Digital: Gregory Stennatt

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Gregory Stennatt – Figure in Action: Study of an Oriental Dancer (in Red), 2016 – still from video

Digital is now open to the public and will be on view until July 4. Here is a feature on another artist in the exhibition:

Bio

Gregory Stennatt was born in London in 1966, to a Jamaican family. A multi-media artist, specializing in digital film, he describes his works as “moving art images”. He spent over two decades working for a number of television production companies, including the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), as well as in independent production. In 1999, he obtained a postgraduate degree in Independent Film/Video (Film Theory, History, and Criticism) at University of the Arts, London. In the same year, he co-curated (with Tony Rayns) the award-winning Japanese experimental and video festival Vanishing Points at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts. Among his many achievements, Stennatt was awarded a 12-month UBS/Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation research bursary to visit Tokyo in 2000, where he continued research into Japanese avant-garde cinema and advised the British Council on Japan-2001, with the idea for a Clubland Japan-UK youth culture collaboration. Presently he lives and works in Tokyo, Japan.

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Gregory Stennatt – Figure in Action: Study of a Nude Dancer, 2016 – still from video

About the Work

“The Figure in Action digital film is composed of series of still photographs, having its roots in traditional fine art, but employs a modern time-lapse photographic process to achieve an animated illusion. … The cinemagraph-like pieces in Figure in Action attempt document the sequence of human movement but also reveal visual phenomena that the human eye, unaided, cannot easily perceive. The studies are reminiscent of Eadweard Muybridge’s still photographs of 1878-9, illustrating for the first time repetition or consecutive positions assumed by animals and people in motion. Dynamism of A Dog on a Leash” (1912) by Giacomo Balla, and Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2 by Marcel Duchamp (1912) are examples of artists in the past attempting to capture unseen movement. These paintings and photos depicted movement at a time when cinematography was still in its infancy with (animated flick books) a remnant of the 1886 Kineographs.”

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Gregory Stennatt – Figure in Action: Study of a Nude Dancer, 2016 – still from video

“The Figure in Action studies are more like impressionist paintings and drawings than they are HD digital videos. Above all, they defy Western conventions in art and philosophies that dissect and categorise things that were once thought of as connected in African and Caribbean cultures. Figure in Action is part of a body of work that attempts to reconnect ‘the interconnectedness of things,’ and demonstrates a symbiosis between what was once thought of distinct artistic disciplines.”

 

Digital: Nile Saulter

Nile Saulter - Everbless (2016) - still from short film

Nile Saulter – Everblessed (2016) – still from short film

Nile Saulter is another artist in the Digital exhibition:

Bio

Nile Saulter is a Jamaican cinematographer, director, editor, and a founding member of New Caribbean Cinema. He graduated from the New York Film Academy at King’s College, London in 2004. His short films have been exhibited at the British Museum in London and the Michael Werner Gallery in New York, and screened at festivals in Toronto, Nigeria, Trinidad, Barbados, Cuba, St Lucia, Jamaica, and London, where his short film Coast won the award for Best Cinematography at the Portobello Film Festival in 2011. In 2013, he was among ten young artists who were selected to participate in the National Gallery of Jamaica’s exhibition, New Roots: 10 Emerging Artists. He also contributed to the filming of the One People documentary project, which commemorated Jamaica’s 50th Anniversary in 2012. He lives and works in Jamaica.

Nile Saulter - Everbless (2016) - still from short film

Nile Saulter – Everblessed (2016) – still from short film

About the Work

“Everblessed is an exploration of church and dancehall culture in Jamaica; a meditation on the sacred and the profane and the thin line between them.”

