The D’Aguilar Art Foundation is delighted to announce the opening of Diversions, an exhibition of photography by artists Melissa Alcena, Alessandro Sarno and Sofia Whitehead. Diversions features three series of works that explore the spaces outside the demands of daily life in The Bahamas.
Alcena, Sarno and Whitehead capture their subjects in different processes of diversion. We see people outside of schedules, putting down obligations and forgetting concerns, instead committing to relaxation and play. In a time when racial and political concerns are so tender and consuming, these images offer a glimpse into our methods of untethering and unwinding. We gravitated towards these particular photographs because it also gave us, as viewers, a way to escape.
Alcena and Whitehead, both Bahamians, pay witness to their experience of returning home, a passage and re-entrance that is both routine and complex for Islanders. Their photographs showcase the deeply familiar way they encounter their subjects and landscape; acting almost as document. Sarno, a native of Italy, is a tourist that has immersed himself in Bahamian life. His interest in travel and observing the lesser-known routines of Bahamian-life reveal the photographer’s own form of escapism.
'Diversions' brings together photographs that describe the candid joy of downtime.
Melissa Alcena (1988, The Bahamas) went to Canada in 2010 where she attended Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario and completed a 2 year Applied Photography course in 2012. Melissa’s approach to portraiture is environmental. Photographing her subjects in their surroundings, she highlights aspects of their lives and personalities. This will be her first public exhibition.
Alessandro Sarno (Italy), finds inspiration traveling around the Islands of The Bahamas; his photography focuses on the vernacular, on the indigenous expressions of people he encounters, on landscapes, wildlife. He is drawn to the intricacies of Bahamian life: worship services, concerts, funerals, civic activities and all the little details that emerge in between. He published two coffee tablebooks, Blue And Beyond, and Catch Da Cat, to portray life in The Bahamas. He held his first solo exhibition at the Ladder Gallery in Nassau in 2015.
Sofia Whitehead (1990, The Bahamas) received her bachelor in Business administration and marketing from the Universidad ORT Montevideo, Uruguay. Her love of photography led her to continue her studies in courses such as Black and White Photography at Foto Club Uruguay, and Photoschule in Vienna, Austria. In 2014, Sofia returned home and began photographing and interviewing women throughout The Bahamas for a project called ‘Project Bahama Mama’. Her research will be compiled in a book to be published in 2018. Sofia exhibited earlier this year in The Bahamian Project Exhibition Central Bank.
'The Art of Losing' is based on the poem of the same name by Pulitzer Prize winning author Elizabeth Bishop.
The exhibition was part of Transforming Spaces art tour 2017, an annual art experience which includes all the leading galleries in Nassau.
'The Art of Losing' is inspired by Bishop's poetry, marrying the literary imagery of ther poem with visual moments in Bahamian Art. The selection of pieces contemplates the loss of time, material possessions, desire and loved ones. The viewer is encouraged to examine their perspective on how loss shapes our life experience, and also find catharsis in the fact that loss is ever present, by seeing it plainly and discussing it candidly.
The D'Aguilar Art Foundation is pleased to present 'This is Yours, That is Mine', a presentation of new works by Jeffrey Meris and Tessa Whitehead. Both artists examine fragments of the landscape as a record of the ruins of history and a demonstration of desire, power and surrender. Meris exhibits drawings and sculptures that examine the literal and physical street as a binding space for black culture and a stage for trauma. Whitehead's paintings and objects of unkept landscapes are an inquiry into failure and surrender.
July 5th 2016, body is traumatized, irresponsive. Blackness plunges into a coma. This body of work serves as a grounds for dialogue, engagement and repositioning of trauma executed against blackness. Watching Alton Sterling’s and Philando Castile’s bodies desperately fall from grace and to the tarmac- both made available for public consumption- left me questioning the fragility and dispensability of not just black bodies but black people. The mundane suddenly holds political significance when one thinks of what it means to be street, of the street or from the streets that were not really designed for or by us. The work oscillates between celebration, contemplation, mourning and rebirth.
July 8th 2016, The Bahamas issues travel warning “advising all Bahamians traveling to the US but especially to the affected cities to exercise appropriate caution generally. In particular young males are asked to exercise extreme caution in affected cities in their interactions with the police. Do not be confrontational and cooperate.”
Jeffrey Meris is a Nassau based artist born in 1991. Meris received an Associates of Art in Arts and Crafts from the College of The Bahamas and a B.F.A in Sculpture from Tyler School of Art, Temple University in May 2015. Meris is the recipient of 2010 Popopstudios Junior Residency Award, 2012 Harry C Moore Lyford Cay Foundation Art Scholarship and Temple University 2012 Scholar Award, winner of 2013 Central Bank of The Bahamas Art Competition and Guttenberg Arts Artist in Residence 2016. Meris has shown locally and internationally in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Vienna and Haiti. Jeffrey Meris is the black power ranger.
