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Monday, December 30, 2013

the 2nd side of the story ... dready art of Jakes, Jamaica




                                  Jakes, Tresure Beach - Very Limited Edition Print (#of 15) 7 foot long

before i was even a bwoy, before i was a glint in my fathers eye, at the end of the 50's, the south coast villages of st elizabeth and westmorland, like little bay, bluefields, treasure beach, whitehouse, were places where Jamaicans got away to - the north coast was already developing its persona of kinda for tourists.

development escaped it: the experiences were those of tranquility and commune and family and nature ...

and this place, jakes village, grew up amongst the vestiges of that and retains the feelings and the emotions and it's cool and vibrant and wild and interesting and i wanted to capture that in a piece of art because it reminds me of the jamaica i grew up in.

And so this is the dready of that ...

vibes!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

dready of Jakes ... two sides to the same story ...




i (obviously) like doing panoramas ...

i like jakes in treasure beach jamaica; it is one of the coolest places on the planet ... just getting there changes your whole perspective ... you make the journey and you leave the life you lead behind; you travel to get there and then at the end of the road, literally and on the edge of the sea is jake's village.

jakes is sprawled, from the driftwood spa to jack sprat restaurant along about half a mile of the south coast of jamaica; it ambles, cooly ... villa to villa, visual sensation to sensual experience, iron shore to cove and back to iron shore, garden to grass piece  ...



(above map of jakes provided by sally henzell)

i couldn't fit all i wanted to say into one panorama and so i've divided it into 2, 'grass piece' and 'sea side' ... it's how i see it, because in truth half of 'sea side' takes place in the garden and most of 'grass piece' takes place on the sea side.

anyhow, dat's me ...


Saturday, December 7, 2013

bajan chattel house and goat ...



           
                                     Barbadian Chattel House - Limited Edition Print 24x24

I been to Barbados a few times ...

the first time I went I wrote in my journal ...

" “Barbados lacks soul and that’s what’s wrong with it” – and then I thought about it and continued - "but the truth is that that is what Barbados is, it’s not really something that’s wrong with it, just a piece of its essence, they don’t flaunt, they just are. Others, friends, tell me that they know a Barbados, a warm, welcoming one full of interesting fun loving people – but they, these friends, when pressed, still agree that yes, definitely, there is a wall, albeit a low slung and Georgian cut stone one, over which you have to climb before you can encounter this warm side of the Bajan spirit. "

barbados and bajans grew on me over time as I went back again and again ...

actually when i started doing dreadyness i started not in cayman or jamaica but in barbados, grenada and the bvi ... i was really fond of grenada, but then i should be as my great grandfather emigrated to jamaica from grenada.

So, here i am again, coming back full circle to the idea of bajan-ism and art based on barbados - dreadyness has evolved somewhat from them first days of experiment in a new style and fashion.

there's a particular kind of building in barbados called the 'chattel house', they're iconic, you see them all over bridgetown; architects evolve them for the modern vernacular and they're part of the historic landscape ...

"The term goes back to the plantation days when the home owners would buy houses designed to move from one property to another. The word "chattel" means movable property so the name was appropriate. Chattel houses are set on blocks or a groundsill rather than being anchored into the ground. In addition, they are built entirely out of wood and assembled without nails. This allowed them to be disassembled (along with the blocks) and moved from place to place. This system was necessary historically because home "owners" typically did not own the land that their house was set on. Instead, their employer often owned the land..."

anyhow, so when i came to do a bajan image i chose to do a chattel house ... and a goat and a banana tree ... and then a friend said i had to put in a bajan dog, so there's a dog on the back step ...

there's always a dog!

Is not all hard work ...




part of the 'job' is doing things like gallery openings where your work is displayed (over my left shoulder) and showing up on behalf of people you do art for or who promote your art ... you meet, you greet, you chat, shake hands, talk about what inspired you to draw a renault 4 driving across a sand coloured backscape ... (you might actually have to make up that answer cause it was just something in your head at the time.)

"what are those shapes?" "They look like fish" "Flags ..." "if you look at the whole thing it looks like a reclining nude ..."
the answer to which is "that's the thing, it's abstract, it can be what you want it to be ... I call it rainbow; it kinda came to me one morning, in my head, fully formed, pretty much as you see it now." which is a very 'artsy' thing to say and when you say it out loud to someone it sounds even artsy-er.

they invariably answer "ah!" and go and look for free wine.


anyhow, i said to an artist once, your job's not painting, painting's what you get to do as the treat for your work; your work is selling your art ... and that work can be a lot of fun, the people you meet, the conversations you have, the joy of meeting people who really like your work (the ones that don't rarely walk up to you and say 'dooood that's absolute crap!') ...

work harder!