore a new set of voices willing to break down the barriers between artist and viewing public experimenting with greater interactivity.

The current emerging contemporary artistic language is represented in this exhibition by a healthy range of media from traditional painting and fibre based work to more experimental forms such ads GIF collages. The artists in Young Talent 2015 all show a willingness to experiment within their media as well as engage with the difficult issues, such as gender violence, social dysfunction, forced migration and marginalization, within the current social environment.

The Young Talent 2015 exhibition opened on August 30 and continues until November 14, 2015, is in keeping with the NGJ’s mandate to support artistic development and to provide opportunities for young artists. Due to the current innovative spirit and energy within Jamaica’s contemporary art scene, the NGJ plans to hold this exhibition every two years.

Admission to the NGJ will be free on October 16 and free guided tours of the Young Talent 2015 exhibition will be offered before and after the panel discussion. Conference registration is not required to attend this panel discussion.

For more information on the Rex Nettleford Arts Conference, please click here.


Last Sundays, September 27, 2015: featuring Young Talent 2015 and Quilt

September 27 Last Sunday(rgb)

The National Gallery of Jamaica’s Last Sundays programme for September 27, 2015 will feature the Young Talent 2015 exhibition and a performance by the Quilt Performing Arts Company.

Young Talent 2015 features ten artists under forty years old, namely: Greg Bailey, Alicia Brown, Katrina Coombs, Di-Andre Caprice Davis, Monique Gilpin, Domanie Hong, Howard Myrie, Richard Nattoo, Avagay Osborne, and Cosmo Whyte. Young Talent 2015 , which opened on August 30 and continues until November 14, is the sixth of what will from now on be a biennial series of exhibitions, which are designed to provide national exposure to new and emerging artists and to stimulate the development of Jamaican art in the process. Young Talent 2015 includes a healthy range of artistic media and practices, including new and more traditional media, such as GIF collages, fibre-based work and representational painting, which coexist productively as part of Jamaica’s contemporary art language. While some of it is also deeply personal, most of the work selected for Young Talent 2015 is explicitly or implicitly political—tackling challenging subjects such as gender violence, social dysfunction, power and marginalization, the politics of the body, and displacement and forced migration.

The award-winning Quilt Performing Arts Company has a mission to transform theatre by means of an exciting combination of different personalities, talents, emotions, experiences, visions, words and music – hence the company name, Quilt. Using “devised theatre” (or collaborative improvisation) as their main tool of expression, and under the leadership of Rayon McLean, the group’s main focus is to provide pieces with a strong social message that forces audiences to think and reflect, feel, laugh, and learn. For their performance on September 27, the company will be revisiting two pieces from their repertoire – Ancestral Spirits, which explores African-Caribbean ancestry, and Missing, which is about men who have been lost to society – and they will also improvise in response to works in the Young Talent 2015 exhibition.

As is now customary for Last Sundays, the doors will be open to the public from 11 am to 4 pm and the Quilt performance starts at 1:30. Admission and guided tours will be free. Contributions to our donations box are, however, much appreciated and help to fund exhibitions such as Young Talent 2015 and our Last Sundays programming. The gift and coffee shop will also be open for business.

Young Talent 2015: Cosmo Whyte

Cosmo Whyte - YOU Know WE Can't Swim Right? (2015)

Cosmo Whyte – YOU Know WE Can’t Swim Right? (2015)

Here is the last of our short posts on the artists in the Young Talent 2015 exhibition, which opens today, Sunday, August 30. Doors will be open from 11 am to 4 pm. The function starts at 1:30 pm, and will feature a short documentary on the participating artists and a musical performance by Jah9. The exhibition continues until November 14.

Cosmo Whyte was born in St Andrew, Jamaica in 1982. He attended Bennington College in Vermont where he obtained his BFA, Maryland Institute College of Art for a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate and he graduated first in his class from the University of Michigan for his MFA. Cosmo Whyte is currently a professor at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

Cosmo Whyte - Town Crier (2015)

Cosmo Whyte – Town Crier (2015)

Artist’s Statement

“Terra Incognita…The New World is the third term—the primal scene—where the fateful/fatal encounter was staged between Africa and the West…. stands for the endless ways which Caribbean people have been destined to migrate.” (Stuart Hall, Cultural Identity and Diaspora, 1994)

My current body of work explores postcolonial identity through the lens of tourism, diaspora, globalization and migration. Through the process of installations of drawings, photographs and sculpture, I argue for the re-examination of identity as not fixed, but liquid and in a constant state of flux. Taken in its entirety, my work is interested in probing the following question: How has identity, sense of placelessness, or presence been altered by dislocation?

Cosmo Whyte - The Ginal

Cosmo Whyte – The Ginal

The work in Young Talent 2015 argues that the modern condition is migratory and as vast numbers of people continue to cross borders (sometimes at great loss) the question of citizenship and home becomes increasingly complicated. I have approached this show as a testing ground to explore parallels that exist between the mass migration of West and East African through the Mediterranean into Europe and Haitians being forced to leave Dominican Republic. None of the work on display is didactic but it rather looks on the black body as it is situated in a specific historical context when it comes to borders, migration, death by water, and survival.

Cosmo Whyte - Punch Drunk Love (2015)

Cosmo Whyte – Punch Drunk Love (2015)

Young Talent 2015: Avagay Osborne

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Avagay Osborne – Untitled (2015)

Here is another of our short posts on the artists in the Young Talent 2015 exhibition, which opens tomorrow, Sunday, August 30:

Avagay Osborne was born in 1990 in Manchester, Jamaica. She is a recent graduate of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, where she attained a BFA in Painting. She lives in Manchester, Jamaica.

Avagay Osborne - "Sorry"  (2015)

Avagay Osborne – “Sorry” (2015)

Artist’s Statement

Self-recovery is the term applied to the process of healing, from general disturbances and trauma. Reflections on past experiences have provided a thematic substance to my work thus far. My work is a direct reflection, response and act of self-recovery from a series of personal events and near-traumatic experiences. I believe that though these experiences are personal they are also no doubt a part of overall human condition. My adolescent years were troubled and traumatic and at age 23, I went through another traumatic experience, I have endured some level of physical and emotional abuse during these periods and these traumatic experiences have influenced my works.

Avagay Osborne - Untitled (2015)

Avagay Osborne – Untitled (2015)

Young Talent 2015: Richard Nattoo

Richard Nattoo - Oblivion (2015)

Richard Nattoo – Oblivion (2015)

Here is another of our short posts on the artists in the Young Talent 2015 exhibition, which opens on Sunday, August 30:

Richard Nattoo was born 1993, in St Catherine, Jamaica. Nattoo currently attends the University of Technology in Kingston, Jamaica, where he is pursuing the Bachelors of Arts in Architectural Studies.

Richard Nattoo – Athena’s Oculus (2015)

Artist’s Statement

Exploration has always been a constant in my life, and an integral part of my art and artistic processes. I create in an attempt to capture and deconstruct the common feelings and emotions of everyday life, so that I can examine their inner workings. At its core, my work attempts to capture the feelings and emotions I experience and to translate them into the surreal spaces that we all inhabit within ourselves. The goal is to explore feelings and emotions on murky cerebral levels and to construct the tumultuous and beautiful inner world that resides within all of us. I call this inner world the Silent Echo and my exhibitions have been about exploring this rich and textured place. A variety of mediums such as pen and ink, watercolour and most recently glass have been employed. Each exhibition is a chapter of the journey deconstructed.

Richard Nattoo - Silent Intuition (2015)

Richard Nattoo – Silent Intuition (2015)