Fri | Apr 28, 2017

Flight of artistic expression

Published:Sunday | August 10, 2014 | 8:00 AM
Seya Parboosingh's 'Losing Face' (right) with Oneika Russell's untitled drawings at MF&G Trajectories.
Leasho Johnson's 'Attack' and 'Defense'.
A piece by digital artist Di-Andre C. Davis.
'Balloons' - created by Seya Parboosingh.
Resurrection', a 1974 painting by Karl Parboosingh from MF&G collection showcased at Trajectories.
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Amitabh Sharma, Contributor

"This," Simone Bowie Jones, associate at the law firm Myers, Fletcher & Gordon (MF&G), said, "is my de-stressing zone," pointing to a larger-than-life abstract painting on the wall of her office.

Paintings and artwork have long been embraced by the corporate world - from infusing colour, sprucing up aesthetics and adding a creative dimension in clinical spaces - but what started
as a professional association developed into a collection, which was
catalogued, showcased and exhibited.

"One of our
former managing partners, Pat Rousseau, was very heavily involved in the
Contemporary Jamaican Artists' Association as one of the founders,"
said Peter Goldson, managing partner at MF&G. "It was,
therefore, an obvious synergy to include the works of such artists as
Eugene Hyde, Karl Parboosingh and Barrington Watson in our new
home."

These synergies, informed Bowie Jones,
continued to evolve in the years and decades to come, with each partner
or associate in the firm adding their own personal touch in the office
space.

These artworks, Danielle Stiebel, associate at
MF&G, said, though distinct and varied, gelled and became a part
of the area that they installed. "It is true that the walls became
synonymous with them (the artwork)," she said.

"We
think that the firm and its art collection share the fact that they are
enduring, creative, unique and special," added Goldson. "MFG has never
tried to fit in - it's always been cutting edge, adventurous and
different."

LONG HISTORY

This year,
on their 70th anniversary, MF&G decided to showcase their
artwork to the public and Trajectories was conceptualised. "MFG is
showcasing its long history of engagement with the arts, and using that
history as the basis for a new engagement with the arts," Goldson
said.

The venue, fifth floor office of MF&G
building in downtown Kingston, overlooking the seafront, was transformed
into a gallery - streams of soft lighting falling off the paintings and
artworks - a touch of romanticism in the oft insular and whitewashed
spaces.

Trajectories showcased more than 30 artists
from the MF&G collection - a blend of work of well-known names
with contemporary artists and film-makers.

"We also
want to show that, even at 70 years old, with all of our achievements
and well-earned prestige, we are a dynamic organisation," Goldson said,
adding that one of the objectives of the exhibition was also to expose
the wider community to the significance of the arts in every sphere of
life.

Nicole Smythe-Johnson, curator of Trajectories,
said this project was unique and also gave the opportunity, both for her
and the visitors, an artistic expression that was a confluence of the
glories of the olden days with a sneak peek at what the future
holds.

"The MFG Collection was developed with an eye
to showing the broad range and quality of Jamaican artistic production,"
Goldson said, which is evident in the range of works - from abstract
paintings to portraits, from pottery to textile-based work - at the
firm.

"This is good, since as the exhibition labels
indicate, our attorneys have a range of tastes," he said, adding that
the firm was anticipating more support by the business community for
Jamaican artists and the creative industry, which in turn would
encourage local artists in their craft.

As the
artistic works were being appreciated at the exhibition, in the distance
ships crossed Kingston Harbour, congregating the path of their journey
with the day's progression - a reminder that time is the only constant,
and in our journey of life, the creative expressions are meant to be
savoured and
shared.

amitabh.sharma@hotmail.com

Photos by
Amitabh Sharma