Thu | Nov 30, 2023

Women in Art explores intricacies of female form

Published:Sunday | May 21, 2023 | 1:40 AMNovia McKay - Contributor

Inansi - Carnival Circles #2  mixed media collage
Inansi - Carnival Circles #2 mixed media collage

The Sky Gallery’s current exhibition, the second installation of Women in Art, features 11 female artists who were selected from more than 30 submissions, introducing a greater variety of visual art forms to the rooftop gallery.

The artists represent a range of local talent. Sculpture, textiles, collage, painting, and glasswork are brought together for a visually diverse exhibition experience. The themes explore (wo)man’s relationship to nature and climate, sustainable art and fashion, bodies – in particular the female form - as well as elements of destiny and fantasy.

Jamaican sculptor Laura Facey headlines the exhibition, with both large and small pieces sculpted from local cedar, oak, and lignum vitae. Incorporating repurposed material in some instances, the polished pieces fill the space around them. With ‘cedar points’, ‘one-way arrows’, and ‘ticking hearts’, her work is calming and contemplative and sets the backdrop for the rest of the exhibition.

Inansi, a mixed media artist, has on display intricate collages exploring femininity and portraiture, mixing vivid colours, paper, plastic, and other materials. The series ‘Carnival Circles’ depicts stylish and modern black women, but on closer look, the subjects are created from a base of cardboard, brightly painted and adorned with bits of discarded items. Commenting on the modern obsession with ‘fast fashion’ and the desire to attain the perfect image, the pieces question the substance behind outward appearance and the refuse that is ultimately left behind in the process of creating it.

The exhibition also features a group of female artists whose work spans a broad spectrum of visual art forms and themes. Surrealist-inspired paintings by Romaine McNiel blur the lines between realism and imagination. Digital collages and portraits by Kianne Patrice Hutchinson and Melissa Lyn celebrate women and the female form and evoke material emotions from digital creations. Fibre and textile creations by Ammoy Smith integrate natural materials to recreate the diversity of colour and texture of the natural world. Finally, hand-painted glass pieces by Le Ann Halsam feature intricate and feminine designs that evidence her evolving technique and mastery of the form. These artists bring unique voices in multiple forms, adding to the growing landscape of Jamaican contemporary art.

Chantal Rose-Kellyman’s oil on canvas paintings explore women and nature, using deep colours and textured brush strokes. Danielle Powell’s scenic and tranquil landscape paintings use soft pastels to merge sea and sky, while Smicky’s bite-size series, ‘Flowerpot Girls’, are playful and bright, cleverly combining parts of the female form with plants and flowers. Maddison Addington’s ‘pop art’ portraits are reminiscent of the work of renowned street artists and contemporary designers. The exhibition features inaugural work of Christine Reynolds, daughter of Jamaican intuitive artist, Mallica ‘Kapo’ Reynolds.

This second installation of Women in Art can be viewed until May 31.