Save the Date – “John Dunkley: Neither Day nor Night” to open on Sunday April 29, 2018

The National Gallery of Jamaica (NGJ) is pleased to announce the homecoming of the exhibition John Dunkley: Neither Day nor Night April 29-July 29, 2018 after its eight-month run at the Pérez Art Museum in Miami (PAMM) where it was hailed as one of  “the most exciting museum shows around the US in 2017”.

Little in the history of Western art prepares us for Dunkley, wrote the late Dr David Boxer (1946-2017), Dunkley historian and curatorial advisor to PAMM. “There is a hypnotic rhythmic intensity in Dunkley’s paintings that is alien to English and American masters,” John Dunkley (b. 1891, Savanna-la-Mar — d. 1947, Kingston) is considered one of Jamaica’s first and finest ‘Intuitive’ or self-taught artists and the title of the show is a reference to his work’s idiosyncratic mood and palette: detailed, haunting imageries of landscapes, with psychologically and psycho-sexually suggestive underpinnings.

Though a selection of Dunkley’s work is on permanent display at the NGJ, only 50 paintings by Dunkley exist in the world. The exhibition’s return home then gives local audiences the rare opportunity to see this collection of thirty-four (34) paintings and nine (9) sculptures together for the first time since the NGJ Retrospective of his work in 1976.

Aside from his inclusion in the 1939 World’s Fair in San Francisco and the NGJ/Smithsonian travelling exhibition of 1983, Dunkley’s work was relatively unknown in the United States until PAMM’s light shone on Dunkley as a beacon of modern and contemporary art from the Caribbean. The Miami exhibition, organized by Curators Diana Nawi, former Associate Curator at PAMM along with Nicole Smythe-Johnson, independent curator, received rave reviews from ArtForum, Miami Rail, The Huffington Post, among others and art critic Matthew Higgs lamented the fact that he would have included it in his Best of 2017 list had he seen it sooner.

Smythe-Johnson, assisted by the NGJ Curatorial team, will oversee the local abridged installation of the show.  An accompanying monograph will be published and includes: Dr David Boxer’s last essay, which brings together over forty years of research into Dunkley’s life and work; an essay by Olive Senior that contextualises Dunkley within his historical moment; and an essay by the exhibition’s curators.

The monograph and the exhibition together present not only what Dunkley has been for Jamaica and the region, but also what he could become for the world.

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Portraits in Dialogue and Engaging Abstraction exhibitions extended to March 25 !

The National Gallery of Jamaica is pleased to announce that due to popular demand, we will be extending the exhibitions Explorations V: Portraits in Dialogue and Explorations VI: Engaging Abstraction until March 25, 2018.

“Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection” Opens at National Gallery’s Last Sundays on July 30

The National Gallery of Jamaica’s new exhibition, the Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection, will open on Sunday, July 30, 2017. Paul Issa will be the guest speaker at the function, which will start at 1:30 pm, and this will be followed by a musical performance by singer Stephanie.

The Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection exhibition 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 also tells the story of a particularly 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.

Annabella Ogden Proudlock, who had been a successful fashion model in London in the 1960s, moved to Jamaica with her first husband David Ogden in 1966. David Ogden became a partner in Perry Henzell’s Vista Productions company, which did pioneering work in film and television production in Jamaica, and Annabella started working with Operation Friendship, an inner-city programme for children where she first taught and later directed the Christmas card programme. They had two children, Sebastian and Jessica.  After David died in 1978, Annabella moved her young family from Kingston to Ocho Rios and entered the local craft industry with her Annabella Boxes, finely wrought cedar boxes decorated with Jamaican art reproductions that remain as classic Jamaican craft items to the present day. Annabella then teamed up with a group of friends—the artists Graham Davis and Dawn Scott, the architect Ben Eales, and, soon also, the chartered accountant Peter Proudlock, who became Annabella’s second husband—to restore Harmony Hall, a 19th century Methodist manse in Tower Isle, St Mary. Harmony Hall opened in 1981, with Annabella as the Managing Director, and quickly established itself as the premier art gallery on the Jamaican North Coast, with regular exhibitions and ongoing stock display of local art and craft. While Harmony Hall has shown a wide range of art and artists, the Gallery is best known for its association with the Intuitives, with the much-anticipated annual Harmony Hall Intuitives exhibitions and regular solo exhibitions. Annabella Proudlock was actively involved in scouting new talent and maintained a close supportive relationship with the new and older Intuitives, and this approach also carried over in her involvement in craft development, for which the annual Easter Craft Fairs were a major outlet. Annabella passed away in 2015 and Peter Proudlock in 2016, which marked the end of an era in Jamaican art.

