Archive for the ‘The Bahamas’ category

YIN Art Exhibit at Hillside House Gallery in Nassau, Bahamas

November 8, 2018

YIN.exhibit.logo.signatureDelighted to be part of this group exhibit with five Grand Bahama artists—Chantal Bethel, Claudette Dean, Laurie Tuchel, Del Foxton, and me, Paula Boyd Farrington—celebrating feminine energy and spirit, opening November 9, 2018, from 6 to 9 pm, at Hillside House Gallery, #25 Cumberland Street, Nassau, Bahamas. Bring a friend and enjoy our new art, live music from Shelley Carey-Moxey, and handcrafted Bootleg Chocolates flown in from Grand Bahama’s chocolatier. An Artist Walkabout with the artists on hand for an open house to talk about their work as you browse through the gallery, will be on Saturday, November 10th, 2018 from 10 am to 2 pm.

Our thanks to artist Ilene Sova, Hon BFA, MFA, Ada Slaight Chair of Contemporary Drawing and Painting, Ontario College of Art and Design University, for her writing about the work.

Yin Calls Forth a New World of Feminine Transformation

I’ve always said the fact that all women aren’t stark raving mad is a complete miracle because to live in a world where basically every bad thing that happens to you, you’ve somehow brought on yourself by being female … it’s just like, come on, man! It’s like … to the least of us, whatever is going on, it’s happening to all of us.”

Callie Khouri, screenwriter of “Thelma & Louise”

The past two years have been extraordinarily difficult on the psyches of women around the globe. Newsfeeds are full of disturbing stories of sexual assault, the falls from grace of several male celebrities and cultural icons, and the pulling back of dark curtains revealing immense pain and abuses of power in all sectors of our society. Social commentary abounds on how the enormity of this abuse was allowed to go on for such long periods of time. Women from all levels of society began to speak out in large numbers, bringing what was hidden behind closed doors, out into public view. Secrets of violence whispered to each other in back channels were suddenly being blasted loudly on cable news; relentlessly dissected, cast with doubt, and denied by powerful men. How does this onslaught affect our consciousness? How does bearing witness to these damaging stories change the way we view ourselves and the women around us? How will these revelations and their ubiquity change how we interact with one another? What does the future hold for the human relationships we hold the dearest? These questions and versions of them are swimming about in the public consciousness.  Although it is much too soon to know the answers, what seems clear is that if we are to have a way forward; we need a hand in the design of what we want our future to look like. We will need to be creative, manifest new ways of being with one another, and imagine possibilities that bring us back into a healthy balance. 

In this exhibition Yin, Chantal Bethel, Claudette Dean, Laurie Tuchel, Del Foxton, and Paula Boyd Farrington work towards this seemingly impossible intention. Through a visual journey into a return to balance, these women begin to show us, through art, a time of harmony, a return to respecting the sacred feminine and the healing it has to offer the world. Upon examining these works, one can imagine these women in their studios working past the misogynist upheaval through the vehicle of their artistic practices. Around them, as they move in and out of creation, the mass media amplifies stories of environmental disaster, men overpowering women, reactionary politics, and sanctioned state violence. However, in this sacred space, they create as artists, a new visual language that calls forth a beautiful world where humanity can return to harmony. A world that manifests celebrating women echoed in organic shapes, sacred patterns and communal collectivity. As one moves through the space of this exhibition, forgotten is the angled hard world that values the impersonal, and the individual. The world that protects the abuser and defames the storyteller is banished. The hard angles and the rough edges of a society that value power, and worships what is keeping us off balance, fades into the distance. It is instead replaced by a new warm, beautiful future where the Goddess reigns supreme. 

