Caymanian artist completes regional creative residency

| 02/09/2016
CNS Local Life

Boat Builder by Simon Tatum

(CNS): Artist Simon Tatum has recently participated in the Caribbean Linked IV residency programme in Aruba, which offered a space for select artists, creative activists, writers and critics from around the region to build relationships and connections across the creative industries, while developing a stronger portfolio and participating in global conversations. Tatum, the first artist from the Cayman Islands to participate in the programme, was partly funded by the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands (NGCI).

The grant towards Tatum’s placement directly supports NGCI’s mission to promote Caymanian art and opportunities for local artists regionally. The young artist is also pursuing a bachelor of arts in studio drawing at the University of Missouri in Columbia.

Tatum’s work focuses primarily on Caymanian history and uses appropriated photographs from the Cayman Islands National Archives. His work also draws upon themes of colonial history, migration, and the exploration of personal identity within the context of a Caribbean cultural background.

“My intention is to communicate to the Caymanian people the condition of our history and how easily it can be manipulated by outside sources,” he said. “My work promotes information literacy to further stimulate a creative society.”

In addition to exhibiting in Columbia, last year Tatum was one of 23 artists featured in the exhibition, “tIDal shift – Explorations of Identity in Contemporary Caymanian Art”, at the National Gallery. It was during this exhibition that NGCI director Natalie Urquhart introduced Tatum’s work to Caribbean Linked executives.

“It is wonderful to see a young Caymanian artist chosen for such an exciting opportunity,” Urquhart said. “Residencies, like Caribbean Linked, not only offer artists time to work but place artists in new communal contexts with new peers and mentors from all over the world. These factors create an environment where artists can make substantial jumps in their work in a short amount of time. The National Gallery is very proud to support Simon and watch him continue to achieve great things. We wish him all the best.”

Caribbean Linked is a residency project and exhibition organised across the region for young and emerging artists. Given the major socioeconomic difficulties that emerging creatives face in the region, Caribbean Linked aims to assist with the sustainability of artists and intra-regional creative communities. The annual residency is organised by Ateliers ’89 Foundation in collaboration with ARC Magazine and The Fresh Milk Art Platform.

To learn more about Simon Tatum, visit his website. For more information about opportunities for artists, email the National Gallery 

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Category: Arts

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