 

 

Illustrating the extent to which art collections are also historical artefacts, much of the work in the Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection is directly associated with the Proudlocks’ involvement with Harmony Hall and its artists, and the Harmony Hall building even appears as a regular subject. The exhibition also includes several works that Annabella collected before Harmony Hall was established, art works and craft items that were collected during their many travels in the Caribbean and Central America, and a few key works that were first in Annabella and Peter’s collection but are now owned by others. The Proudlocks actively lived with their collection, which could be found in all parts of their home, including the spectacularly decorated kitchen, and the exhibition therefore also speaks about living with art. The exhibition also includes photographs and documentary material on the lives of Annabella, David Ogden, Peter Proudlock and their family and friends, and, of course, on Harmony Hall.

The guest speaker on Sunday, July 30,  Paul Issa, who was long-time friend of Annabella and Peter Proudlock, is a well-known Jamaican hotelier, philanthropist and actor. He is Deputy Chairman of the House of Issa and its subsidiary Issa Hotels & Resorts Ltd. which owns and operates Couples Resorts, and he is Chairman of the Issa Foundation.

Stephanie

Stephanie is a singer, songwriter and model, whose reggae fusion sound incorporates the essence of reggae, R&B, soul, dancehall, and pop. After a stint with the Ashearibbean Performing Arts Company, where she trained and toured as a singer, dancer, and musical theatre actor, Stephanie provided backing vocals for local and international artists, such as the Basque Band singer Fermin Muguruza and reggae acts such as Groundation, Cherine Anderson, Coco Tea, Chaka Demus & Pliers and Mr Vegas. She also recorded two studio albums with Sly & Robbie for Sony Music Japan. Along with Chantelle Ernandez and Scantana, she formed the group UNITZz, whose two albums J Paradise and J Lovers gained tremendous success in Japan. A seasoned songwriter, Stephanie is signed to Rebel America Inc (a production and publishing company in Dallas, Texas) where she writes and records songs for placements on television shows, movies, international ad campaigns, and labels. In February of 2013 Stephanie founded the indie record label Havatio Music. Her debut EP Real Woman and debut album The Christmas Collection were released by Havatio in 2013 to rave reviews. Additionally, along with a group of music industry professionals, Stephanie is a Director for the Gungo Walk World Alternative Music and Arts Festival that is held annually at the Edna Manley College.

The opening of the Annabella and Peter Proudlock Collection coincides with the National Gallery’s Last Sundays programme for July 2017. While the opening function starts at 1:30 pm, and will be followed by the musical performance, the National Gallery’s doors will, as usual, be open from 11 am to 4 pm. The event is open to the public and admission is free; all are cordially invited. Contributions to the donations box are gratefully accepted and the gift and coffee shops will also be open. Proceeds are used to fund exhibitions and programmes such as Last Sundays.

Last Sundays, April 24, 2016 – feat. Digital and Chevaughn

Digital - Invitation-01

The National Gallery of Jamaica’s Last Sundays programme for April 24, 2016, will feature the opening of the Digital exhibition and a musical performance by Chevaughn.

Digital, as the title suggests, is an exhibition of digital art, including video, animation, short films, GIFs, digital illustrations, photography, and social and interactive media, and was curated by Veerle Poupeye, O’Neil Lawrence, and Monique Barnett-Davidson. The exhibition is based on a call for submissions, which was, for the first time in the National Gallery’s history, extended to the wider Caribbean and its diaspora. Of the 73 submissions received, 39 were selected for the exhibition, which features artists who are based in or from Jamaica, Barbados, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, Suriname, Bermuda, Martinique, Guadeloupe, St Martin, the USA, Canada, France, England, Germany and China. The selected artists are: Ewan Atkinson; Sonia Barrett; Jacqueline Bishop; Kimani Beckford; Beverley Bennett; Ruben Cabenda; Larry Chang; Robin Clare; James Cooper; Di-Andre Caprice Davis; Pablo Delano; Cecile Emeke; Luk Gama; Gregory Stennatt; David Gumbs; Versia Harris; Horacio Hospedales; Katherine Kennedy; Prudence Lovell; Kelley-Ann Lindo; Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow; Olivia McGilchrist; Shane McHugh; Patricia Mohammed; Richard Nattoo; the New Media and Process Class, Edna Manley College; Sharon Norwood; Jik-Reuben Pringle; Gabriel Ramos; Richard Mark Rawlins; Sheena Rose; Danielle Russell; Oneika Russell; Nile Saulter; Henri Tauliaut; Phillip Thomas; Dione Walker; Rodell Warner, Arnaldo James and Darron Clarke; and Ronald Williams. Most of the works in Digital engage actively with the political implications of images and image-making and the exhibition invites reflection about the rapidly changing dynamics of technology, culture, society and visuality since the “digital revolution,” globally and in the Caribbean context.

