Special “First Sundays” Programme on November 5, 2017

First Sundays - Nov 5, 2017-01

There will exceptionally be no Last Sundays programme for the month of October 2017, but the National Gallery of Jamaica will present a special “First Sundays” programme on November 5 instead. The programme on November 5 will feature a musical performance by Jamila Falak and visitors will also have a final chance to view the Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection and We Have Met Before exhibitions, which are both being extended by one day for this special event. The November 5 programme is part sponsored by CB Foods.

We Have Met Before is presented in partnership with the British Council and features works by artists Graham Fagen (Scotland), Joscelyn Gardner (Barbados/ Canada), Leasho Johnson (Jamaica) and Ingrid Pollard (Guyana/ UK). The exhibition offers four distinct and contemporary perspectives on Plantation Slavery and its afterlives and the works invite the public to engage in the still pertinent and difficult conversations surrounding the subject.

The Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection features selections from the personal collection of Annabella and Peter Proudlock, who operated the celebrated Harmony Hall Gallery. Their collection spanned some fifty years, from the 1960s to the early 2010s, mainly featuring Jamaican artists, but also art and craft collected in their wide ranging travels around the Caribbean and Central America. The exhibition documents the history of the Harmony Hall Gallery which held a unique position in the development and promotion of the arts in post –independence Jamaica. 

The featured performer for November 5, Jamila Falak James studied voice, violin and upright bass at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts and is an alternative Jazz/Pop/Reggae Fusion singer, songwriter, musician and bassist. The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts awarded her an Honours Recital in April 2015 and 2016, for outstanding solo performance in voice. Jamila has a very eclectic taste in music, and is inspired by singers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Bob Marley, Lianna La Havas, Beyonce, Tori Kelly, Björk etcetera. She is no stranger to the stage and has provided supporting vocals for popular local Jamaican artistes such as Denyque, the late J Capri and Cherine Anderson just to name a few.

As is now customary for our Sunday programmes, the doors will be open to the public from 11 am to 4 pm and Jamila Falak’s performance starts at 1:30 pm. Admission and guided tours will be free. Complimentary refreshments will be offered, courtesy of CB Foods. The gift and coffee shop will also be open for business.

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Last Sundays on 24, 2017 to Feature Quilt

The National Gallery of Jamaica’s Last Sundays programme for September 24, 2017 will feature the Quilt Performing Arts Company. Visitors will also be able to view the We Have Met Before and the Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection exhibitions.

The Quilt Performing Arts Company was born out of a need for a fresh, new, innovative way of creating performance art. Using Caribbean rhythms, merging poetry, music and dance, the Quilt performers have developed their own unique performance style and an evolving theatre technique. Artistic director Rayon Mclean and his team continue break boundaries and redefine performance spaces, and this time the women in the company will be quilting from their heART through music, poetry and dance. The show is called #POW- Patches of Women. This is Quilt’s third time at the National Gallery. Continue reading

Last Sundays – August 27, 2017: feat. the Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection and Janine Jkuhl

The National Gallery of Jamaica’s Last Sundays programme for August 27, 2017, will feature the Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection exhibition as well as a musical performance by Janine Jkuhl.

The Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection exhibition features selections from the collection of Annabella and Peter Proudlock, who were the principals of Harmony Hall gallery in Tower Isle, St Mary. It documents some fifty years of collecting, mostly of Jamaican art but also of art and craft from elsewhere in the Caribbean and Central America. The exhibition tells the story of Harmony Hall, which holds a unique position in the history of Jamaica’s commercial galleries as it has served the local and tourist markets, and focuses on its role in the promotion of Intuitive art. And it also tells the story of a particular group of people who made their lives in post-Independence Jamaica and who were deeply immersed in the cultural and artistic developments of that moment, to which they actively contributed.

Janine Coombs, also known as Jkuhl (pronounced Jay-Cool), is an eclectic singer-songwriter and also an eclectic listener who is influenced by many genres of music. She describes herself as “a beatific musician, songwriter and singer of Classical and IndiePop.” A graduate of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, Janine Jkuhl recorded her first Album, STAR GAZE, in the summer of 2009. This album consists of ten inspirational Indie-Alternative-Fusion tracks, to inspire, heal and soothe the mind and soul of listeners. Since then, Janine has written numerous songs showcasing her developing style which she calls “Jkuhl.” She has been featured in RJR 94 FM’s Music Week Acoustiks Live Concert, the Gungo Walk Alternative Music and Art festival, the French Embassy’s Fete De La Musique, the JARIA Reggae Month Show, and the MUZAK Heart and Soul Noise Talent Show at the California State University, just to name a few. She has also been a guest soloist for the Diocesan Festival Choir of Jamaica Concert Series as well as the National Choral of Jamaica’s Elijah Tour. Her single Tempted was rated in the top ten songs of May 2016 on the USA Indie radio show, The John Wayne Show, Maven FM.

