ARC is a beginning, a way for us to look at our world differently, to visualize the future we will inhabit. It is the articulation of a contemporary space, and of a place that lies within coordinates that have become scattered and nebulous, without boundaries. ARC began as an idea years ago, one that was consciously ignored until entering a very creative period in our lives, where through art production we were able to distill and come to terms with how the Caribbean and its idiosyncrasies have affected our perceptions of the world. As a region we have a collective understanding of our parts and fractions; we share a colonial and post-colonial present while bearing witness to the dynamic communities of artists that are growing, evolving and circumventing different cultures. We can envision for the first time a converging nexus of artists who want to share their motivations, aspirations and insights into how and why they create. ARC gives format and structure to conversations that have been occurring in the virtual world and brings recognition to established artists who are engaging with vocabularies of multiculturalism and experiences within the diaspora. ARC also yearns to be a nurturing abode, giving guidance and offering an outlet for experimentation to emerging artists who are hesitant and unsure of their paths. ARC frames its contents in divisions: Spotlight highlights emerging artists; 24fps presents a survey of established and experimental filmmakers; The Gradient positions conversation between artists; and Collections showcases the portfolios of artistes. For our premier issue we have gathered a collection of artists who are as diverse as our lands and peoples. Jamaican photographer Radcliffe Roye’s photographic practice is dissected while we pay homage to Lorraine O’Grady’s first foray into moving imagery. We introduce you to Headphunk, a spoken-word collective keeping the creative fire raging in St. Lucia. And we investigate the groundswell occurring around Sheena Rose, an animated video artist from Barbados. With this collection and philosophy in mind, we will unveil a host of engaging features in our upcoming issues, all in keeping with our mission of interaction and conversation. Here is to you, our supporters and readers, for making ARC a part of your lives. Here is to our first issue in print and the many to follow. Two by two we stride on the way to discovery.
Contributors _Meet the team
EDITOR IN CHIEF Holly Bynoe firstname.lastname@example.org CREATIVE DIRECTOR Nadia Huggins email@example.com Holly Bynoe is a Vincentian visual artist and writer based in New York City, and a recent graduate of Bard College International Center of Photography where she earned her M.F.A. in Advanced Photographic Studies. Her work has been shown regionally and internationally, and has been featured in numerous publications.
Nadia Huggins is a Vincentian self-taught digital photographer. Currently she is a graphic designer at an advertising agency in Saint Lucia and is a member of the Depthcore Collective. Her work has been featured in several publications regionally and internationally.
Tracy Assing is a writer, photographer, filmmaker based in Trinidad. Her work has been published in the Caribbean Review of Books and Caribbean Beat magazine. Her first documentary film, The Amerindians, premiered at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival in 2010.
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Tracy Assing firstname.lastname@example.org COPY EDITOR Vanessa Simmons email@example.com PROOF READER Pam Ratti firstname.lastname@example.org
Photography Courtesy: Alexander Gray Associates, New York Clayton Rhule Damian Libert Isaac Julien Kibwe Brathwaite Metro Pictures, New York William Tsang for Readytex Art Gallery
Oneika Russell is a Jamaican artist who makes work in animations, digital prints and drawings. Her studies of the present-day legacies of the British Empire, experiences and understanding of self in particular places, and play with drawing and representation in stories have been exhibited in the Caribbean and overseas. She is the editor of ART:Jamaica.
Marieke Visser has lived in Saudi Arabia, Burundi, Thailand and Suriname. She studied journalism, linguistics and literary theory in the Netherlands and has been living in Suriname since 1993. Visser’s literary work explores themes based around quest for identity, a quest that makes her feel at home in Suriname.
Andil Gosine Associate Professor of Sociology at York University and a Visiting Fellow at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, is the author of several articles in journals and anthologies. He will preview on-going projects “Bare: A Wardrobe for Heart” and “Kala Pani: A Wardrobe for Dark Waters” in New York this Spring.
