Happy Caribbean Heritage Month!
Also, welcome back to the return of Astro-Caribbean!
All this month, I will present visionary work from the Afro-Caribbean diaspora. Today’s post is a presentation of visual artists — Sheena Rose, Carlo Theartus, Dirk Joseph, and Alicia Brown.
Sheena Rose is a Barbados-based artist whose work explores the cultures of the Caribbean and challenges of being part of the Caribbean diaspora. The work below is from her Black Obeah series, which includes her “Island and Monster” triptych and comments on her conflicted feelings as someone who went to the U.S. and now has returned to Barbados. She was recently featured in NY Times for her performance that she did at MoCADA yesterday.
This magic moment I sang to myself as I was going
through some serious anxiety and had this serious
fear of returning back back home. I felt like I was
going through something magical, scary and surreal
in my head. I felt like an outsider, a monster and an
astronaut and and I decided to put a spell on the
viewers to join my magical world.”
Carlo Thertus is a New York-based Haitian artist and executive director of Creative Art Space for Kids, Inc. in Oceanside, N.Y. This month he will be honored at the Caribbean Chamber of Commerce for his work.
From his artist statement: “Man must become more aware of his environment. Nature and world politics are both in a fragile state. We must find harmony to exist. Hand in hand, people of all races have to unite to save our planet (humanity). I have seen too much violence. Consciousness should be just and peaceful and energy should be used positively.
Coming from total ignorance out of the jungles and caves, we managed to evolve to where we are, as we are the only species with the gift of imagination, intelligence, knowledge. Today, the world of the twenty-first century is “the Fourth Dimension” of time.
We are at the center of relativity with the gift of being human, a gift that we still cannot reason with… So much hate even between religions that are worshiping the same God. Today, men are no longer revindicate with the sword, with our new wealth of knowledge we are taking baby steps into a new frontier. According to the laws of general relativity, humanity’s consciousness is not in relativity to its time — its evolution.
One would do this equation of
RELATIVITY + HUMANITY + TIME + EVOLUTION = …”
Dirk Joseph is a multimedia artist who works in mediums including painting, sculpting and computer animation as well as a performance artists. He was born in Trinidad, grew up in New York and now lives in Baltimore.
“I paint to record dreams and experience.
I paint to create dreams and experience.”
Alicia Brown is a Jamaica-based artist and art educator.
Artist Statement: “We inhabit an elusive space, where there is an ongoing struggle to find the missing pieces of self. We are all on the journey to be accepted and to feel a sense of belonging.
My work is about mimicry – what it means to mimic, the implications of employing this tool in the process of constructing postcolonial Caribbean identity, and the significance of this idea in a twenty-first-century art context. We are all aware of the narratives surrounding the issues regarding the influence of colonialism, mass media, pop culture, Western trends and their impact on the formation of identity, but who is telling the story and from what point of view? I would like to tell a story . . .
The act of copying or imitating a dominant culture is evident in the formation of subcultures resulting from class distortions associated with colonialism. With this in mind, I create works surrounding this duality that plays a vital role in the formation of cultural identity, a product that is constantly changing and not fixed. There is an obsession with the need for acceptance and belonging, and I use my works to add to the ongoing dialogue on the subject of cultural identity and representation…”