Faves from the Liguanea Festival of Fine Art & Photography (Kgn, Jamaica)

Gene Pearson Head

I love looking at beautiful art.  I love to take inspiration from art.  And the art on display at the Liguanea Art & Photo Exhibition in Kingston Jamaica two weekends ago, for the most part, was both beautiful and inspirational.  But seeing and feeling the art was not enough for me this time around, it was the actual conversations with the artists.  Not necessarily about the works but just having a brief conversation under the relentless sun and building a vibe, that can and will hopefully be sustainable.

So despite the sweltering heat and the sometimes repetitiveness of the subject matter, I definitely fell in love all over again with art from the Caribbean.  From the abstract to the zen, the paintings, photography and sculpture definitely kept me hydrated.  Here are a few of my faves from the exhibit with links to the artists:

Works by Gene Pearson

My 1st Gene Pearson head!

I found it hard to tear myself away from the beautifully sculpted clay heads by the highly acclaimed Jamaican sculptor, Gene Pearson, OD.  So much so that I had to pay a visit to the artist's studio in Red Hills, Jamaica. Despite the unfamiliar terrain on the sometimes steep ride up the hill, the studio nestled in the green, lush, and welcoming coolness of the terrain was well worth the trip.  

The artist's studio in Red Hills

The biggest take away from my visit with the humble artist was our shared interest in nature as inspiration. His words "I need to see the trees all around me" in reference to the 360° windows surrounding his bright yellow studio spoke directly to my own needs.

Alison West Martin

The attention to detail in Alison West Martin’s work is extraordinary. Its not the wonderfully accurate rendering of the object but rather the decision to use very minute repetitive geometric shapes to form each subject in the drawing.  Not only was her work quite riveting but so was the brief banter in her stall at the fair.  I can’t quite decide if I prefer her monochrome ink drawings or the ones with a vibrant injection of colour.

Photo credits: Alison West Martin Facebook page

Amazing attention to detail!

As most of you know who follow this blog, photography is a love of mine and not to mention the career choice of our very own Niya Bascom.  So happening upon the subtle but powerful images of Franz Marzouca added heat to an already hot day.  I couldn’t quite put my finger on why his work appealed to me so - whether it’s the lighting, his mastered development process, or the not so obvious sense of Jamaica throughout his  black & white work on display. He somehow captures magic in his staged settings, almost as if the work is quietly speaking to us.  Funnily enough, Franz is more vocal than his work, and trying to persuade him that his work, in my humble opinion, had cross-cultural appeal was quite the challenge.  What do you think?

Photo credit: Jamaica Gleaner

Other artists I liked include photographer Neil Williams, illustrators and painters Rachel and Heather Wade, painter Ireko Baker, and sculptor Raymond Watson.  For more artists at the show and additional info, check out the write up by fellow blogger, Yardedge.

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