© 2011 by ARC Magazine. All rights reserved. For more information on ARC visit www.arcthemagazine.com email: email@example.com Printed in Iceland by Oddi www.oddi.com Text: 150 gr UPM Finesse Silk Cover: 250 gr. Ensogloss Cover Image by Radcliffe Roye Inside Cover by Isaac Julien Inside Back Cover by Florine Demosthene
Tattree is a native of Norway, born in 1958, now residing since the early 80s between the major export harbours of Claxton Bay, Trinidad and Bridgetown, Barbados.
Katherine Atkinson is a Saint Lucian writer, teacher, television personality and the publisher of Fresh Magazine. She is the recipient of the 2006 National Arts Festival prize for short fiction, and winner of the 2007 Word Alive performance poetry competition.
We would like to extend our gratitude to everyone who helped us in the materialization of ARC. Our vision came to life with a support that was unexpected, and we thus extend our heartfelt thanks to all the artists who collaborated with us on our first issue, and to the writers who gave their time and talent. Without your belief and encouragement ARC would not have been possible. Our deepest appreciation for their guidance and support also goes to Francis & Ira Bynoe, Nicole Huggins, Carmet Huggins, Rodney Garraway, Pam Ratti, Vanessa Simmons, Matthew Carson, Tracy Assing, William Abbott, Stefan Serrette, Harry Scott, Nicholas Laughlin, Janyne & Lorenzo Golia, Tina Nacrelli, and all the other networks and communities who nurtured our ideas and collective passions.
_Collection of work from emerging artists.
08 Mariamma Kambon: Castle of My Skin
14 Resistance is Fertile
24 Lorraine O’Grady’s Landscape
66 Going to Town and Other Places
72 This is Not Paradise
22 Second Light _Poem by Ishion Hutchinson
_Sunil Puljhun, Florine Demosthene, Keisha Scarville
50 From Railroads to Doctor’s Cave _Radcliffe Roye
_Interview with Art Director Tanya Marie Williams
82 Artist List
From the compilation of work we see traditional vocabularies being kept alive, while digital art and design are raising to the forefront of popular practices. We want to capture the pulse of artists who are engaging with their inspirations, observations and experiences.
_a collection of work from emerging artists who are exploring expression and form.
01 Gerrel Saunders Trinidad & Tobago Gerrel Saunders, also known as GAKS, is a multi-disciplinary graphic designer and illustrator from the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago. His life revolves around his passion for art and experimentation.
02 Lowell Royer Dominica Lowell Omwale Royer is a 27-year-old painter from Dominica. He currently attends the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Jamaica. Along with painting on canvas, he manages a wealth of other art-related tasks such as murals, graphics and set design. In addition, he does tattooing as his second profession, through which his love for art still permeates.
03 Jade Achoy Trinidad & Tobago Young and enthusiastic, Jade Achoy was born and raised in the city of San Fernando. At 22, she graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts with First Class Honours, and received the MP Alladin Prize for Best Visual Arts Degree Student 2009/2010. Jade is now a freelance graphic artist and illustrator.
04 Stacey Byer Grenada Stacey Byer is a Grenadian artist who contemplates the surface of objects in her environment in order to stimulate her imagination; it encourages the freeing of oneself from the fetters of physical form. By abstracting figures, and combining elements from nature along with the human form, Byer is harnessing her artistic ability to marry technique and form. She likens the transformation to an aesthetic form of splicing.
