A New Way of Thinking
The work of young artists practicing ambitiously and consistently with interesting material and creative ideas is being celebrated in a new exhibition at Popopstudios Art Gallery – “The New New”.
The exhibition features the work of four young artists, Veronica Dorsett, 21; Blake Fox, 19; Piaget Moss; 19 and Angelika Wallace-Whitfield, 19.
The work includes digital media, site-specific installations, photo transfers and painting.
The show’s curator Heino Schmid, an artist and lecturer at The College of The Bahamas (COB), said the idea for the show started out as a kind of satire, but eventually turned into something more serious.
“It was initially a thought I had reading about contemporary art and the desire for curators and art dealers to constantly seek the new hot artists,” Schmid told Guardian Arts&Culture.
“So calling something the new new was initially a kind of tongue-in-cheek plan on this insatiable desire for the hunt for a new artist or artists of importance. Upon further reflection, however, it occurred to me and the team at Popop that this idea of the new new could be an opportunity to celebrate the work of young artists.”
Dorsett, Fox, Moss and Wallace-Whitfield were selected for the exhibition based on their own creative practices and what was seen as a strong desire to push their practice into something grander, Schmid explained.
It was an ideal opportunity, he said, to bring the young artists together in one room and allow the freedom for a significant visual dialogue.
“Popopstudios is, I think, in many ways an ideal format for these kinds of discussions. As a physical location we sometimes struggle with physical resources but one of our greatest resources at the studio is an exceptionally strong environment for creative collaboration and we felt that all
four artists would not only produce a visually exciting exhibition but would also gain from the collective experience of working with each other,” said Schmid.
Dorsett, a Popop Junior Resident prize winner, is from Freeport and graduated from the College of The Bahamas last year. She also recently completed a residency at Atilier 89 in Aruba. Fox is from Long Island and will graduate this year from COB with a degree in art. Moss is also from Freeport and is an art student and COB. Wallace-Whitfile is from Nassau and is currently the curator at the D’Aguilar Art Foundation and a curatorial assistant at the Natation Art Gallery of The Bahamas.
The variety of work seen in the show speaks not only to the individuals participating in the exhibition but also the recontextualization of material and creative practice.
“It was exciting for us to see how these artists in particular were playing with and exploring various mediums and material,” he said.
The exciting thing about the exhibition, said Schmid, is that it has a lot of energy.
“It feels like the artists involved embraced the challenge of creating a body of work that would allow for their own individual growth as well as coming together as a unit to bring a single exhibition to the public that is engaging and sets the stage for a meaningful dialogue,” he added.
Schmid believes viewers will be genuinely impressed with how the group of artists was able to explore their own ideas as a cohesive unit.
The artists have set a wonderful precedent for the future, which is palpable as you navigate the exhibition, he said.
“I truly believe that viewers will leave the show wanting to see more of what these talents are able to produce in the future,” said Schmid.
In many ways, the work of these young artists continues to reflect how art in The Bahamas has changed over the past decade.
Schmid said this change comes out an inherent desire to forge an identity that is reflective of the state of the country at the moment.
“As artists we have a responsibility to echo the fundamental social tones where we practice,” he said. “All four of these artists are embracing that responsibility and are pushing their practices to echo this desire for change and a new way of thinking.”
• ‘The New New Show’ runs through November 30.
By Erica Wells
The Nassau Guardian
Published: Saturday, November 16, 2013