Dave Smith | Nassau Revisited
Smith established a presence on the local art scene over 30 years ago with a series of-solo shows of socially conscious paintings, & was a frequent exhibitor with his contemporaries Brent Malone, Jackson & Stanley Burnside, Max Taylor& Antonius Roberts, playing a pivotal role in the development of Bahamian art. He is also one of the 11 artists featured in the widely acclaimed 2008 documentary film, ‘Artists of The Bahamas’.
Originally from England, & spending 17 years in the Bahamas as an art teacher, Smith now lives in California, but the islands continue to lure him back several times a year. The 12 new paintings still on display at the Central Bank Gallery find him re-visiting familiar themes. As he explains: “The focus of my work revolves around themes which are essentially perennial anyway. Our problematic interaction with social issues like crime, religion & consumerism remain with us – as does the sometime incongruous reality of our idyllic, post card shoreline.”
During Smith’s years in the Bahamas, he avidly photographed the underbelly of the Bahamian environment, with many of these images frequently providing research for his paintings. Of particular interest to the artist is a series of photographs he took, over a number of years, of Nassau movie theatre marquees.
Many were reproduced in a self-published book several years ago, but 25 of these images have been made into limited editions of large format archival prints & can be seen for the first time in the show at Popopstudios in Chippingham.
As the artist points out: “These images have always been special to me, but as time elapses, the images become not only more humorous, but also more poignant when read as a menu of the cultural offerings of the time.”
Both shows offer thoughtful insights on Bahamian society & will run concurrently until April 1st. An opening reception will be held at Popopstudios International Center for the Visual Arts at 6pm on Thursday March 17th. The artist will be in attendance.