Tag Archives: photography

A & B Arts Round up – January 3rd 2019 —>

July 6th 2019 – 6 p.m. – The Royal Society of Literature – New Daughters of Africa – part of the Africa Writes Festival @ the Knowledge Centre, the British Library, London – this is obviously not being held in Antigua (and though I’m unlikely to be there, I wanted to let my Caribbean and especially my Antiguan people know about this, one of the events being held to promote the New Daughters of Africa). “Twenty-five years after Margaret Busby’s Daughters of Africa anthology, a new companion volume brings together the work of over 200 writers from across the globe – Antigua to Zimbabwe, Angola to the USA – to celebrate a unifying heritage, illustrate an uplifting sense of sisterhood and showcase the remarkable range of creativity from the African diaspora.” Details here.

April 30th 2019 – A feature of Antigua Sailing Week is Reggae in the Park at the Nelson’s Dockyard, an official UNESCO heritage site. Go here for details.

March 31st 2019 – Wadadli Pen Readers Choice Book of the Year voting deadline. If there’s a book, released between 2017 and 2018, by an Antiguan and Barbudan that you read and liked. Vote. If you haven’t read any of the books on the list; there’s still time. Here’s where you go to see the books and vote.

#readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda

January 29th 2019 (give or take) – Team Antigua Island Girls due to return home – follow their page for the latest (and to read up on them if you haven’t been following their 3,000 mile row across the Atlantic) as this kind of thing is hard to pin down – also check out our tribute here on Wadadli Pen #Girlscan

January 14th – 18th 2019 – Schools Drama Festival & January 17th 2019 – Honey Bee Theatre’s The Long Walk ETA: Encore showing set for February 9th 2019 – Dean William Lake Centre.49682638_10156651453962931_7641356855263887360_n

January 8th 2019 (5 p.m. – 7 p.m.) – Art Show and Wine Tasting featuring Tracy Salmon.48356852_371261727012898_7963534236311355392_n

49115870_762893680740981_3748126278847299584_nJanuary 4th (6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. and 5th 2019 (11 a.m. – 2 p.m.) – The Black Exhibit presents ART: A Research Study Redefining Gender Norms Through Photography by Jesseca Ormond at the Reginald Samuel Art Gallery located at the Antigua and Barbuda Youth Enlightenment Academy (Old BBC building in Lightfoot). Admission is free. For more information you can email theblackexhibit@gmail.com, call (268) 734-7359, or visit the facebook event page for details. Another showing to be organized – watch this space (or check with The Black Exhibit’s facebook page or email them for more)

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Wadadli Pen founder, coordinator, and blogger Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and With Grace). All Rights Reserved.

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Jumbies all around

Went tonight to the Youth Enlightenment Academy here in Antigua to attend the launch of Mali Olatunji’s book and exhibition. The books are now available for sale and the exhibition remains open for a month.  I quote below from the launch booklet.

Untitled

Painterly Photographer
The Artwork of Mali Olatunji
Antigua and Barbuda Youth Enlightenment Academy
July – September, 2015

A Note from Artist, Mali Adelaja Olatunji (excerpts)
“This body of photographs, ‘Woodist Jumbie Aesthetics’, is for me an assemblage of abstract speculative conjectures.
“…their strident nature allows for a re-examination of Spirit and the aesthetics of departed souls – Jumbies.
“Each photograph is of two or more images that are inter-layered by inter-penetrating optical images of people, places or object onto silver halide salt (film), in a camera. This process is exceedingly improbable to replicate. Thus each is unequivocally an original.
“(in ‘pure photography’) …exactitude in physical replication: lines, color, form, texture and so on, is your aim. Having mastered this for a long twenty-one years, I deserve the space to make ‘my Art’!
“I made the decision to concentrate less on making photographs that were primarily instantiation of factual accuracy…more on picturing ideas of unreliability as an imaginative activity.”

A Note from Author, Paget Henry, the Art of Mali Olatunji (excerpts)
“In addition to bringing fresh support for the fine arts possibilities of photography, Olatunji brings to this visual practice a new technique and an original vision. This new technique is that of using the lines and textures of wood, tree bark, and leaves to enhance the symbolic capabilities of photography. It is this enhanced symbolic capability that gives his photography its painterly qualities and its power to engage the spiritual, and social themes that run through this exhibition.
“The original vision derives from Olatunji’s attempts to imagine how our world would look if seen through ‘the eyes’ of a Jumbie or a departed soul that has taken up residence in a tree now that it has lost its body. It is on account of this new woodist technique that this original vision that Olatunji’s photography will surely generate a lot of interest and debate.
“His photography is sure to raise questions about the long and tense relationship between painting and photography, as the painterly possibilities of the latter are developed in his work to a heretofore unprecedented degree.”

A Note from the Exhibition Curator, Karen Allen Baxter (excerpts)
“This exhibition, The Painterly Photographer, the Artwork of Mali Olatunji, the first in the Sir Reginald Samuel Gallery, also marks the formal opening of this important arts space. The work of Mali Olatunji is meaningful, engaging, explorative, poignant, sometimes humorous and perfect for this inaugural exhibition!
“These photographs invite the viewer to look again, view with intent, examine closely to realize more or realize something else and to appreciate differently.”