Nile Saulter - Everblessed (2016) - still from short film

Nile Saulter – Everblessed (2016) – still from short film

Digital: Oneika Russell

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Oneika Russell – Postcard Preservations (2016)

Oneika Russell is one of the pioneers of digital and time-based art in Jamaica and is represented in Digital (April 24-July 4, 2016):

Bio

Oneika Russell was born in Jamaica, 1980. She was educated at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts and at Goldsmiths College, University of London, where she received an MA in Interactive Media. She more recently obtained a PhD in Art, concentrated in Media, Film & Video Art, from Kyoto Seika University, Japan. She was a Commonwealth Foundation Arts & Crafts Awardee in 2007, which was conducted at the Post-Museum in Singapore. Russell has exhibited widely in Jamaica and abroad and was featured in Young Talent V (2010), the National Biennial (2012) and Natural Histories (2013) at the National Gallery of Jamaica. She presently lives and works in Kingston, Jamaica, and lectures at the Edna Manley College.

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Oneika Russell – Postcard Preservations (2016)

About the Work

Postcard Preservations builds on two earlier works shown first at the 2014 Jamaica Biennial titled Preservations and Notes to You. The body of work is investigating representations we make to specific audiences to construct desired narratives about ourselves, our nation, our families, our history.”

“The Postcard Preservations series takes postcards collected from the era of the artist’s childhood and adolescent life-span in Jamaica (1980s to early 2000s), which were used to promote Jamaica as a paradise. I am then creating altered forms of them in printed work, video, drawing etc. This particular set of work takes the form of three digitally composed and printed pseudo-scrolls/ curtains, which use the imagery and aspects of the text and typography from the collected postcards.”

Digital: Danielle Russell

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Danielle Russell – Bakers of Oriental Gardens, 2015, still from short film

The Digital exhibition opened on Sunday, April 24 and continues until July 4. Danielle Russell is represented with two short films.

Bio

Danielle Russell is a Jamaican artist as well as a media and communication professional. She attended the University of the West Indies – Mona, where she earned a BA Degree in Media and Communication (Radio Specialisation) in 2010. In 2013, she earned an MA Degree in Radio and Television (Film Specialisation) from the Communication University of China, Beijing. She has been working in television and radio production since 2013. She currently lives and works in Jamaica.

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Danielle Russell – Bakers of Oriental Gardens, 2015, still from short film

About the Work

“The Bakers of Oriental Gardens: Years of using the Beijing City public transportation and walking almost everywhere that I needed to go, meant that I was able to observe a vast majority of the population of Beijing. Persons with disabilities were few and far between. The illusion was that the Chinese society consisted only of able-bodied persons. … It became my goal to seek out and befriend a physically disabled Chinese person and get to know what life for them is like. My search led me to the Bread of Life Bakery in Hebei, a city near Beijing, where they only hire Chinese orphans who are physically disabled. I made the decision to live with them at the bakery and see life through their eyes as best as I could. … Over the three months of living with and filming the women at the bakery, the story no longer became about being physically disabled in China, but rather more specifically about the lives of these four specific Chinese women who live together at a bakery and who also happened to be disabled. The bakery became one of the few places in China where I felt completely accepted regardless of how different I looked from the rest of the society, and this I believe affected how I chose to portray the women.”

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Danielle Russell – The Odd Ones Out, 2014 – still from short film

The Odd Ones Out was a collaborative effort between myself and a former English classmate, Brittany Pearce. … Before living in China, my skin colour was not an important daily issue. It was only after living amongst a homogenous society of Chinese that I became acutely aware of my colour. I was now a novelty. … Romantic relationships between Chinese women and Black men were pervasive on the streets and in stories that were told. However, the total number of romantic relationships between Chinese men and Black women of which I was made aware during four years in China amounted to three. Race relations weighed heavily on my mind every day, especially on the public transportation when I would be stared at, jeered at, made the object of personal pictures and generally treated like a curio that was there for the education of the masses.”

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Danielle Russell – The Odd Ones Out, 2014 – still from short film

 

Digital: Sheena Rose

Sheena Rose is represented in the Digital exhibition (April 24-July 4, 2016). Here is a short feature on her work.

