‘Chat to mi Back’ the exit is part of a series called ‘Versions’, an alternative look at ‘Fashionistas’ in our Jamaican culture. I originally trained in Fashion in the UK, however I have worked more as a Textile artist. I recently revisited one of my favourite aspects of fashion, Illustration. This series is a humorous look at our very fashionable Jamaican women.
One Family – A Modern Family Album. Each portrait shows individual uniqueness in navigating society. Each one is different yet aware of the threads that hold Family together.
Lucille Junkere – The Yoruba Blues from Abeokuta Nigeria to Abeokuta Jamaica
The Yorùbá Blues responds to my ongoing research of Jamaica’s former indigo plantations linking to my 2016 Winston Churchill travel Fellowship to Nigeria to study indigo dyeing practices and pattern making amongst Yorùbá artisans. A link between Jamaica and Nigeria exists through Yorùbá indentured labourers arriving in Jamaica from the 1840s. They settled mostly in Hanover and Westmoreland and one of their villages is named after the Nigerian Yorùbá city Abẹòkuta. These indentured workers were able to preserve their cultural traditions in ways denied to those who had been brought to Jamaica as enslaved. Their descendants known in Jamaica as Ettu and Nago continue to maintain these traditional cultural practices to maintain their ancestral connections.
This series takes inspiration from the structure of Yorùbá indigo dyed cloths called àdìrẹ. The cloths incorporates intricate patterns and complex symbols reflecting indigenous Yorùbá society, providing a valuable insight into Yoruba religion, culture, folklore and history. The patterns are passed down through generations with the cloth functioning as clothing and a means of communication, especially for Yorùbá women, because originally àdìrẹ textiles were made entirely by women.
The Yorùbá Blues explores the notion of an ‘African Jamaican identity’ similar to the approach taken by photographer Armet Francis who reconstructed in visual terms the “underlying unity of the black people who, colonialism and slavery distributed across the African diaspora” (Francis, 1985).
Website – https://lucillejunkere.com
Heirlooms 2: Cycles of Genocide, is an exploration of problematize masculinities within the Jamaican society and was created to stimulate discourse regarding the self-destructive tendencies of the marginalized Jamaican male. The installation is imbued with physical and metaphorical symbols, which mirror the socio-cultural and socio-ethnic value systems which reject the underprivileged male, as a person of substance. These values and notions – which have been grounded in the trenches of colonialism, actively persist today and are handed down as heirlooms from one generation to the next. These heirlooms therefore, facilitate systemic cycles of self-hate, alienation and self-destructive behaviors, consequently, leading to cycles of futility, repression and death.
The artwork is composed of six pregnant male figures and multiple spherical red fiber forms. The pregnant figures represent a certain irony that society often ignores and are not adept to deal with – the pregnant male. Consequently, the pregnant male narrative becomes a parody, as he is forced to abort his pregnancy; never giving birth to his potential, talents, ambitions and aspirations. The six figures are embellished with toothpicks, which represent a form of unfortified defense system for the marginalized men in our society. The red fiber spheres represent blood, bleeding, talents, potentials, ambitions and life. The figures are hung with nooses around their necks, representative of the socio-economic and class/colour barriers that stymie their potential. The circular formation of the spheres, which are clustered in the center of the installation, represent repetition and continuity of this menacing, pervasive and vicious cycle.
I have a passion for fibre and an understanding of the sensitivity of threads and fabric which has grown beyond design and into sculptural forms. My practice focuses on the impact of the Other on the “I” and the quintessence of gender politics of the Other. I weave and stitch fibres and textiles into tactile and sometimes large-scale sculptural forms, engaging the sometimes ambivalent and stigmatizing ways society engages the female persona. My current works are an exploration into the notion of the woman’s body as a form of carriage, and how the womb becomes an unspoken voice of an Other for women’s existence and identity. They explore forms of intrusion in the constructed space and psychological space of fibrous vessels, similarly to the emotional intrusion of an Other, whether it be internal or external to the body; creating a sense of presence, absence and longing within.
Facebook Personal Page: https://www.facebook.com/katrina.coombs.10
‘My art is the truth of my soul through which I speak’
A meticulous individual, a native of the lush and scenic parish of St Mary, Jamaica. During my formative years of life my passion for art was encouraged by my family and friends. My gram-ma and mother encouraged me to draw and express myself, allowing me to use the interior and exterior of our home as a canvas. I am a graduate of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. At present I am a facilitator of one’s artistic growth, seeking to encourage one’s development through art. My inspiration comes from my love for the environment; its flora and fauna, social issues, my cultural identity and personal experiences. The urge to experiment with various materials also fosters my innate decision to create /make images.
To speak my truth.
This tapestry is a bereavement of my mother as a sculptural embodiment of shock, denial, pain and guilt, anger, bargaining, depression, reflection and loneliness.
An upward turn, reconstructing and working through the pain of loss, accepting and hope is shown in this complex and beautiful artwork.
The scale is a representation of my maternal parent’s importance, while the soft sculpture itself is one of strength, fragility and vulnerability.