Tuesday, March 16, 2010


The exhibition continues at Holy Name today until 5pm and tomorrow during school hours and until 5pm.

I got an invitation sent to me via e mail, and decided to attend the Annual Holy Name Art Exhibition. I wanted to be there for Richard's address, and Irenee Shaw, the art teacher there, is a friend of mine. I've admired her work as a painter for many years, and remember turning green with envy when I learnt that she would be teaching at Holy Name: if only she could have taught me 'A' level art instead of the wholly uninspired teacher I'd had when I went to St Joseph's Convent in the early 90s!

Art Teacher, Irenee Shaw, addresses the audience and gives introductions.

An Exploration of the Human Body by Victoria Lum Kang

The exhibition at Holy Name is of the work of form five and sixth form students, and it occupies the entire main hall of the school - quite an achievement in itself, when you think of how much work it is. What strikes me most about the work on display is its enormous range. Of course, there are lots of examples of what you'd find in high school shows - drawings and paintings. Many of the imaginative compositions are exciting - like the two sides of "Alice" (which also includes papier mache 3-dimensional elements) a speculation, perhaps, on Alice's alter ego: the pole dancer! The scale of works like "God Bless America?" is bold and adventurous. There are a huge selection of three-dimensional objects and sculptures, made of clay, bent wire, cardboard, fabric and sequins. As someone who's all-too-aware of the conventions of high school art and it's intractable relationship with drawing and painting, it's the objects in the Holy Name exhibition that are the most exciting and heartening. They are curious, thought-provoking, and outright quirky (my favourite piece is "Jorge the Frog" with his glittering be-sequined body and pierced tongue!) and whimsical.

I definitely think this is an exhibition worth taking a slow walk around. There's a little something in here for everyone. Irenee says that all her sixth form graduates so far have gone on to study and or work in creative fields. It's no wonder! To take a few words from Richard's address - the most important thing is that they continue to make work.

Mariel Brown
March 16th, 2010

Artist/Designer Richard Rawlins gave the feature address at the Exhibition.
Below are excerpts of that address:

Ms. Universe washerwomen and fisherfolk
How many of you have at least at one time in your life seen a painting of a long black woman,(that looks like Wendy Fitzwilliam) with a Hibiscus in her hair washing clothes by a waterfall or river? Yes. All of you. How many of you have seen at least one painting of a fisherman pulling seine by the beach with a dog walking aimlessly in front of a little shack? Exactly. Too much of you. How many paintings of long black women with hibiscus in their hair washing clothes by the river and fishermen pulling seine on the beach with a dog walking aimlessly in front of a shack do we really need? Just imagine if you will that in about a thousand years ago or so that some aliens dug up Trinidad and Tobago...they would probably think, (say it with me here)...Yep, that we were a nation of long black women that looked like Wendy Fitzwilliam with a Hibiscus in their hair washing clothes by waterfalls and fishermen pulling seine by the beach in front of shacks where dogs walked aimlessly by. Thank god this exhibition has none of those.
Richard Rawlins

In the Bacchanal by Ardisha Atwell

(detail) God Bless America by Sacha Singh

Record the relevance
Your job as an artist is to record the relevance of your time. Not somebody else's time but your time and with imagination.
Richard Rawlins

Two faces of Alice

I used to be good in art
You know how many people say that 'I used to be good in art in when I was in school ?" Then they become accountants and lawers or whatever and they stop. Never make work again...in life.
They just look on from the side lines. Your job as an artist is to make work and make lots of it. Keep making work. Don't worry whether it's good or not don't obsess over it. Just make work. There are people who will obsess over it for you. They are called art writers and critics. That's their job. Your job is to make work
. Richard Rawlins

(detail) Jorge-The Frog by Shandelle Loregnard

I walk through mime fields
I recently attended an artshow in Suriname at the corporate headquarters of a bank. The bank was responsible for the decor and the artist responsible for the mounting of their work. The decor included lights on everything over a foot on the ground, pink butterflies, stretched fabric and mimes. Oh god mimes, juggling mimes, a moko jumbie mime, a unicycle mime etc. Corporate types always think that artists and creative people appreciate mimes. But yuh know what? We don't like mimes at all. I've often felt that much like how the Israeli's make their people do selective service so that if the state of Israel is under attack everyone could pull a little gun do a something, creative people should have to do selective corporate service, so that when these opportunities come around there would be a creative person or an artist there to say no to the mimes and stretch fabric and be able to give some proper guidance.
Richard Rawlins

I am an artist and I am proud
And for those of you who chose to be be artists and go on being artists, be proud of yourselves. You are here for a reason. You've made it this far for a reason. Artist are among the brightest and the smartest people on the planet. You should feel very proud to be one.
Richard Rawlins

The Artists

No comments:

Post a Comment