Antigua Pride by Margo Davis

I saw this show a couple years ago. I have been meaning to see it again in the last couple of months since it’s been re-installed at Government House. It didn’t work out. This is why I considered myself fortunate when I was walking past Government House this past week en route to errands further in the city and saw that the sign was still up on the grey outer wall of the stately public space. Of course, public space is relative. Government House may be largely ceremonial these days but you still can’t walk in in your t-shirt, jeans, and sandaled feet. Right? I go to the guard booth, anyway, and consider yourself fortunate when after a phone check, he directs me to go on in. Even deserted, maybe especially so, there seems a sense of occasion about the space, a space with its manicured lawns and colonial architecture really not designed for regular folk (and I’ve never been anything but). I’ve been there a few times – most often as a reporter, once as one of my aunt’s plus ones as she collected her medal for service to culture and community, once as an author participating in a fundraiser. But public it may be, but public is relative. Before I can step to the building, I’m greeted by another uniformed officer, surprised that it’s just me though the first guard had indicated as much. I didn’t realize I would need an escort; when I saw the show before part of the joy was just wandering through at my own pace. Turns out he wasn’t only escort but toll taker (the viewing would cost EC$25 he informed me). I hadn’t known there was a fee for looking, hadn’t planned for that, hadn’t planned to be there at all, really, so I had to leave. And as I left I found myself wondering about art in public spaces, and how to create appreciation for such art among those who don’t (whether in the moment or at all) have the price of admission. I don’t know how much longer the show will be up; maybe I’ll go back (maybe not) but it is as memory and this blog shows a good show, worth the view if you’ve got the money to do so.

Wadadli Pen

This is me at the Powder Magazine taking in Margo Davis’ Antigua Pride exhibition.

#selfie #selfie

You can’t tell from my face but I really enjoyed it. And where’s what I wrote about it for Observer newspaper:

Most reading this will likely have even a passing awareness of the book Antigua Black.  Curator of Antigua Pride, an exhibition featuring images from Antigua Black, Niki Michelin Feilles, remembers being so moved by the images in the book that she tracked down American photographer Margo Davis to discuss an exhibition; they’ve done two – a smaller one in London and, as of last November,  this one in Antigua.

With text by Gregson Davis and images by Margo Davis, Antigua Black was released in 1973 and is well regarded , per its subhead, as a portrait of an island people; specifically the people of Antigua and Barbuda at a particular moment in time. The…

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