Mariamma Kambon: Castle of My Skin by Holly Bynoe
It is the only way we long for things: In retrograde. Autobiography is a path by which many artists apply their experiences, training and motives. What is created is in dialogue with a social/ personal critique that can imply and embody an individual understanding or subjectivity onto and into a work of art. In an age where the veracity of photography has been debunked due to the evolution of digital photography, and practicing in a post modern age becomes increasingly taxing as appropriation and ownership are in constant debate/flux/recontextualization, one wonders where this leaves artists who are looking to the past to find answers. Mariamma Kambonâ€™s recent work finds itself tousled within these labyrinths. Born and raised on Trinidad and Tobago, her perspective is uniquely linked to the region; her familiarity with the land fundamental and innate. In her recent body of work constructed over the course of 2009-2010, Castle of My Skin signifies a re-identification and sublimation into the power of archives, literature and, in its wake, the weight and value of history. The title is borrowed from the conscious and pioneering right-of-passage novel by George Lamming entitled In the Castle of My Skin. Kambon culled and appropriated daguerreotypes from Harvardâ€™s Photographic Archive, which were in marked contrast to other portraits from the same period that were meant to support pseudo-scientific justifications of slavery. Appropriation in visual arts, and specifically photography, came to the forefront in the late 1970s; it is commonly defined as the inclusion of either hand-duplicated or mechanically reproduced copies of existing works, usually accompanied by a claim that there is some re-contextualization occurring within the function and/or aesthetic of the work. Typically involving transference from one historical or cultural context to another, explicit strategies of appropriation represent an attempt to reveal some hitherto unrecognizable irony in the original.
Shayne Cherry, Germaine Joseph, Clayton Ruhle, Julius Hollenseide and Naomi Grandison are the instigators of the event, the germ of which began with a Sunday lime. Naomi, of angelic voice and an earnest consciousness, had picked up her guitar. Shayne, resident joker, pulled together some pots and pans, and soon the group of friends was united in what became an arcing quest for expression and release. When finally the music fell off, they were left with a seed. This was how Headphunk was born, not out of any committee meeting at the Cultural Development Foundation, a government agency that has failed abysmally at its mandate and alienates the very community it was formed to serve. Robert Lee, poet, photographer and cultural activist, says of the Headphunk phenomenon: “There is much to complain about in a St Lucia in which official neglect of the arts is well entrenched. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think I’ve seen CDF honchos at the Headphunk events. But Headphunk makes the old point over again; while it would be good to have official and financial support, the arts and artists will not be kept down or made dead. The heart of our creative imaginations, our spirits of life, love, creativity – cannot be repressed or oppressed.” Nowhere is that spirit more evident than at The Gathering, a bi-monthly Headphunk affair, set in the garden of one of its members. The event is intended to bring artistes together in a relaxed, non-performance atmosphere in the absence of spectators, as a way to share plans and ideas, develop bonds, discuss issues, develop projects and create links. Shayne says: “Headphunk is about performing, but there are issues that concern artists and the more artists get together, people start vibing, start singing, start sharing, things like Headphunk come out of it – ideas come out of it. It is fertile ground.” At one such session, about 12 people are gathered in the waning light of the day. Shayne Ross, a R&B musician who has been enjoying modest success commercially, meanders back to his first love, free-styling. At the urging of the group, Naomi engages him, taking on his challenge. For close to 20 minutes the two thrust and parry lyrically. Everyone is mesmerised. Then, there is trash talk, whistling and hollering. The atmosphere is electric. At a performance a month later, the space can barely contain the celebrants and the crowd is spilling onto the Castries streets. Word of Headphunk and what it is trying to do has gone viral through Facebook. Shayne Ross has come back for more. Naomi is ready. Their collaboration goes to the next level; the crowd is beside themselves with excitement. The creation of performance space where the unexpected can happen is what Headphunk is about. “Headphunk isn’t about judgement; that is not our place,” says Shayne. “I’ve had some poets or singers come up to me and suggest we need to screen our participants. We don’t want to do that.” That sort of open, easy, non-judgemental space is another reason the groundswell is gaining momentum. St Lucia, once looked to by the rest of the Caribbean because of its thriving arts scene, has been stuck in a nadir of creative expression. Though isolated efforts by groups of dedicated individuals have made some drive for continuity, it hasn’t been sustainable. Some argue it is the apathy of the government; others attribute it to the saturation of cultural images from the north, or to battle-weary artists who have ceased to seek and build community. Whatever it is, the country that has produced Derek Walcott and a cadre of respected writers, artists and theatre practitioners, has not lived up to the expectations it created in the sixties and again in the early eighties with writers like Kendel Hippolyte and Robert Lee.