Tessa Whitehead’s explorations of landscape and objects explore the connection between journey, landscape, love and loss. She objectifies symbols, and symbolizes objects – a bed, a rainbow, a house, a kiss – which while anonymous are also universal, and play with the tension between the disrupted forms and the strong emotional and physical connotations we attach to them. The works draw from the act of looking at the landscape as a way to describe the introspective self: as lovers, as conquerors, as adventurers, as passive observers or active viewers. And how this varies depending on your point of view and movement or whether the geography is familiar or unfamiliar.
Whitehead received her MFA from The Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, London. Recent exhibitions include a solo presentation at VoltaNY (2016), Paintings 2008-2013, POPOPstudios ICVA, Nassau (2015); Nassau Calling (with Heino Schmid), curated by Amanda Coulson and Uli Voges, HilgerBROTKunsthalle, Vienna, Austria; A Call For Drawings (with Heino Schmid) (2015), project by Klaas Hoek, BAK, Utrecht; Showoff (with Heino Schmid), curated by LeandaKateLouise, London, UK (2015). Whitehead was awarded the Chisenhale Studio4 Residency (2014), her work was shortlisted for the Wells Art Contemporary, Well's Museum, UK (2013), the Threadneedle Prize, Mall Galleries, London (2012) and she was awarded the William Coldstream Memorial Prize for which her work acquired by the University College London collection (2009).
American-born photographer, Greg Pesik,
has for the last three decades recorded his extensive global travels through
his camera lens. Reflecting a fascination with the solace of the morning and the
evening, Pesik captures dimming and glowing light enveloping architecture, landscapes
A business entrepreneur by trade, Pesik’s creative endeavors have been a great companion to his work, “Photography and my work have been closely connected for decades. Behind the lens, I gain the advantage of looking at issues from diverse perspectives. I feel very fortunate to apply the resulting open-mindedness to my professional life."
With regards to the images in the exhibition, Pesik brilliantly captures vistas bathed in the delicate light of the "golden hour", the time of the day at dawn and dusk when the sun lies between the horizon and 6 degrees above. While hunting for the most striking compositions during his travels, Pesik strives "to illicit a feeling in a viewer, not just record an event.”
“Nomad of the Golden Hour” is the first solo exhibition for Greg Pesik, and includes images from the ancient canals of Venice to the wintery mountain peaks of Iceland to the momentous Great Wall of China, and everywhere in-between.
Each year, The D’Aguilar Art Foundation kicks off the academic year by featuring an exhibition with appeal across all age groups, including younger audiences and class visits. We hope this exhibition will bridge the gap between fine art and classroom studies, connecting striking images of geography, climate, geology and the environment to the facts and figures of text books and lectures.
The D'Aguilar Art Foundation proudly presents a solo exhibition by Maxwell Taylor, in which richly orchestrated prints pay homage to family, nurturing matriarchs and the ceremonies of a happy home.
This bold and technically complex body of work was created during two recent Artist residencies, at Robert Blackburn studios, New York (2015), awarded by The DAF, and Art in Residence at the University of Tampa, Florida (2016), and sees Taylor rework subject matter familiar to him through the breadth of printmaking techniques.
D’Aguilar Art Foundation is delighted to announce the fourth collaborative
exhibition for Jammin, by renowned artists John Beadle, Stan Burnside and
Antonius Roberts. Jammin IV features
a series of paintings made by the collaborators throughout 2015, a continued
effort that began in 1985, when Jackson Burnside and Stan Burnside worked
together to create a sculptural painting titled, Faces. Stan describes the piece as a continuation of their work with
Junkanoo, "it was our attempt to
take the process, the Junkanoo collaborative process, into the painting
The collaborative name, Jammin, refers to the process of as many as six junkanooers working on a single costume simultaneously or in succession. In the same vein, the collaboration has assumed several assemblages of artists; in 1991, after working in the Junkanoo shacks together for a season, Burnside, Burnside and Beadle took their feverish energy into a new body of work. The trio made a series of paintings titled Jammin I. In 1993, Brent Malone and Antonius Roberts joined the group to create Jammin II, and in 1996, Burnside-Beadle-Burnside exhibited a body of work in Atlanta, Georgia for the Olympic Games, and at the Sao Paulo Biennial in Sao Paulo, Brazil, titled Jammin III.
The partnership developed a painting language that allowed the participating artists to respond and improvise on the material- akin to Jazz music- resulting in polyrhythmic, high-energy compositions. The result is a dense, abstract expressionism, with a deliberately shallow depth of field that does not allude to real space or place, but instead creates a new reality, contained by one frame and continued within another.
In a collaboration spanning over 30 years, the artist's individual successes are essential to the development of these wildly dynamic paintings. They are cohesive because of repetition, not because of passive mark-making; the marks are loud and combative at times, disjointed at others. The viewer is invited to drift between the paintings where figures, gesture and technique are revisited and redeployed, culminating in an immersive experience.
A selection of paintings from The D'Aguilar Art Foundation and Dawn Davies Collection that examine the symbolic and practical function of objects and stillness within contemporary painting.
The D'Aguilar Art Foundation is delighted to announce a solo exhibition by Dave Smith entitled 'Headlines'.