Is it possible to manifest a new world through the creation of art? In her book Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations, bell hooks states that  “The function of art is to do more than tell it like it is—it’s to imagine what is possible” (hooks 281).  These women compose this declaration clearly, stating that their work is a celebration of “each a half of the harmony of the Universe, balancing sun and moon, light and dark… homages to the empowerment of women as vessels of love, healing, and transformation” (Yin Artist Statement). In Tuchel’s naturalistic portraits of senior women, we see a homage to the faces that are relegated to the sidelines in our patriarchal worship of the young and nubile. Her larger group painting brings women back together in a dancing collective that become one with each other through colour, gesture and texture. In Del Foxton’s sculpture of women from across the globe, they stand in a group sharing their compelling stories on a path to healing. Their shoulders hunched in a communal discussion. As viewers, we can imagine these women walking away upright with the strength of their stories straightening their backs and empowering their way forward.  A coming together of collectivity is echoed in the figures of her doll-like cutouts that hold hands, dancing across the recycled paper that, in its very existence, shows us a new way into a future of environmental sustainability. Small cut out daughters held in their bodies travel with the figures along with a new path in the community. As we move onto Chantal Bethel’s work, this concept is reflected in her sculptural and painted vessels that call forth rebirth, reincarnation and the new life that we yearn for. The lotus flowers, water symbolism, birth and rebirth that exude from each piece immerses us in a return to nature which provides us with the answers of how to begin again. Bethel calls forth in three dimensions women’s power and a human kinship with the natural world that once lost can be found again. Claudette Dean carries this narrative through her work as we see the divine feminine, head down and meditating. We can feel her protagonist magically imagining and drawing forth a new world. The vaginal openings in her tree focused paintings centre the viewer on the cycles of the earth and the blossoms that represent the rebirth that spring will bring through a universal womb. As we work through her paintings, this rebirth she tells us will have women as the metaphorical gatekeepers; enormous and powerful in stature, branches reaching up to the heavens. In Paula Farrington’s work, we see the manifestation of a new world in the visual form. She illustrates through vibrant colours, glittering shapes and reflective surfaces, the universe bringing forth a new way of being. A new world in which the Earth Goddess is returned to her rightful place of the sacred. We feel the movement of our positive thoughts through splashes of colour that move in and out of one another. The beauty of her saturated colours stand in direct resistance to the oppression and darkness of what is being revealed in the movements of Me Too and Times Up. Organic shapes, complex colour symbology, groupings of symbols and subjects, intricate patterns that live alongside free intuitive ones, metaphoric vessels and literal vessels, water, land, earth and sky all communicate with one another between these artworks. Yin takes us on a journey to the answers to our burning questions. It asks us to remember the power and value of women; to bring our lives back into balance by protecting and respecting the land and water. It tells us that the answers are all around us and inside our humanity.

In the book, When God Was a Woman, Merlin Stone writes that ancient goddess worshipers believed their deity was “creator and law-maker of the universe, prophetess, provider of human destinies, inventor, healer, hunter and valiant leader in battle” (Stone 11). Out of the studio and into the gallery, the artists of Yin bring forth a deity that battles oppression with visual expression. A prophetess that tells us a story of a new way of living and being that is coming in our future. A healer that literally and figuratively births a new harmonious way of being that is balanced and respects the environment that we inhabit. She is a hunter that goes out on a journey and brings back the qualities of love for oneself and love for others through intention and imagination, collectivity and collaboration. Magical in its optimism, the Goddess that Yin manifests will provide the viewer with a new space of transformation. She provides us with a space that shows us what is possible when we come together in community to honour women and the communities that they bring forth. 

Ilene Sova, Hon BFA, MFA

Ada Slaight Chair of Contemporary Drawing and Painting

Ontario College of Art and Design University 

Work cited:        . hooks, bell. Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations. Routledge, 2008.
                           . Stone, Merlin. When God Was a Woman. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978.

 

The exhibit continues through early December. Our thanks to Antonius Roberts and Paula Roberts of Hillside House Gallery, The Charitable Arts Foundation of The Bahamas, and our husbands, families, friends, and YIN sisters everywhere for their support.

Pineapple Perspectives: Welcoming Voice & Vision

January 5, 2017

pineappleperspective-displayed

The humble pineapple—a staple of feasts among Taino and Carib tribes—was prized for its exotic rarity in colonial times when a pineapple dressing your table or entry was a luxurious sign of ultimate Welcome and Hospitality that grew to be recognized the world over. The word “pineapple” is a composite of “pine” (taken from the spiked shape of a pinecone, once revered in many ancient cultures as symbolic of the intuition, or third eye—the “pineal” gland in the center of the forehead is named with the same root word) and “apple”, to epitomize fruit.

