'Social Atrocities' - when art speaks
Keisha Hill, Gleaner Writer
Using art as a tool to document social activities and personal views on reality, young Jamaican artists want to create an impact in relation to various cultures and classes. From June 26 to July 10, 2014, three young artists will showcase different works under the theme' Social Atrocities' at the Olympia Art Gallery on Hope Road.
According to Monique Lofters, one of the exhibitors, her pieces dubbed 'All that is Glitter - All that is Gold' represents self-adoration and the many individuals who rise to the top of their game, while forgetting where they are coming from.
"They get mean and see themselves as idols, but inside they are sad and tormented," Lofters said.
Monique Lofters' pieces
Lofters, who studied at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMC), started painting at age 10 and began manipulating different mediums to create her ideas. Although it is time-consuming, she now paints in the evenings after work and enjoys learning new technologies in art. She also likes to paint landscapes, draws and does crocheting.
"I want ... my exhibition to evoke emotions and feelings of my observation on how our society is today. Persons have become egotistical, yet they try to live their lives as if they are [OK]. When they get home, they take off their masks and inside they are sad and miserable," Lofters said.
Greg Bailey, another of the exhibitors, said his paintings take a realistic approach towards representing images. "The painting themselves invite the audience to delve into their true meaning. The images have more power when they are larger as persons can interact more with the drawings when they are more visible," Bailey said.
Intrigued by art
Bailey has been painting since he was a student at the Albert Town High School in Trelawny, and he, too, attended EMC. "Art has always intrigued me. It is a feeling I cannot step away from. Having had exhibitions on the local circuit, my aim is to create an impact on the global scene," he said.
He describes his paintings as "an engagement with what is happening in society", and he invites the audience to look at the paintings beneath the surface and not at face value.
Kimani Beckford hails from Clarendon, and he, too, has a similar approach to Bailey's. Both are good friends and worked alongside each other while they studied at EMC.
Beckford was introduced to painting while he attended the Garvey Maceo High School. By second form, he sat the GCE Examinations and was successful. "My teacher saw that I was passionate about the subject and I decided to go for it. I wouldn't say that I am gifted because talent without the practice is useless," Beckford said.
According to Beckford, his work dubbed 'Muddy Waters' should give his audience the opportunity to create a dialogue. His work includes still images and narratives that represent realism. "The country is in a bad state and we are not recognising that everything is not OK. We are just going along with what is happening," Beckford said.