NGJ Summer Exhibition: Hasani Claxton

Hasani Claxton

Hasani Claxton

Hasani Claxton – Angry Black Woman/A Right to be Hostile (left) & Buggin’Out (right)

My paintings and sculptures highlight the individuality of Black people — a luxury often denied to us in Western society. My work is concerned with subcultures that defy popular conceptions of Blackness: Black nerds, punk rockers, bohemians, among others. Similarly, my work disregards cultural expectations, finding inspiration in Japanese anime and manga, as well as American comics. I merge the eccentric visual language of these mediums with realist painting and sculpture, thus blurring the lines between realism and surrealism, between popular culture and fine art. Each work presents a crossover of ideas, affirming that culture is itself an infinitely malleable medium.

Regarding the 2 sculptures in the exhibition, they are satirical examinations of the prevalent stereotype that black women are overly emotional. I created hyperrealistic renditions of the absurd “Chibi” expressions from Japanese animation to expose the ridiculousness of racial stereotypes.

Instagram: @hasaniclaxton
Facebook: @hasaniclaxtonart


NGJ Summer Exhibition: Dana-Marie Bullock

Dana-Marie Bullock

DanaBullock_Scene41_AcrylicOilPastel- Artist.jpg

As a case in point, in “Scenes,” some may view the disjointed female body parts as an embodiment of the steady drip of oppression faced by females in society, with the bold eyes suggestive of not only fear and pain, but also society’s negligence in addressing these issues.

Instagram: @dana_bullock

NGJ Summer Exhibition: Shanique Brown-Moulton

Shanique Brown-Moulton 

Shanique Brown-Moulton

Shanique Brown-Moulton – Beautifully and Wonderfully Made

Brown-Moulton is heavily influenced by the American painter Kehinde Wiley and the content of her work speaks to self-love, confidence and embracing ones inner and outer beauty. Fearfully and Wonderfully made speaks to the inward and outward natural beauty that inspires delight and admiration. The portrait also emulates a sense of strength and majestic emanation/aura.

Instagram: @shaniquebm

NGJ Summer Exhibition: Hope Brooks

Hope Brooks

Hope Brooks - The Door - NG219

Hope Brooks – The Door

“…Where thirsting longing eyes

Watch the slow door

That opening, letting in, lets out no more….”

Lines from the poem “ECHO” by Christina Rossetti.

In this poem the poet Christina Rossetti is talking about the death of a loved one. It is one of several famous poems in the English language about death.  I chose it for its imagery of death being like a door 

“that opening, letting in lets out no more..”

The Painting titled “The Door” is about that experience.  When someone dies, in this case my life long friend and colleague Dr. David Boxer it is as if the person has passed through a door…

“…That opening, letting in. lets out no more…”

Another poem by Nancy Byrd Turner also likens death to a door,

“Death is only an old door 

    In a garden wall”

But seeks to soften the finality of death by making no reference to it.

Although the painting is about the loss of a friend and colleague it is also about the loss to the Jamaican art world that resulted from his untimely passing.  He had so much left to accomplish projects that he had planned to do and that now will never be completed. 

However many poets also speak of life as being a door in which death gives rise to new life and so we should look forward to that.  


Silver Musgrave Medal for Art: Donnette Ingrid Zacca

The National Gallery of Jamaica wishes to congratulate Donnette Zacca on her Silver Musgrave Medal, which was awarded today, and we are pleased to reproduce the award citation:

“The Institute of Jamaica recognizes Donnette Ingrid Zacca for outstanding merit in the field of Art”

“Born in St James in 1957, Donnette Zacca’s sojourn into photography began when she acquired her first camera while a ninth-grade student at the Mount Alvernia High School in Montego Bay. As a young country girl with a camera, she was driven to explore and discover a myriad of outdoor spaces – a practice that continues to this day as she travels to various locations across the island to capture scenes of natural beauty and sometimes otherworldly intrigue. She also produced portraiture, though mainly as a means of earning pocket money to support her new hobby.”