Pineapple Perspectives: Welcoming Voice & Vision re-imagines the ubiquitous tropical pineapples as an icon of Welcome to our innate Creativity, Imagination, and Intuition—sacred gifts available to all as Artists of Everyday Life, regardless of our field of endeavor. Intuitive creativity helps us to find ways to embrace different perspectives, to walk in each other’s flip flops, to make music of the mundane, to take good notes when the heart speaks, to shine light on our best and worst impulses, and to surrender to a deeper dance of natural grace in every aspect of daily life. To glimpse a pineapple anywhere and be reminded to simply pause and quietly ask ourselves about one creative dream—and any small small step we can start taking toward realizing it—begins a valuable dialogue.

More awareness of our intuitive powers in these challenging and oh-so-spiky times re-opens the doors of hospitality to the sweet satisfactions of creative process in the many ways we grow and celebrate our shared humanity within this multi-layered and ever changing collage of life.  — Paula Boyd Farrington

creative-nourishment

Creative Nourishment: Curiousity, Gratitude, Awareness, Childlike Wonder

there-is-a-crack-ineverything

The American Dream & Experiment: Held Together With Safety Pins (There is a crack in everything, that is how the light gets in. – Leonard Cohen)

sea-fan-prayer4protection

Sea Fan: Respect & Honor for the Ocean–A Prayer for Protection from Overfishing

Sea Fan closeup detail

creativecurrency-time

Creative Currency: Time … A Nickel’s Worth To Start Then Time Flies

sacred-geometry

Sacred Geometry | Creativity: The Basic Shape of Things

Flowering Empathy: Walking In Each Other's Flip Flops (close up detail)

Flowering Empathy: Walking In Each Other’s Flip Flops (close up detail)

I am humbled and thrilled to have this mixed media work on view as part of the NE8 (National Exhibit 8) at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas in Nassau through April 2017.  The exhibit is beautifully curated by NAGB Chief Curator, Holly Bynoe, and the amazing array of 50 featured contemporary works has been presented with incredible polish, panache, and heart by her super-talented staff (rock on, Team Ninja!!).

It’s a show worth seeing. Very grateful to be part of this conversation on art and culture that happens every two years in The Bahamas. Was fortunate to get to hear some terrific Artist Talks from Bahamian artists all over the world following the Opening Night event. Loved getting to be there opening night to see the message of making our own intuition, imagination, and creativity more welcome in our everyday lives so warmly received. Small gold pineapple icons were handed out on opening night in bestowing greater awareness and reminders to pause and ponder the power of our combined sacred intuitive gifts.

Ocean and Sunset Artist Trading Cards

April 12, 2016

Ocean.ATC.Stirred.Sea

Creating Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) with the fabulous Helga Strauss Stevens of ARTchix Studio was a big part of how I discovered my love of making collage and mixed media art.  It’s also how I made the e-acquaintance of the delightful artist, Lenna Young Andrews, who is hosting an Ocean & Sunset themed swap of these small, almost-business-card-sized works of heart—all made just for the love of art and sharing the joy with other artists and crafters!

I couldn’t resist this theme, especially with such glorious sunsets by the sea and crystal-clear aqua waters around here.baby.turtle

Sunset.Inspiration.WestEnd.GBSo, I set out to have some fun with warm tones and cool blues, making 3 of each theme (and a couple extras for personal swapping). I started with watercolor paper and acrylic paints for the Sunset cards … yellows and oranges and a touch of red mixed in with some gold highlights:

1st.Layer.SunsetATCs.2016 2nd.Layer.Sunset.ATCs.2016 3rd.Layer.SunsetATCs.2016 4th.Layer.Sunset.ATCs.2016For the Ocean cards, I let my love of gelli-printing on tissue paper lead the way and started layering that in with various bits of collected paper (and vintage ARTchix sheets):Tissue.Paper.GelliPrints.4Ocean

Beginnings.Ocean.ATCs

With all the backgrounds ready …

Ocean.Sunset.Backgrounds4ea

… I started browsing through my stash of image sheets from ARTchix, and paired pictures with some other wisps of paper, stamping, some typed “by the sea” words (on yellow tissue to blend with the paint), and little embellishments to bring the ATCs together … I kept the colors separate in the Sunset & Ocean themes (warm and cool), but loved playing and mixing the themes together in the content, with bathing beauties and sea creatures cavorting on the Sunset cards too! The little veined marks in the backgrounds of some of the Sunset cards (almost reef-like) was made by letting a little water into the paint mix and pressing the cards together … it added to the blending of the colors and I’m totally in love with how water creates these little rivulets—patterns that show up in paint, in tree roots and branches, in underwater coral fans, in our veins, in trickling raindrops … it’s an organic flow that shows up everywhere water makes its mark!

