Tue | Aug 14, 2018

Jamaica Biennial 2014 to close with 'Artists’ Talks'

Published:Sunday | March 8, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Samere Tansley – ‘A Table Laid with a White Cloth to Rend it Sacred’.
Sheena Rose – ‘Many Streets'.

The Jamaica Biennial 2014 is scheduled to close on Sunday, March 15, and to mark the occasion, the National Gallery of Jamaica will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on that day. A special programme of Artists' Talks will be presented on that day, starting at 1:30 p.m. Admission to the National Gallery of Jamaica and Artists' Talks will be free, but contributions to the donations box will be much appreciated as it will help to fund exhibitions and programmes such as the Biennial and their Sunday programming.

The Jamaica Biennial 2014 is one of the largest exhibitions in the National Gallery's history and it is arguably its most diverse exhibition to date. This diversity is reflected in the artists who have been invited to participate in the Artists' Talks, which are divided into two panels. Panel 1, which is presented under the theme 'Traditional Media/New Approaches', explores how artists use traditional media and styles such as representational painting, ceramics, and fibre art to produce work that has significant cultural and aesthetic currency in the present moment. This panel features Michael Layne, Tina Spiro, Katrina Coombs, and Samere Tansley, and will be chaired by National Gallery Senior Curator O'Neil Lawrence.

Panel 2, titled 'Mapping the Social Terrain', explores how artists engage with the social environment and the social and political issues of the 21st century in new, experimental media. This second panel features Sheena Rose, who is visiting Jamaica for the occasion, as well as Camille Chedda, Katherine Silvera-Sunley and Leasho Johnson and will be chaired by Executive Director Veerle Poupeye. Each artist will make a short presentation on their work in the Biennial and its context, followed by an open discussion at the end of each panel.

The Jamaica Biennial 2014 has been a landmark exhibition in several respects and has received significant critical acclaim, in the media and from visitors. Rebranded from what used to be the National Biennial, the Jamaica Biennial 2014 was re-conceptualised to have a more international outlook and to engage local and international audiences more effectively. It is the first Biennial to be judged by international curators - Sara Hermann from the Dominican Republic and Diana Nawi from the Perez Art Museum in Miami.


Non-Jamaicans included


It is also the first to include non-Jamaican artists, Blue Curry (The Bahamas), James Cooper (Bermuda), Gilles Elie-dit-Cosaque (Martinique), Sheena Rose (Barbados), Richard Mark Rawlins (Trinidad), who were invited to participate in the 'Special Projects' section of the exhibition, along with the Jamaica-born Renee Cox. In another first, the Biennial is shown at more than one location: in addition to the main exhibition at the National Gallery itself, this includes Devon House, which features work by Greg Bailey, James Cooper, Laura Facey, Ebony G. Patterson, Oneika Russell, and Cosmo Whyte; and National Gallery West in Montego Bay, which features work from the Sacred Geometry series by Renee Cox. One special project, 'PARADISE.jpg' by Blue Curry, consists of an intervention on the facades of several buildings in downtown Kingston. Sunday, March 15 represents the last opportunity to see the Jamaica Biennial 2014 in its entirety.

The Biennial exhibition at Devon House will exceptionally be open on Saturday 14 and 15 - from noon to 6 p.m. on both days - with special admission packages in effect, namely: $550 per person, inclusive of single scoop of ice cream, and $700 per person, inclusive of single scoop of ice cream and gourmet patty.

The Sacred Geometry exhibition by RenÈe Cox at National Gallery West has been extended to April 30, 2015. Opening hours at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre, which houses National Gallery West, are: Tuesday to Sundays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and admission is as follows: overseas visitors: US$6; local residents: $300; children under 12: free.

- More information on the Jamaica Biennial 2014 can be found on the National Gallery of Jamaica blog @ nationalgalleryofjamaica.