Writer Muses On Nowe Harris-Smith’s Work During Aruba Residency
CaribbeanLinked IV writer-in-residence David Knight Jr. shares his thoughts on Bahamian artist Nowé H. Harris-Smith, who recently took part in this year’s programme at Ateliers ’89 in Aruba, where her work can still be seen in the ongoing final exhibition.
Over the course of this residency, Nowé’s practice took new, experimental directions, culminating in her foray into three dimensional forms based on a previous series of work, in which she photographed paintings done on the human body. It is this exploration of form and process, the manipulation of materials and abstraction of imagery that David finds most intriguing about the artist’s work.
Early on during my time as writer-in-residence at Caribbean Linked IV, I had the opportunity to experience Bahamian artist Nowé Harris-Smith’s paintings on a more than visual level; I had the chance to be a part of one.
Harris-Smith often uses human faces as canvases, and so, to get a better sense of the artist’s process, I volunteered my own. Painting with just her hands, Harris-Smith created a carnivalesque mask for me in shades of pink, blue and a greenish taupe under a tree in the yard of Ateliers ‘89. She then took extreme close-ups of my face both with her digital camera and a Polaroid camera she bought upon arriving in Aruba. This was all part of an ongoing project she is working on as a student at the College of the Bahamas, one that she initially planned to continue pursuing during her time in Aruba.
Photo: Nowé Harris-Smith’s ‘Painted Experiments’ with model David Knight Jr.