Sunset.ATC.Seahorse

Sunset.ATC.BySea.w.Fish

Sunset.ATC.bySea.Flower.Shell Sunset.ATC.Love.Sunsets

Sunset.ATC.BySea.Mermaids

A quick picture of the fine line needle tip applicator that I used for putting little gold highlights on the cards—shown in front of my beloved trusty 1955 Royal Quiet Deluxe typewriter—I love pecking collage words out on this machine as much as I love hearing the carriage return bell DING!

fineline.applicator

I finished off the backs of the Sunset cards with snippets of polka dotted papers gleaned mostly from odd bits of wrapping paper and smudges of paint in the same warm tones … just because I love dots dots dots … and paint!

Sunset.ATC.Seahorse.Back

Totally enjoyed finding more bathing beauties and images and sea-inspired touches for the Ocean themed cards … snip, snip, glue, stamp … there’s even a thin layer of clear pouring medium over the blues to give them more of a water feel …

Ocean.ATC.LiveIN.Sea

OceanATC.EnjoyToday

Ocean.ATC.MerryMermaid

Ocean.ATC.Beachcomber

Finishing them off on the back with more polka dots, along with Starfish postage stamps from The Bahamas (they have especially pretty postage stamps in The Bahamas that I seem to use more in collage than in mailing letters! 🙂 )

Ocean.ATC.Card.Back.ET

Thank you, Lenna, for hosting such a wonderful swap—I really enjoyed the process of making these—and what fun it will be to find ATCs from other artists waiting for me in my mailbox in a few weeks!! Swaps swirl with shared joy and the glow of art enthusiasm … just like sunsets and the oceans of creativity sparkling out there … enjoy!!

Picture Postcard Kind of Day

January 25, 2015
Banana.Bay.1.25.2015

© paula boyd farrington 2015

 

Enjoying the afternoon at Banana Bay … a true Grand Bahama paradise kind of day … straight out of a picture postcard. The combination of brilliant and soft-blended blues, an intensely-gentle warming sun, a just-enough breeze, and low humidity all came together today in one stellar “Ahhhhh ….” that begs both simple enjoyment and a cyber-singing of its praises.

It is after all High Gratitude season here.  When I first moved here, people told me this idyllic time of year was sometimes referred to as “gloating season”—that is not my intent here. And we year-round island residents have waded through our share of summer heat and high humidity to get to these glorious days of dewy-free revelry. These slice-of-heaven days may already be well-enough celebrated in the tourism brochures, but those images don’t capture all the little moments of day-to-day warm winter bliss …  the long rays of dawn glinting off the cat’s fur …

cat.w.sun.glinting

… the delight of finding that the avocado tree in the back garden is offering up yet one more late-ripening gift of green goodness …

late.ripening.avocado.1.2015the silhouette of a shorebird wading in late afternoon liquid gold glimmers …

silhouettes.shorebirdsAhhhh indeed.  Perhaps today is received with extra gratitude and thanks because it was blustery and somewhat gray yesterday—a grand day in its own way with the palm fronds applauding madly in gusts, as if cheering wildly for the cool front to get here—sweeping a path clear for silky sun and cyan sky kisses that take your breath away. And give you pause to take an extra-deep breath and offer up a quiet hallelujah for natural wonders—and absolutely exquisite island days.  Here’s to the sunshine of the heart, wherever your paradise …

 

Art in the Mail: International Postcard Swap

May 17, 2014

Postcard10

Postcard9.Mermaidens

Postcard7

Postcard8.Bahamas

Postcard6

Postcard5.SeaSiren

Postcard4

Postcard.3A

Postcard2

Postcard1Enjoyed creating these mixed media collage postcards for iHanna International Postcard Swap.  These cards are crafted out of recycled pieces of cardboard,  along with some vintage ARTchix Studio images, scraps of old sewing patterns, bits of imprinted paper napkins, acrylic paint, gelli prints, and odd wisps of wrapping paper—a blend of textures and colors and fun celebrating the abundant sea and aqua blue waters that make this archipelago nation of 700 Bahama cays and isles extra delightful—along with a vibrant international community that calls these island home!  These 10 cards are winging their way to various parts of the world, and I’ll soon photograph and post those that land here too!  Handmade art. Snail mail. Adventuring art hearts! Thanks, iHanna.nu for coordinating this lovely exchange!

