Medulla Art Gallery presented “THE THINGS WE KEEP” – Featuring Alicia Milne, Jaime Lee Loy, Michelle Isava and Nadia HugginsAbout
Alicia Milne: Alicia Milne (b. 1986, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago) is a multi-disciplinary artist working primarily in ceramics. Her works have been shown in galleries and spaces locally and internationally including Medulla Art Gallery, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions and the Anthology Film Archive. In 2013, she received a Prince Claus Fund Travel Grant and was artist in residence at Stichting Open Ateliers Zuidoost in the Netherlands. She was a participant in Beta Local’s Seminario Itinerante in Puerto Rico in 2014. Alicia is one of the instigators of See You on Sunday, a collective committed to arts education and to expanding the critical space in which art production can be considered and discussed. She holds a BA Visual Arts and Minor Cultural Studies from the University of the West Indies. She lives and works in Trinidad.
Alicia Milne Artist’s Statement: My practice is a combination of ceramics and installation, and, video and audio. I have been making works from locally sourced clay and incorporate these ceramic objects with found materials such as chairs, driftwood, mirrors and plants. My video and audio recordings are from local landscapes and people. The act of making my work can be very physical at times: recycling, wedging and sculpting clay, and collecting, lifting and sanding objects. I value working with local and found materials because it affords me to be agentive in their transformation. Agency is an integral part of my practice as it allows me to claim and establish a presence in the physical space that I live in. I use my work to examine my presence and what that means in the context of postcolonial Trinidad and Tobago.
About Jaime Lee Loy: Jaime Lee Loy is an honors graduate of Literature and Visual Arts at UWI, with a postgraduate scholar of an MPhil in Literatures in English. She has participated in international and local residencies since 2007 and exhibited both locally and abroad. She received art grants from the Reed Foundation ( New York ), Prince Claus Fund ( Netherlands ), ROSL (London), and twice from The Trinidad and Tobago Film Company (Trinidad). Her work often has a humanitarian focus and some of her strongest work has been included in global exhibitions tackling domestic violence. Lee Loy’s literary fiction has been published by the St Petersburg Review (Monsters), Akashic Books, NY, (Bury Your Mother), and Tongues of the Ocean’s Six-Word Stories. Her art appears in International and local academic publications including ABOUT CHANGE, SEE ME HERE, and SMALL AXE. Since 2012, Lee Loy also writes literary fiction for children, and directs not for profit workshops for children that promote art as a form of self therapy and healing. Jaime Lee Loy Artist’s Statement: As a multimedia artist I work mainly with video, photography, installation and performance. I am interested in the universal phenomena of loss, the politics of space, and negotiations of control. Focusing my concerns on the psychological, I visually observe the domestic space and the female body as a site of contention. Though the work and its thematics may change, I am always investigating the fragility and impermanence of familiar spaces.
About Michelle Isava: In 2009 she graduated from the University of the West Indies with a B.F.A. in Visual Arts. Her work has been exhibited as part of group exhibitions in Venezuela, Trinidad, U.S.A., Germany and the U.K. She started taking part in group exhibitions in 2001 and in 2008 she had her first solo exhibition of paintings. Since then her practice has been consistently outside of mainstream institutions taking the medium of experimental, process based and performance work. She began working in performance in 2007 at Alice Yard after which she has explored further the medium in Venezuela and Germany. In 2013 she gave birth to her first child. Michelle Isava Artist’s Statement: My work has been my way of processing memory and art making is the best way to work with this subject that is already ephemeral but even more so in our shared Caribbean past + continuous various kinds of horror stories sunken deep beneath the water. I often use female archetypes/ forms as a way of interrogating my gendered experience. Whether I pay homage to the divine + powerful or represent tragedy it is a way of delving within to elucidate form. Find myself, find the ancestral, find the mysterious, find the familiar, find sustainability, find the future. I am interested in what is embodied, the subtle details of life that we keep with us whether by volition or not/ whether conscious or not.
About Nadia Huggins: Nadia Huggins is a self-taught conceptual documentary photographer from St Vincent& the Grenadines. Her photographs explore Caribbean culture and identity through people, self-portraits and the landscape. Her work has been published in, ‘Pictures from Paradise: A Survey of Contemporary Caribbean Photography’, and ‘See me here: A Survey of Contemporary Self-Portraits from the Caribbean’. She has recently exhibited work at PhotoImagen 2016 at the Museo de Arte Moderno Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Also previously in ‘Wrestling with the Image: Caribbean Interventions’ in Washington, DC.;‘Pictures from Paradise’ at the CONTACT Photography Festival in Toronto, Canada; and ‘In Another Place,And Here’ at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, BC, Canada. She has received a photography award at the FESTIVAL CARIBEEN DE L’IMAGE du Mémorial ACTe in Guadeloupe for her Circa no future series. Huggins is also the co-founder of ARC Magazine. She currently lives and works in Trinidad & Tobago as a graphic designer. Nadia Huggins Artist’s Statement: Transformations is a series of diptychs that explores the relationship between my identity and the marine ecosystem. During my daily swim, I became occupied with the changes I saw happening before me with the deterioration of coral reefs that were once alive. At the same time I was finding solace through the amorphous quality and weightlessness of my body in the water. I decided to take my camera into the water to document the interplay between the seascape and my body. In the sea, as a woman who identifies as other, my body becomes displaced from my everyday experiences. Gender, race, and class are dissolved because there are no social and political constructs to restrain and dictate my identity. These constructs have no place or value in that environment. This idea creates the foundation for these portraits. Most people’s experience with the sea occurs at eye level with the horizon and they are oblivious to what is happening below the surface. I am interested in the notion that “just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it isn’t there”. Underwater, I am alien and unable to survive without gear. I explore this limitation by holding my breath and submerging for short periods of time to capture each image. The marine organisms I document have been shot in the same location over a span of two years in tandem with my own body. My intention was to investigate the changes occurring both within and without myself, as well as how our own actions affect our immediate environment over time.� I created these transfigured portraits by using collage techniques to bring together self-portraiture and my documentation of marine organisms. Each portrait brings together two separate entities: the body and various marine animals. By juxtaposing these images with a space in between them, each portrait is on the cusp of becoming a single image. This space represents a transient moment where I am regaining buoyancy and separating from the underwater environment to resurface. My intention with these photographs is to create a lasting breath that defies human limitation. The transformation exists within the space in between photographs. It is in this moment that the viewer makes the decision if both worlds are able to separate or merge.
About Medulla Art Gallery: Medulla Art Gallery has been established to carry on and develop the traditions of Aquarela Galleries. Medulla, as the name implies, will provide a core space for art education with public participation through exhibitions, forums and workshops. Geoffrey MacLean, Martin Mouttet and Isabel Brash hope to use Medulla to demonstrate art, not only as a social expression, but also as a medium for therapy and growth. Medulla seeks to produce and promote exhibitions and ancillary events of established and emerging artists. Medulla also seeks to engage with and educate the public including teachers, students, private and corporate collectors, investors, sponsors, art enthusiasts and media through the development of new innovative programs and initiatives, artist talks, critical analysis etc. Partnering with other cultural institutions and individuals on collaborative projects is another important goal. Other services offered by Medulla are exhibition installation, appraisals, acquisitions, documentation and advice on conservation, restoration and collection management.
Date: March 23rd 2017
Venue: Medulla Art Gallery
Photographer: John Francis
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