Friday, March 29, 2019

An Exhibition in the Bahamas Crosses Boundaries and Borders

At the ninth national exhibition of the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, artists play with the theme of fruits and seeds in staggeringly varied and complicated ways.

Installation view of NE9, foreground: Edrin Symonette, “Salt of the Earth” (2018), pond salt and resin, 11″ x 10 1/2″ x 11”. Collection of the artist; and Saskia D’Aguilar, “Invasive Species Amulet” (2018), Saskia Schutte D’Aguilar, mixed media installation, 120” x 188”. Collection of the artist (all images courtesy of Jackson Petit and the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas)

By Seph Rodney

NASSAU, The Bahamas — When I first hear the title of the ninth national exhibition of the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas (or NE9) — “The Fruit and the Seed” — a cliché proverb comes to mind: “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” But shortly after landing, I realize that aphorisms will do me no good here. The practices plied on the various islands (there are about 700 that make up the nation called the Bahamas) are diverse. And the politics of the place is influenced by its own particular history — a history of American Loyalists settling the islands along with freed African slaves, achieving Black majority rule in 1967, but six years later becoming a commonwealth realm with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state.  Read more >>