Visitors will also be able to view two other temporary exhibitions consisting of selections from the National Collection: New Dialogues and Art of Independence. Doors will be open to the public from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm; the musical programme will start at 1:30 pm. As is customary, admission will be free, along with free guided tours of the exhibitions. Our Gift and Coffee Shops will also be open for business. Proceeds from these as well as contributions to the National Gallery’s donation box are, as always, appreciated and are used to help fund programmes like Last Sundays as well as our exhibitions .

Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection – Gallery 4: Harmony Hall Intuitives

 

This is, for now, our final post on the Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection exhibition, which continues until November 4.

Jamaica has a long and rich history of popular and self-taught art but this has not always been fully valued and documented. There have however been several major efforts over the years to recognize the artistic mastery and significance of artists who have come out of this sphere. This started with the recognition of John Dunkley and David Miller Senior and Junior by the nationalist intelligentsia in the 1930s and 40s. In the 1960s, as Mallica “Kapo” Reynolds—a Revivalist bishop — received significant support from the young politician Edward Seaga and Jamaica’s first Director of Tourism, John Pringle. Kapo’s personality and work were, for instance, used in the Tourist Board Board advertising, as part of a campaign to convey that Jamaica was more than just a beach but had a rich and distinctive culture – a campaign which paved the way for later cultural tourism initiatives such as Harmony Hall. The emergence of the Rastafari movement in the 1960s also helped to validate and give visibility to popular cultural production.

The defining moment of what is now labelled as Intuitive art came with the National Gallery of Jamaica’s ground-breaking Intuitive Eye exhibition in 1979,which featured the work of a wide range of self-taught, popular artists such as Dunkley, the Millers and Kapo, as well as several newer exponents.  This exhibition was curated by David Boxer, the National Gallery’s Director/Curator at that time, who coined the term “Intuitive,” as an alternative to derogatory terms such as “primitive” and “naïve.” While the National Gallery’s promotion of the Intuitives was not uncontroversial, it was supported by a passionate group of collectors and enthusiasts. This included Annabella Proudlock, who had been friendly with artists such as Kapo since the 1970s, and Harmony Hall, which opened in 1981, quickly became the main private counterpart of the National Gallery in the promotion of the Intuitives.

Harmony Hall is best known, locally and internationally, for its association with Intuitive art, and particularly its Harmony Hall Intuitives exhibitions, which were held annually from 1982 to 2014. Annabella and Peter Proudlock maintained a close, supportive relationship with the Intuitive artists they exhibited over the years. Not surprisingly, the Intuitives are very well represented in their collection, with many of the works acquired from the Harmony Hall Intuitives exhibitions or directly from the artists.

This gallery highlights works by Mallica “Kapo” Reynolds, Albert Artwell, Allan “Zion” Johnson and Birth “Ras Dizzy” Livingston – all major exponents of Intuitive art. It includes early works by these artists that were acquired before Harmony Hall was established and owned by Annabella, which also illustrates that there was a longer history of association which paved the way for what was later achieved at Harmony Hall.

Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection – Gallery 3: Living with Art

Another post on the Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection exhibition, which is on view at the NGJ until November 4.

The thematic structure of this exhibition is designed to encourage the viewer to approach the works on display for their potential to tell particular aspects of the story of Ogden-Proudlock family, and it is important to note that they lived with all of these works at their Te Moana home, in configurations which were often quite different from what is presented in these galleries. This gallery attempts a more intimate look at what it meant to “live” with this extensive collection and the installation in this section reflects less of the conventional gallery aesthetic and more of the reality of living with a large collection.

There were interesting demarcations within the Proudlock home, with the more public areas of the living room displaying their beloved Jamaican Intuitives, most of which are to be found in Gallery Four, but which are represented here by the works of Zaccheus Powell and William “Woody” Joseph. The living area also featured works by friends such as Lisa Remeny, whose surreal work depicted daily life at Te Moana itself, Graham Davis, and Jonathan Routh (whose works on the Harmony Hall theme can be seen in Gallery Two). The exuberance found in the colours and subject matter of the “tourist” art that was mounted in their large kitchen reflected their travels to locales such as Haiti and Costa Rica, while the more intimate areas of the bedrooms held works that were more restful or of personal significance, such as Angela Landels’ portraits of Annabella, Sebastian and Jessica in Gallery One, or works by close friends and frequent Harmony Hall exhibitors such as Colin Garland, Albert Huie and Graham Davis.

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.