Untitled

So, this book has been many years in the making. I’ve had many discussions with both Mali and Paget about it over the years. I now look forward to reading it. I’m (insert indescribable emotion here) to be included among the images. Ha! me, a model! From all my discussions with the creators of this book over the years, I know it’s more than just pretty pictures, that there’s technical experimentation and exploration of ideas, and of a particular idea very much rooted in our (maybe more once upon a time than actual these days) African Antiguan belief system. I know books like this are important in grounding us in Self; as Mali said at the launch, there is too much of the Antiguan Self slipping away with this dressing up in other selves that we do, losing our Self in the process. As he said, this book is not just for us; it is Us. Thanks, Mali. Thanks, Paget, for pushing Mali (I know he didn’t go easy …but here it is for the record). Finally, congrats to Hansib for, in this weird time in publishing where even Big publishers aren’t taking risks, being outside the box not only in taking on an unconventional project like this but for quickly becoming an MVP when it comes to taking on book projects from this small place. Think about it, Hansib is responsible for the publication of several Antiguan and Barbudan books in recent years, from my own  The Boy from Willow Bend, to the Art of Mali Olatunji, and including Paget’s V. C. Bird book and Dorbrene O’Marde’s Bocas Short Listed Short Shirt book Nobody Go Run Me and Send Out You Hand. Which other publisher Caribbean or not would have taken a chance on those ideas, simply because they felt they were voices that needed hearing, stories that needed telling, and not rushing and skimping on the quality in the process. No relationship is perfect but jack his jacket on all that and look forward to more. Now go get Mali’s book. In fact, get all those books while you’re at it.

As with all content (words, images, other) on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Fish Outta Water, Musical Youth, and Oh Gad!).  All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about WadadliPen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks. And remember while linking and sharing the links, referencing and excerpting, are okay, lifting content (words, images, other) from the site without asking is not cool. Respect copyright.

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Antigua Pride by Margo Davis

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 pictures were taken between the late 1960s and early 1970s, a fault line between past and present Antigua, and in particular the backyards and roadways of rural Antigua, and the sense of dignity and community that lived in those humble spaces.

Black and white images from that collection and that time hang on the wall of the Powder Magazine, Admiral Nelson’s three centuries old gun powder store house now part of a resort with thick walls and cavernous rooms ideal for the showing. It is located on a hilltop overlooking English Harbour. Make the first left after Trappas restaurant on the main strip and the first right after that, between now and the exhibition closing date, March 1st 2014, to find it. sorry, exhibition now closed.

Speaking of the featured images to the Daily Observer, Feilles said, “I just love their integrity and reverence” – the way they make you, she said, “quite proud to be Antiguan”.

There is the iconic image of George Weston, the Greenbay born reverend who went on to become a leader in the Garvey movement in Harlem, USA. But most of the images are of people without fame but whose faces are rich with character. There is the ‘Old Woman of Bolans in Straw Hat’

Old Woman of Bolans in Straw Hat, 1969. Copyrighted to Margo Davis so do not grab and re-post as has been done with some images on the site - you know who you are.

Old Woman of Bolans in Straw Hat, 1969. Copyrighted to Margo Davis so do not grab and re-post as has been done with some images on the site – you know who you are.

,  ‘Young Antiguan Beauty with White Scarf’, ‘Carib Indian Girl’, the ‘Village Woman and Child with Bucket’ – the child clutching shyly at the woman’s dress, ‘Portrait of Cane Cutter’, and others.

There are stories in their faces and stories in the moments captured – ‘The Village Kids Dancing to Otis Redding’

see caption on other picture - and be advised (read: warned)

see caption on other picture – and be advised (read: warned)

do so in spite of the signs of poverty written on and around them, a reminder of a time when joy was to be found not in the things you had but in the ways you embraced life and supported each other.

There are only a few nature images, ‘Large Palms at Carlisle’, ‘Dead Sands’ – a stretch of beach sans people, ‘English Harbour from Shirley Heights’ among them.

Few crowd shots as well.

It’s clear that for Davis the story lies in the faces of these people whose stories might otherwise not have been captured.

Davis who began her continent hopping photographic career capturing these Antiguan moments, wrote in her artist’s statement, “I was overwhelmed by the timeless beauty of the place and especially the strength of its people.” While the landscape was beautiful, however, she noted that her interest in portraiture was stoked by the people she came across. There is an openness in the faces of the people captured that speaks to the trust between subject and photographer. “Wherever possible, I asked permission to photograph because the power of my portraiture style depended on the comfort of the villages that I was photographing,” Davis stated.

The descriptions make other observations about her style borne out in the 32 images on display: “simplicity of composition, emphasis on human dignity, acknowledgment of the quiet heroism in ordinary people.” That last one you’ll have to dig a bit deeper for as you read – not just look at – the paintings; heroism here defined not as grand acts but in the courage it takes endure with steady determination and grace. To find joy in the rough, as well as family, and hope, and beauty and love, that is the story written into the images – into moments like the one called ‘Market Day’ in which an elderly couple, one with something , a bag of coal perhaps, on her head, something beyond the frame compelling their eyes, even as the closeness of their bodies speak to an awareness of each other and years of companionship.

But that’s just one writer’s interpretation; each person will see what they see – and that’s the beauty of these images which are at once documentary of a particular time and timeless works of art.

“My vision is to bring this collection of photographs from Antigua’s past to a contemporary generation of Antiguans so that they may as the Reverend George A. Weston always said, ‘know their own history’,” Feilles noted.

 

As with all content (words, images, other) on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C.
Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, and Oh Gad!), founder and coordinator of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize. All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about WadadliPen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks. And remember while linking and sharing the links, referencing and excerpting, are okay, lifting content (words, images, other) from the site without asking is not cool. Respect copyright.

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