Posted tagged ‘The Bahamas’

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.

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!!

Crepe Paper & Cardboard, Costumes & Creativity — Junior Junkanoo 2013

March 5, 2013
Jr.Junkanoo.5.2013

photos by Paula Boyd Farrington

Junkanoo—that distinctly Bahamian combination of colorful handmade costumes, cow bells, horns, and rhythmic goat-skin drums pounding out a steady island beat were proudly on display at last month’s Junior Junkanoo Parade, February 2nd, 2013. Parents, teachers, children, and community volunteers dedicated countless hours through the year crafting costumes of hand-cut and finely fringed crepe paper, carefully pasted in layers onto cardboard forms sized to fit student performers—the next generation—who are learning first-hand about the history, design, and production of this unique cultural art form. The detailed costumes, dance routines, and fun themes chosen by participating schools are a delight to see, and a true celebration of island creativity. Here are a few photos from this year’s event:

Jr.Junkanoo.1.2013Jr.Junkanoo.2.2013

 

Jr.Junkanoo.8.2013Jr.Junkanoo.10.2013

Jr.Junkanoo.7.2013

Jr.Junkanoo.3.2013Jr.Junkanoo.4.2013Jr.Junkanoo.9.2013Junkanoo.Horn.Player2013Junkanoo.Jr.2013Congratulations to all the Junior Junkanoo participants, parents, teachers, coordinators, designers, artists, dancers, musicians, parade officials, volunteers, sponsors, food vendors, and support teams who made this lovely and lively Grand Bahama event possible.

Ka-lik, Ka-lik, Ka-lik. Hear that? That’s the sound the metal clanger in the cow bell makes when it rings—and it’s calling you to come see next year’s Parade. The Junior Junkanoo Parade is usually held in late January or early February each year, and the full scale holiday Junkanoo Parade in Grand Bahama is held in the evening on New Year’s Day. The Junkanoo Summer Festival is scheduled here for July 4 – 25, 2013.

Move to the rhythm. Move to the beat. Dance along. It’s a heartwarming treat!

 

Goldilocks Season

November 4, 2011

We entering into Goldilocks Season on Grand Bahama. The weather is not too hot, not too cold … it’s juuuuust right. It’s the kind of weather that makes you say “aaaahh” and draws your eye extra-much to every bright yellow bit of tropical bliss … … from cerasee bush medicine growing along the garden wall … … to fresh guava in the kitchen … … to more yellow elder (the national flower of The Bahamas) …

… to the way the sun bathes the palm fronds in warmth while a woodpecker taps his tat-a-tat-tat tune …… a soft light glowing on everything … ripening the sea grapes

  

photo by Caitlin Farrington

… renewed gratitude alighting in our hearts, and reminding us of so many golden days … giving thanks for the not-too-hot, hot-too-cold glories of November in The Bahamas! (And to how marvelous it is when the weather matches your mood … here’s to the glow of your internal paradise keeping you warm if you’re bouncing back from that too-cold-too-soon snow storm up north, or still waiting for a touch of fall—like we’ve been doing during the high humidity the past couple of months! Here’s to paying attention to the subtle and not-so-subtle shifts of season and keeping a weathered eye on the blessings that abound everywhere.) Tra-la.

Bahama Blue Bathing Beauties

May 30, 2011

The color BLUE dazzles in The Bahamas. Countless variegated shades of aqua, cyan, cerulean, azure, sky, royal, indigo, and sapphire surround us in the shifting seas and are celebrated in all kinds of art—including these artist trading card collages I created for the blue-themed ARTchix challenge.

 

I loved making these vintage Bathing Beauty mixed media collages. The backgrounds came from photos of tropical-water-hued fabric prints in my fashion wardrobe, photographed and printed onto paper, then layered with some retro-fun ARTchix Studio images and historic postcard text.

I love splashing into waves of blue and frollicking in art.

Tra-la.