 

The Greening of Grand Bahama

December 28, 2013

It’s the last Saturday of the month—and that means it’s time for Grand Bahama’s Farmer’s Market, known as “Da Market” at the Bahamas National Trust Rand Nature Centre from 9 am to 1 pm each month (and possibly more often during the warm winter season!). You’ll find a small assortment of organically grown produce, fresh herbs, seedlings, fresh-from-the-henhouse-eggs, plus homemade jams, jellies and sweets.

Herbs.Seeds.Closeup.4.27.2013

Organic.Goodies.A.4.28.13Even exotic fruits can be found, such as these locally-grown Dragon Fruit, which have a marvelous fuchsia color and taste mildly sweet, like a kiwi fruit:

Dragon.Fruit.in.Crate

Dragon.FRt.cut.open

The market also has a small selection of ever-changing locally made arts and crafts …

handpainted stones by artist Shanin Hughes

handpainted stones by artist Shanin Hughes

The Farmer’s Market is just one of the signs that Grand Bahama is becoming greener. I’ll tell you more about local entrepreneurs who are providing fresh green menus, vegan foods, and even a local organic farm in another post …. right now I’m ten minutes late for the opening of “Da Market” … see you there!

DA.Market.4.27.2013P.S. SCHEDULING NOTE OOPS:  If you’re reading this on December 28th before 1 pm and thinking of heading out in your car, hold off until next month! Da Farmer’s Market was moved up a week because of the holidays … still happy to spread the word and hope you’ll check Facebook under “Da Farmer’s Market” for updates and reminders of upcoming markets–and hooray for all the luscious green goodness that swirls through Grand Bahama all through our warm winter!

An Art Garland of Sea Scallops

November 19, 2013

Garland.Day.At.BeachGarland.Sea.Frolic Garland.Sea.Star Garland.Shell.Chaise Garland.Swim.In.FlowersGarland.Mermaid.Silhouette

I created these scallop-shaped collages for an ARTchix Studio swap at the end of summer—all with a sea theme, and splashes of mixed media goodies:  vintage bathing beauty images and laser wood cuts (from ARTchix), plus tropical umbrella-paper & stamped cupcake-liner toppers, colorful blue/green background papers, tissue paper, watercolor crayons, and even snippets of paper doily “scallops” painted with gelato sticks and fortified with layers of Mod Podge® to make them more durable.  The art-scallops string together with ribbons and festive ties into one see-worthy garland 🙂 … oceans of fun!

And deep oceans of thanks to the amazing Helga Strauss Stevens, owner/creator of ARTchix for inspiring so much creative joy, not only with this theme and so many others over the years, but also as a pioneer in supplying vintage & contemporary mixed media images, custom-made embellishments, and ephemera and cool stuff of all kinds when she started ARTchix 12 years ago.  She’s the one who started me on my collage journey, and I am heartily grateful, and ever in awe of her talents, generosity, kindnesses, and fun-loving spirit. Brava, Helga, Brava!!

p.s. … and here are the lovely, beautifully-detailed, whimsical, and smile-inducing scalloped artworks I received in the swap … waves of thanks to all the artists who made these and the extra bonus goodies in the packages too … thank you!

sea scallop collage by Michelle McLean of artfulembellishments.com

sea scallop collage by Michelle McLean of artfulembellishments.com

sea scallop collage by Lisa Robinson
sea scallop collage by Lisa Robinson

sea scallop collage by Naomi Walsh

sea scallop collage by Naomi Walsh

sea scallop collage by Ronetta Bantly

sea scallop collage by Ronetta Bantly

sea scallop collage by Julo Twombley

sea scallop collage by Julo Twombley

 


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