Bio

Sheena Rose was born in 1985 in Barbados. She is currently completing her MFA at the University on Northern Carolina at Greensboro, where she is the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship, and holds a BFA from the Barbados Community College. Rose has exhibited widely, including at Alice Yard in Trinidad; Real Art Ways, Hartford, Connecticut; the Queens Museum, New York; the Havana Biennial; the Art Museum of the Americas, Washington, DC, Greatmore Art Studios, Cape Town; the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Puerto Rico; the 2014 Jamaica Biennial at the National Gallery of Jamaica, the Aruba Biennial; and the Panama Biennial del Sur. Her work has been featured on the book covers of See Me Here, which was published by Robert & Christopher Publishers in Trinidad, and the novel The Star Side of Bird Hill by Naomi Jackson. She is the founder of an art group called Projects and Space, which organized public art projects.

 About the Work

“My art practice questions and shares my personal experiences of being a black Caribbean woman from Barbados. I examine everyday situations, pop culture, stereotypes, history, and urban spaces in my work. I work in many different media such as drawing, animation, paintings, performance, video and photography.”

“My artwork is influenced by my studies in the United States, and travels to South Africa, Suriname, North America, Belgium, and the Caribbean. I incorporate urban street life and overheard conversations into my art work. In my animated drawings, I fuse various places I’ve visited and show my experiences and interpretation of these countries.”

“One of the primary questions in my work is what is the pop culture of Barbados? My answer is a body of work called Sweet Gossip which includes paintings, live performances and photography, and was shown on social networking sites where gossip is typically shared.Social media is a powerful space for the dissemination of my work and transformation of my work through dialogue with the public. I was interested in the idea of private experiences shared publicly and so I created fifteen-second videos of soap operas on Instagram. The soap opera characters addressed various issues facing women, such as women’s positions in the society, expectations in relationships between men and women, and the life of an overthinking artist.”

 

Digital: Richard Mark Rawlins

Rawlins, Richard Mark - So think u could dance (5)

Richard Mark Rawlins – So You Think You Could Dance, 2015 – still from video

Richard Mark Rawlins is another artist in the Digital (April 24-July 4, 2016) exhibition:

Bio

Richard Mark Rawlins is a graphic designer and contemporary artist who lives and works in Trinidad. He is the publisher of the online magazine Draconian Switch, and collaborator in the Alice Yard contemporary art-space initiative. His most recent exhibition, Finding Black (2015), took place at Medulla Art Gallery, Port of Spain, Trinidad. He has had several solo exhibitions in Trinidad and was a resident artist in Vermont Studio Center, Vermont, USA (2012). His work has also been exhibited at the Museum of Art and Design, New York (2010) and in the Jamaica Biennial 2014 at the National Gallery of Jamaica. Richard Mark Rawlins lives and works in Trinidad.

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Richard Mark Rawlins – So You Think You Could Dance, 2015 – still from video

About the Work

“This short video examines ‘coonery and bufoonery’ as presented in a select choice of 1970s, 1980s and 1990s television shows featuring largely all black casts. Despite the difference in storylines, as well as casts, one main ‘staple’ of black television is ‘dance’. Dance as presented not for merit of skill, but rather dance as presented for laughs. Once the dance segment comes on the background track is not one of adulation, cheering or ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs,’ but rather the famous laugh track.”

“Presented here for contemplation is a video that is pieced together from edited YOU TUBE segments of the Cosby Show, That’s My Momma, Good Times, Family Matters, Different Strokes, Sanford and Son and The Jeffersons, all sandwiched between an opening and closing clip from the Al Jolson Movie showing a white actor in black face singing ‘negro’ music. The video attempts to question among other things the ways blacks were presented on television and the undesirable legacy of the dancing coon.”

 

Rawlins, Richard Mark - So think u could dance (3)

Richard Mark Rawlins – So You Think You Could Dance, 2015 – still from video