 

Sand In My Shoes: A Collection of Island Stories

December 20, 2010

I love this book. It’s touching. Tender. Laugh-out-loud funny. It gives you a taste of island life that goes beyond the usual idyllic picture postcard images and gets straight to the heart of things.  I love these vibrant, adventurous, warming, and humorous stories so much that I helped the author (a dear friend of mine—Marina Gottlieb Sarles) orchestrate the layout of the book for publication, and I’m pleased to say it has been received as a new island classic. Well into its 2nd printing, the book has garnered fans from around the world. It’s a wonderful gift any island lover will enjoy and a great introduction and insight into Grand Bahama’s beginnings—the author, Marina Gottlieb Sarles, is the daughter of the first village doctor and nurse—and draws storytelling inspiration from her childhood in The Bahamas.

Sand In My Shoes author Marina Gottlieb Sarles

You can learn more about this delightful book by clicking here. And it can be ordered online here or via Amazon.

On Grand Bahama Island, Sand In My Shoes is available at the Coldwell Banker James Sarles Realty offices at #9 Regent Center, at the beautiful new Art of Giving gift shop at The International Bazaar (beside Island Watch Repair near the arcade), at Oasis drug stores, and at the Underwater Explorers Society (UNEXSO).

Falling in love with the island and getting sand in your shoes is a true treat—enjoy!

Shades of Blue Bliss: Water Inspiration

December 10, 2010

Blue Bliss: Water Inspiration 8821 © christine matthäi

Artist Photographer Christine Matthäi has created an alluring and intriguing series of images inspired by the changing shades of blue and blissful reflections of what surrounds and supports us most—water.  Her travels to Grand Bahama Island and watching the wind and waves create motion, reflecting the sunlight on our gorgeous clear sapphire seas, is certainly part of her ongoing inspiration and fascination with water—that life-giving source vital to us all. Take a look at these modern, contemporary art works:

Blue Bliss: Water Inspiration 9589 © christine matthäi

Blue Bliss: Water Inspiration 8789 © christine matthäi

Blue Bliss: Water Inspiration 9587 © christine matthäi

Blue Bliss: Water Inspiration 9592 © christine matthäi

Blue.Bliss.Water.Inspiration.8908

Blue Bliss: Water Inspiration 8908 © christine matthäi

If you are interested in prints for your home or office, write to the artist at christinematthai (at) mac (dot) com and note the image number in the caption.

Or take a look at all Christine Matthäi’s gorgeous contemporary portfolios by clicking here.

I am fortunate to call Christine a friend, and am posting this because I admire her incredible talent and brilliant work. As with all things I enthuse about here, it’s simply because I enjoy it and like to make the world a brighter place by sharing the good stuff!

That said, I DO have a vested interest in my husband’s printing company—Freeport Advertising & Printing—a Grand Bahama-owned full service printing and graphic design business here since 1973. If you would like to win a big beautiful 24″ x 36″ inch, fomecore-mounted print of one of Christine Matthai’s images (your choice of the ones shown above), just click here to subscribe to their free Printer At Work newsletter. You can see a sample issue by clicking on the Printer At Work button on the bottom left side of the screen. The newsletter is a quick read, with great tips on marketing, design, technology, and ways to save money and  increase business sales. It comes out every two weeks, so you won’t be getting tons of email or anything. There are even a couple fun cartoons in each edition. (And of course, your email address is safe with us and will be kept private.)

Okay, that’s it. If you’re already a subscriber or have an account at FreeportAdvertising.com, you’re already entered and eligible to win. Subscribe by January 1, 2011 to be eligible to win the print. A random entry will be drawn by over-caffeinated gerbils, or some objective technological wizardry, and the winner announced the following week.

If you want to leave a comment here letting me know you’ve subscribed, or which print is your favorite, or just to jump in and say the water’s fine, that would be wonderful, but is completely up to you.

And if you need some last-minute Christmas cards printed, or little notepads with people’s names on them as thoughtful gifts, I know just the place! (that was the last commercial plug–but aren’t imprinted personal things so cool?—okay that was it, really … I get on a roll and can think up all kinds of fun goodies to print!)

Enjoy the blue bliss of water that surrounds our wonder-filled island and makes us all fortunate in business … in beauty … in life … each and every day. In gratitude for the time and tides—Paula.

It's about the water. It's always about the water. Southern shore of Grand Bahama Island.

 

 

 

 

 


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