Jamaica Biennial 2017 – Invited Artists: Oneika Russell

Oneika Russell – A Bit of What You Fancy (2017, video still)

On view until June 10 in the Jamaica Biennial 2017 at the National Gallery of Jamaica:

Oneika Russell was born in 1980, in St Andrew, Jamaica. She has a diploma in 2003 from the Edna Manley College of the Visual & Performing Arts, and an MA in Interactive Media from Goldsmiths College, University of London. She has recently completed her PhD in Art, concentrated in Media, Film & Video Art at Kyoto Seika University, Japan. She was a Commonwealth Foundation Arts & Craft Awardee and in 2003, she was the recipient of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts Purchase Award. Russell has participated in many local and international exhibitions, and has been a regular exhibitor at the National Gallery of Jamaica, most recently in the Jamaica Biennial 2014 and Digital (2016). She works in a variety of physical and digital media and says that “an interest in hand-craft and technological meeting points in service of explorations of history, culture and social narratives has always informed my work.” She is currently a lecturer in the Fine Art and Visual Communication Departments at the Edna Manley College. She lives in Kingston, Jamaica.

Oneika Russell – Antilles for the Antilleans: Saltwater (2017)

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Digital: Oneika Russell

Postcards 1 - Copy

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.

Postcards 2 - Copy

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.”

Young Talent V: Oneika Russell

Oneika Russell - Still from Drift (2010), written and produced by Tanya Davies

Biography

Oneika Russell was born in 1980, in Kingston, Jamaica. She was educated at Goldsmith’s College, University College of London, Centre for Cultural Studies (MA in Interactive Arts) and at the Edna Manley College, where she studied Painting. She was a Commonwealth Foundation Arts & Crafts Awardee in 2007, which was conducted at the Post-Museum in Singapore. She currently resides in Kyoto, Japan, where she is conducting postgraduate research at the Kyoto Seika University, Film, Video and Media Arts Department. Oneika also edits Art:Jamaica, a blog on contemporary art from the perspective of a young Jamaican artist.

Artist’s Statement

My current work consists of drawings, objects, digital animations and video. Characters and stories are the basis of my work. Many of the stories are my own inventions, reworked from the romanticized memories of images and tales of literary sources and mass media. My images are sequential and often episodic as I use reoccurring figures to suggest stories witch are in the Western psyche but filtered through my experience as a part of the Jamaican culture.  The work is often done as animations, mixed media on paper or as digital images intended for book publication or print. I seek to create a new narrative from old stories, which say something about my cultural experience and continued understanding of my self through the media.

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