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Artistic invitation to roots party - Kim Demane sees deeper meaning in event posters

Published:Friday | December 22, 2017 | 12:00 AMKimberley Small
Yaadcore Future Poster.
Yaadcore artwork
Kim Demåne

Yaadcore is the tastemaker responsible for the Dubwise series, the reggae representative co-host of VP Records' new mix show Studio 17, and also wears the hat of resident DJ of Protoje's In.Digg.Nation collective. The producer has planned one final showcase to close out 2017, on December 29 at Stones Throw Bar, off Mannings Hill Road, St Andrew, Yaadcore greets Samory-I, Giark and Friends.

"As a selector from the next generation, I have a responsibility to highlight the upcoming artistes with great potential to keep the industry fresh. It's 'and friends' as well, so you may see established artistes and more upcoming artistes," Yaadcore told The Gleaner.

In addition to promoting the careers of his musical peers, like Samory-I, Giark and Fari DiFuture, Yaadcore also gives attention to visual artists. To advertise this event, Yaadcore recruited the skills of Sweden-based, half-Jamaican visual artist, Kim Demane. The poster is a busy graphic, stacking the headliners' names in the image of a mountain, with a woman's head at the apex. A small figure is seen climbing stairs which appear carved into the mountainside and continue on into the sky. Atop her head stands a small figure, posed triumphantly and shrouded in yellow light.

"Posters that give contribution to the streets in the form of art... I like! I hope this graphic to do the same, rather than plain advertisements. The style I have is based on everything I like from a very young age. Other than that, I try to see every new image as a challenge to surprise myself with something new," Demane told The Gleaner. The young artist was hired to do poster artwork for Fari DiFuture's Farmerman US West Coast tour earlier this year. That graphic was starkly Jamaican, with caricatures of Yaadcore and Fari's heads wreathed in an ackee tree.

"I like to play with symbolic details to create an abstract story. This (latest) Yaadcore graphic is a surprise, as I rarely draw faces. But I could not oversee the fact that women are still in this time suppressed by men. That's my feeling right now and that's why Mount Empress revealed on paper and in this graphic. In this image, I used various ingredients cooked in my 'stewdio'," he continued.

The first ingredient is the sun, setting in a land far, far away, "a reflection of home", Demane explained. The second 'ingredient' is the mountain carved with the 'stairs of life', carved into the shape of a woman, "where we all come from", Demane elaborated.

Graphic design is one of Demane's revenue streams and the artist lives completely off his work.

"My love is really to draw. So even this graphic is all drawn on paper first, but coloured in the computer. It's a nice way to switch it up, like picking up a brush or canvas or when I need to get out from the 'stewdio', I travel and spraypaint walls or murals. To keep a few different ways of 'creating' going, give a more steady income for me, and I can focus on making images I can stand for with a mental-inner-smile," he said.