The heart of our creative imaginations, our spirits of life, love, and creativity â€“ cannot be repressed or oppressed.
Collections _Artistsâ€™ portfolios
From Railroads to Doctor’s Cave _with Radcliffe Roye
Within a mess of scrawls, my hand found itself buried in a mountain of recently acquired journals and pages covered with names – most obscured in muddled cursive or what my mother would affectionately refer to as crab toes and hangers. Among the now familiar names on those pages, Radcliffe “Ruddy” Roye’s stuck out; it had come by way of the generous advice of contemporary American artist, Hank Willis Thomas. Ruddy and I met to talk about a collaboration. What began as a quiet conversation at Mandiba, a South African café and restaurant, turned into a late evening meal with discourse, that reached a crescendo. After we parted I made my way through the subway maze and thought of serendipity and its ability to penetrate walls. Days later, Ruddy called to give me the address for our second meeting. I hauled myself to Brooklyn and traced the textures of sound, the bustle of colliding accents, and the very peculiar situation of having my displacement displaced. The brutal façade of New York City melted away to reveal a kaleidoscope of Caribbean-ness. Within a wake of familiar faces, colours, accents and wafting Creole aromas, I relocated myself by focusing on the concrete and the gritty urban architectural exteriors. Noon turned into one p.m. and as Ruddy searched for parking I set up a comfortable space in Ricky���s, and set out to dissect this man/artist/brethren who was tangentially inclined to break out in song during a heartfelt rambling. Radcliffe Roye is a native of Montego Bay, Jamaica, a Sagittarius descending in 1969, and a documentary photographer who was transplanted to the US some 20-odd years ago. He has lived in Baltimore, Maryland, Washington DC and for the past 10 years, Brooklyn. The location suits him, for now. He entered Ricky’s with his hair covered in a tam and ambled to our table with a sense of belonging. Ricky’s is his regular breakfast spot, where he comes to find peace of mind; a quotidian ritual, it is how he keeps connected to his Jamaica. We plugged in our various devices and proceeded to talk about shared experiences, creating and the region
24fps _a survey of established and experimental film works.
Going to Town and Other Places by Oneika Russell
In summer 2009, I had the chance to work with artists from Trinidad and Barbados to discuss new work coming out of the Caribbean. At that time they told me about a young artist who was making animations. On the strength of one animated work in particular, she had been invited to do a residency at Alice Yard in Trinidad and was attracting dialogue. I particularly remember two things: the name of the work she did was called Town and she was quoted as saying, “I really goin’ places now.” I thought that was very striking. The artist was Sheena Rose and I would hear her name several times again that year, but the fact that she used ‘Town’ as the title of her animation suggested two things to me – that the artist was doing work about Caribbean culture or her experience of it, and that there was an enthusiasm and confidence with her language of art making.
I could feel her engagement with Caribbean life and culture by thinking about the title of her work. ‘Town’ on its own, in variations of Caribbean speech, seems to reference a place, which is a town or city-centre where an activity or an event occurs. It is not a passive noun like ‘Bridgetown’ would be; it is phrased in a way that suggests some activity will happen in ‘Town’ or how the activity of going to ‘Town’ becomes an event in her everyday life. In the Caribbean, many place names have become just ‘Town’ in local lingua. Kingston, Port of Spain, Bridgetown and the list goes on. With this title, I am prepared for work that is told from the artist’s perspective and reveals experiences of her locale. So of course my fascination was peaked about the kind of narratives her work promised. Within a short space of time, Town was shown in a major show in Connecticut at Real Art Ways and then earned her a space at Greatmore Studios
â€œAs artists we may no longer be able to meet the expectation of what Caribbean work should look like in union, but rather acknowledge that it is made up of multiple experiences and methods of expression.â€?