“From 1976 to 1980, Zacca attended the Jamaica School of Art, which is now part of the Edna Manley College, where she attained a Diploma in Art Education and Graphic Design. During these studies, she excelled in Photography, experimenting with a variety of shooting and printing techniques, including how to superimpose multiple photographic images within the same composition. After graduating, she continued her explorations, eventually developing an image-making technique of her own which she has called ‘marbling’.”

“In the late 1980s, she continued her photographic education, beginning with a course on Basic Architecture and Archaeological Photography, offered in Port Royal by the University of London (1987 – 1988). From 1988 to 1989, supported by scholarship from the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID), she attended the University of Cincinnati where she undertook studies in alternative and advanced photographic techniques. From 2000 to 2004, she pursued and acquired a Master of Fine Arts degree at the Maryland Institute College of Art.”

“Donnette Zacca has been exhibiting as a fine art photographer since the mid-1980s. Notable exhibitions in which she has maintained a consistent presence include the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s (JCDC) National Photographic Competitions and the Annual National and Biennial exhibitions of the National Gallery of Jamaica. She has also held a number of solo exhibitions, most memorable among them the Issues in Fertility exhibition at the Mutual Gallery in 2008. Her work is well represented in private as well as public collections.”

“Additionally, Donnette Zacca has contributed her photographic expertise to many national organizations, including the National Environmental and Planning Agency (NEPA) and the Jamaica Environmental Trust (JET). She has received important commissions, including the creation of twelve stamps for the Jamaica Postal Service in 2003, which featured White Sorrel and historic and modern buildings in Jamaica.” Continue reading

Jamaica’s Art Pioneers: Rhoda Jackson (1913-1971)

Rhoda Jackson -Washing by the River - (1945, Collection: NGJ)

Rhoda Jackson -Washing by the River – (1945, Collection: NGJ)

The Jamaican painter and designer Rhoda Jackson is usually mentioned in accounts of Jamaican art history, but has not received the more comprehensive attention her work warrants – her story is one of a number of untold stories in Jamaican art. While filling this gap requires a longer term research project, we are now presenting this short, initial feature on her work. We invite members of the public who have information about her life and work, and photographs of her extant work in painting and design, to contact us, so that we can expand and update this feature.

Rhoda Jackson (1913 – 1971) was a Jamaican artist and designer who was active from the mid 1930s to the 1960s. She was born in Gilmock Hall, St Elizabeth and was based in Mandeville for most of her life.  She attended the Hampton High School in Malvern, St Elizabeth in Jamaica and subsequently trained in art at the Reading University Arts School in England, and the Art Student League in New York City. Her uncle Cyril G. Jackson was a watercolourist of some note and was also based in Mandeville.

Rhoda Jackson - souvenir tea towel (Jamaica)

Rhoda Jackson – souvenir tea towel (Jamaica)

Rhoda Jackson is best known for the murals and designs she did mainly for the tourism industry, for instance at the Tower Isle Hotel, where she also had regular exhibitions. She also did designs for embroidery, including for the Allsides workshop, and other textiles and designed advertisements, postcards and book covers. She was one of the first professional designers on record in Jamaica – the art deco furniture designer Burnett Webster being another.

Richmond Barthe - portrait of Rhoda Jackson (c1960, Collection: NGJ)

Richmond Barthe – portrait of Rhoda Jackson (c1960, Collection: NGJ)

There are many things about Rhoda Jackson’s life that warrant further research: during her student years in England, for instance, she was friendly with the famous Scottish photojournalist George Rodger, one of the founders of the Magnum photographic cooperative. Rodger visited her in Jamaica in 1950 and made several noteworthy photographs of the island during his visit. The African-American sculptor Richmond Barthé, who owned a house in St Ann and lived in Jamaica from 1947 and for about 20 years, did a portrait bust of her circa 1960. Rhoda Jackson also appears to have been friendly with the English painter Eve Disher, who was a repeat visitor to the island.

Book cover design by Rhoda Jackson

Book cover design by Rhoda Jackson

Continue reading