I am a long time fan of Antiguan and Barbudan artist Heather Doram, from her Carnival pieces to gallery collections like Strength of a Woman. She’s given permission for selections from her 2011, ‘We Have So Many Stories to Tell’ series to be posted exclusively on Wadadli Pen (please dont re-post without her pemission). The series is in some ways a throwback to more provincial themes and scenes, a fact she addressed in an article I did in the Daily Observer newspaper.
“I was adamant that I was moving forward,” Doram said of her resistance to walking this particular path, a path decorated with scenes of women at market, or going to church, or engaged in village melee. For the artist whose vision has expanded and whose technique has evolved over the years, layered both in terms of method and meaning, one can understand the resistance to scale things back in an effort to perhaps conform to a more relatable view.
But smaller – smaller canvases, bottle canvases, simpler, more literal scenes of island life (then) – doesn’t mean limited, and from the energy and excitement with which she talks about the new collection, it’s clear that she found a way to challenge herself and yet create art some may consider more accessible and pocket-friendly. The result is no less textured and interesting than her more complex pieces.
“I want the viewer to have that conversation with the pieces,” she said.
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