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

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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.”

 

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

 

Digital: Gabriel Ramos

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Gabriel Ramos – Barro, 2015 – still from animation

Digital continues until July 4, 2016. Here is a short feature on Gabriel Ramos, one of the artists in the exhibition:

Bio

Gabriel Ramos was born Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, 1987. He attended the University of South Florida, where he attained his BFA in Photography in 2011. Ramos has been exhibiting in group and solo exhibitions in Florida since 2008. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Juror’s Award, Files & Film Photography Exhibition, Oleson Gallery in 2014 and was a Finalist in the Creative Loafing Visions Video Contest 2012. His current artwork is mainly photography, but has expanded into sculpture, installation and video. He lives and works in Florida, USA.

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Gabriel Ramos – Casa, 2015 – still from animation

About the Work

“My current body of work portrays small-scale structures constructed out of layered paper details based on the nostalgia about my life in Puerto Rico. … I am a scavenger and an editor of light, composition, form and color within the constructed environment. Delicacy and the frailty of the materials foreground the passage of time through the instability of the medium I use to create my sets.”

“The inspiration for these constructions is drawn from my childhood memories. Even though the constructions are inspired solely by past memories, unconsciously through the process present memories get integrated into the composition. As a result of the conflated memories within the constructed image, I create an imaginary space both within and beyond the photograph. The concepts of fragility, the ephemeral quality of a home and memory are some of the important factors in my process as well as in my artwork. By just using my recollection the overall composition for the constructions becomes more abstracted and imprecise.”

“The video pieces portray the distortion of memory visually by deconstructing the composition and reconstructing it again. In a sense the act of forgetting and remembering is depicted in the video works by showing the deconstruction and reconstruction in a constant loop. My work also foregrounds the ephemerality of memory through the destruction of the work, from which only the photograph survives.”

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Gabriel Ramos – Chiringas, 2015 – still from animation

 

 

Digital: Jik-Reuben Pringle, Kaleb D’Aguilar

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Jik-Reuben Pringle & Kaleb D’Aguilar – Day One (2015) – still from short film

Jik-Reuben Pringle and Kaleb D’Aguilar are also among the artists in the Digital exhibition (April 24-July 4, 2016):

Bio

Jik-Reuben Pringle is a Jamaican artist. He attended the University of Technology where he attained a Bachelor’s Degree in Land Surveying and Geographic Information Studies. He has been working professionally as a commercial, product and fine art photographer for the past five years and most recently started in videography and filmmaking. Pringle has been exhibiting in group exhibitions locally and in Germany since 2015. He lives and works in Kingston, Jamaica.

Kaleb D’Aguilar is a young Jamaican actor, dancer, poet, writer and artist. His passion for the arts blossomed at Ardenne High School where he was an active participant in the JCDC Speech and Drama Competitions. However, Kaleb found that he could not only perform, but also craft words into poems, short prose and even script; eventually solidifying a passion for the literary arts. Currently, Kaleb is a member of the Quilt Performing Arts Company and an undergraduate student at the University of the West Indies where he is doing a BSC in Anthropology.

 

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Jik-Reuben Pringle & Kaleb D’Aguilar – Day One (2015) – still from short film

About the Work

Day One is a short film about a young father who is unexpectedly left with the responsibility of caring for a newborn baby after its mother dies. The film dramatically portrays the moral dilemmas and practical challenges faced in such a situation and reflects on the challenges of fatherhood, in a social context where male parenting issues are rarely considered or represented. As Kaleb D’Aguilar states, “Day One was written as social commentary…an unexplored narrative…an unheard voice.”

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Jik-Reuben Pringle & Kaleb D’Aguilar – Day One (2015) – still from short film

Crew:

Script Writer: Kaleb D’Aguilar

Director: Kaleb D’Aguilar

Director of Photography: Jik-Reuben Pringle

Editor: Maya Wilkinson

First Camera: Jik-Reuben Pringle

Second Camera: Kid Bazzle

Production Manager: David Ebanks

Cast:

Richie – Darian Reid; Baby Ava – Zemira D’Aguilar;

Friend – Kaleb D’Aguilar;

Special thanks to Salome Lodge and Chantae Martin