The exhibition features a new body of paintings in which Dave Smith continues his exploration of perspective and power. These paintings are an intriguing combination of old and new media and subject matter. Smith draws parallels between advertising, cultural iconography and headline-imagery, awakening us to the complexity of consumerism. Disrupting our inertia to the bombardment of shocking and enticing imagery in our day-to-day lives, Smith assembles images by formal considerations and not subject matter. At times pairing images of crime scenes with aspirational products, Smith dislocates and subverts the agency and sensation of objects and images; advertising memorabilia becomes anthropomorphic and corpse-like, and corpses resemble souvenirs. Though these paintings explore the accelerated speed of our multi-screen, headline-obsessed society, they unfold as they were made, in a slow and considered manner, calling us to spend time re-examining that which appears familiar.
Smith was born in Derbyshire, England and studied painting at Derby College of Art and Hornsey College of Art. After several years of part-time teaching in art schools, he collaborated with 3 other artists in 1969 to form the London-based Electric Colour Company, an artist collective engaged in the design and production of shop interiors, signage, fashion accessories and custom car finishes, primarily for the thriving London fashion scene of the late 1960’s, with the iconic, Pop-infused Mr.Freedom store at 430 Kings Rd. Chelsea being their debut assignment. He left England in 1973 for The Bahamas, where he taught art and began a prolific period of painting with photo-realist and neo-pop overtones, which he showed in a series of 8 solo exhibitions and numerous group shows in Nassau & Miami, FL. Smith left The Bahamas in 1990 and moved to Los Angeles, supporting himself initially by painting billboards, and subsequently working in TV and motion picture studios as a union scenic artist, including 17 years at NBC studios painting numerous backdrops for the Tonight Show. He held his last solo art exhibition in The Bahamas at The Central Bank of The Bahamas in 2011. Recent exhibitions include Nassau Calling: Art in The Bahamas at Galerie Ernst Hilger in Vienna Austria (2015) and London Transplants at Wallspace Gallery, West Hollywood California (2015).
Where the Wild Things Are Inspired by "Where The Wild Things Are" a popular and beautifully illustrated children's story by Maurice Sendak, this exhibition explores the wild and scary creatures of our imaginations, and the dark and foreboding places where they might be found.
While only a simple children's story, the appeal of "Where the Wild Things Are" is universal, finding favour with young and old since it was published in 1963. Its protagonist, heroic young Max, confronts his fears of the night with great fantasy, overcoming terrifying encounters with monstrous beasts on stormy seas and in brooding landscapes.
The wild things featured in literature, art and film are often inspired by animals found in the wild; animals that could pose a real threat to humans - such as lions, crocodiles and sharks. Of course, artistic interpretations of these creatures often exaggerate their most terrifying features, with audiences embracing the thrill of the fear they inspire. Other monsters, such as dragons and skeletons, are the product of age old myths that have become part of our collective memories of darkness. In recent times, a refreshing new look at what is frightening has surfaced, with children's films such as Monsters Inc. dissecting the story of the monster under the bed and turning the figments of children's nightmares into endearing characters.
Wild and hostile landscapes form an essential backdrop to many fearful visions, whether an allegorical representation of burning in hell, lost in stormy seas, stranded in a violent storm, or running from threats in a crumbling urban environment. Paintings that depict these powerful scenes can be challenging to live with, which is why many of the works in the DAF collection featured in this exhibit are not often on view. Yet these disturbing paintings are important in reminding us of the chaos and disintegration that could occur in our midst if we do not continue to strive for peace, order and progress.
The show, therefore, illustrates both the WILD THINGS - the monsters and demons and wild animals that symbolize our fears of the unknown, and WHERE THEY DWELL - the dark nooks and crannies of the world where unknowable threats can hide.
As Maurice Sendak wrote so eloquently over 50 years ago "“Inside all of us is… hope. Inside all of us is… fear. Inside all of us is… adventure. Inside all of us is… a wild thing.”
Ivanna, Alistair and Angelika are
currently studying for undergraduate degrees at Savannah College of Art and
Design, USA, JingDeZhen Ceramic Institute, China and University of Kent,
England respectively. While on summer break, each has created a new body of
work that reflects their developing practice, new influences and return to the
familiarity of home. Flourish brings
together three disparate developing practices to explore the ways in which contemporary
Bahamian artists create layers and connections in their work through travel, exposure
The past year at Savannah College of Art and Design has seen Ivanna focus increasingly on linear abstraction. She explores biomorphic shapes through line and shape; the subtlety of a closed line versus an open-ended line describes space and weight.
In the midst of a technically demanding ceramic course, Alistair explores an array of innovative techniques in this body of work; he paints on found ceramics, incorporates gold leaf, uses straw as a structural detail and explores handmade glazes. Attention to detail reveals itself in every aspect of the paint, carving and organic forms.
The Poinciana flower is a yearly offering that coincides with Angelika’s return home. She presents the flower as an offering of thanks. The female figure, an increasingly strong presence in Angelika’s work, presents as the giver and object.