New art exhibition explores Cayman identity

| 09/09/2015
Cayman News Service

Flux of Self by Davin Ebanks

(CNS): The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands is opening a new exhibition, “tIDal shift – Explorations of Identity in Contemporary Caymanian Art”, which will run from 10 September-5 November.

Curator Natalie Urquhart explained the inspiration for this exhibition was a reflection on the title of artist Paul Gauguin’s 1897 painting, Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?, questions that she said are as pertinent to our current condition as they were more than a century ago.

“The Cayman Islands are in a state of flux,” Urquhart said. “The rapid socio-economic advances that have transformed our islands from maritime society to financial mecca in less than 50 years have had enormous repercussions on our wider culture, its expressions and material testimony.

“It is not surprising that much of our art community is grappling with the notion of what it means to be ‘of’ Cayman in 2015 and questioning what the future might look like in their work.”

The gallery selected 22 artists for the exhibition, nine of whom are exhibiting there for the first time. These artists were invited to explore the impact that this cultural shift has had on their sense of self, and on the wider concepts of collective identity.

Some create from a deeply introspective viewpoint via memory, family, language and personal mythology, while others address the wider, often highly contested, notions of immigration, political status, ethnicity and race, rights of citizenship, urban development, and erosion of tradition.

Urquhart explained, “The artists in this exhibition are voicing issues that many of us can relate to: concerns about development, the economy, human rights, environmental sustainability, over-reliance on social media, and so on. Their work offers a critical space through which to begin dialogue about some of these challenges.”

The artists exhibiting are Shane Aquart, Wray Banker, David Bridgeman, Matt Brown, Randy Chollette, Aston Ebanks, Davin Ebanks, Kerwin Ebanks, Meegan Ebanks, Sean Ebanks, Kaitlyn Elphinstone, Frank E. Flowers, Jamie Hahn, Ben Hudson, Greg Lipton, Elena McDonough, Pippa Ridley, Judy Singh, Gordon Solomon, Nasaria Suckoo Chollette, Simon Tatum and Elina Zavala.

A preview for National Gallery members and guests will be held this evening, Wednesday, 9 September from 6pm to 8pm.

The two-month exhibition will be supported by a varied programme of lectures, screenings and events relating to the topic, which will kick off on the evening of 10 September, from 6pm-7:30pm, when two visiting arts professionals from The Bahamas will discuss new art initiatives throughout the Caribbean.

For a full schedule visit the National Gallery website or call 945- 8111.


Category: Arts, Visual Arts

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