Chevaughn is a singer/songwriter, who is acclaimed for a velvet smooth tenor infused with rich gospel inflected tones. His unique voice can be heard on Holiday, the chart-topping breakout song of 2009 with Ding Dong, and he was the lead singer of the eclectic roots group C Sharp. January 2014 saw the singer separate from the group to focus on his journey as a solo artist and he launched his debut EP Hopeless Romantic (2014). He has created quite a stir amongst fans across the globe, especially in The Bahamas where fans have taken a particular liking to his song Know Your Friends. His most current songs include So Many Rivers, You Lose and So Let It Be and he is in the process of recording an album with the inimitable Digital B Records and Frankie Music, whilst personally producing a very special project #FromScratch.

The National Gallery of Jamaica’s doors will be open from 11 am to 4 pm on Sunday, April 24 and the exhibition opening and the performance by Chevaughn will start at 1:30 pm. As is customary, admission will be free but contributions to the National Gallery’s donations box are always appreciated. The National Gallery gift and coffee shops will be open for business and proceeds from these ventures help to fund programmes such as Last Sundays and exhibitions such as Digital.

Call for Submissions: Digital

Digital-(call-for-submission)(3)

Submissions for the DIGITAL exhibition have now closed. We are very excited about the number and quality of submissions we have received – it will be a very interesting exhibition. Shortlisted candidates will be notified by March 13 the latest.

The National Gallery of Jamaica is inviting submissions to its Digital exhibition, which will open on Sunday, April 24, 2016 and run until July 2, 2016.

Digital media has arguably been the fastest growing field in contemporary visual art and an area of major innovation and experimentation, with many applications in related areas such as music videos and fashion photography. In photography, which has become a dominant medium in contemporary art, digital photography and printing are now the norm. New possibilities emerge constantly, for instance in the field of 3D printing. The Caribbean has been no exception and many younger artists are engaging and exploring new media such as animation, GIFs, video installations, digital illustration, computer graphics, web based art, and so forth. This exhibition celebrates digital art forms in all digital media, from digital photography to multimedia installations, produced by artists based in the Caribbean and its diaspora and also encourages the development and recognition of such media in the Caribbean context. From the submissions received, up to thirty will be selected by the National Gallery’s curatorial team to be shown in the Digital exhibition. An illustrated exhibition catalogue will be published.

Eligibility: Open to artists resident in the Caribbean and Caribbean nationals residing elsewhere. There are no restrictions of age. Collaborative submissions involving more than one artist are permitted.

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WHAT WE HAVE IN STORE FOR YOU – UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS

Judith Salmon, Palimpsests (2014, detail)

Judith Salmon, Palimpsests (2014, detail)

Now that the Jamaica Biennial 2014 is behind us, we are pleased to let you know what we have in store for the rest of the year, in terms of exhibitions.

The first major exhibition will be Explorations III: Seven Women Artists, which is scheduled to open on May 31 and features work by Kereina Chang-Fatt, Berette Macaulay, Amy Laskin, Prudence Lovell, Judith Salmon, Jasmine Thomas-Girvan and Miriam Hinds-Smith, seven mid-career artists who are highly accomplished but who have not yet received significant national attention. This exhibition is presented as the third edition of our Explorations series, which started in 2013 with Natural Histories and explores the major issues and themes in our collection and in Jamaican art. Explorations III: Seven Women Artists asks whether the notion of women’s art is relevant in Jamaica today and how the work of female artists has been and is positioned vis-à-vis the conventional artistic hierarchies in Jamaica.

Amy Laskin - Flora and Coral Collaborate (2014)

Amy Laskin – Flora and Coral Collaborate (2014)

This will be followed by Young Talent 2015, which will feature the work of six to eight artists under forty years old. The Young Talent exhibitions, which were inaugurated in 1985, are designed to unearth and encourage new and emerging artists and to provide a platform for the development of contemporary art in Jamaica. The call for submissions can be found here – please note that deadline for submissions has Young Talent 2015 has been extended to Friday, June 26 and that the exhibition is now scheduled to open on August 30.

Banana Man

Alvin Marriott – Banana Man (1955, Collection: NGJ

Our final exhibition for the year will be Explorations IV: Masculinities which is scheduled to open on December 6. Masculinities, which is being curated by O’Neil Lawrence, explores the representation of masculinity in Jamaican art, with a special focus on works of art from our collection, and relates these representations to the dominant and alternative constructions of masculinity, personhood and nationhood that have emerged in pre- and post-independence Jamaica. Continue reading