Sean Leonard, Christopher Cozier, Nicholas Laughlin, and Richard Rawlins of Alice Yard at the Moiwana Monument, Marowijne, Suriname; 28 February, 2010. Photo by Jurgen Lisse
Four members of the Alice Yard team recently spent a week in Suriname, participating in activities around the Paramaribo SPAN project, a conversation about contemporary art in Suriname. SPAN includes three platforms: an exhibition, which opened on Friday 26 February, 2010, and runs until 14 March; a book published in three language editions; and a blog which is both a journal and an archive.
Alice Yard co-instigators Christopher Cozier and Nicholas Laughlin are, respectively, co-curator of the SPAN project and editor of the SPAN blog. Visiting Paramaribo for the opening events of the SPAN exhibition, they were accompanied by Alice Yard founder Sean Leonard and partner Richard Rawlins, the publisher of Draconian Switch.
Paramaribo SPAN is conceived in part as a bridge connecting artists and other creative practitioners in Suriname with their contemporaries elsewhere in the Caribbean. This trip offered many formal and informal opportunities for the Alice Yard team to explore common ideas, interests, and goals, and begin planning future collaborations. Apart from the SPAN exhibition opening and other events in Paramaribo, the Alice Yard team visited the town of Moengo, east of Paramaribo, where artist Marcel Pinas has founded an art park and art education centre. Sean spent two days in Moengo investigating Marcel's project, and conceptualising ways for himself as an architect and Alice Yard as an institution to support and collaborate with Marcel's Kibii Foundation.
Other Alice Yard team members engaged creatively with the SPAN project in different ways. Nicholas, who is also co-editor of the literary magazine Town, published a special issue coinciding with SPAN, and Richard has collected material for an upcoming SPAN issue of Draconian Switch. And Alice Yard has started conversations about hosting Surinamese artists in Trinidad as part of our modest residency programme.