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  • Artists Alliance Barbados

Shattered: From Anguish to Rebirth

The words ‘tumultuous’ and ‘extremes’ were used to sum-up the condition of the world in 2017. While we have come to expect strange and alarming happenings in politics and religion along with some sexual scandals; in 2017, pendulum swings in the natural environment, and the infinite and nefarious capabilities of digital technologies elbowed in to add to the surrealism of the year. As we tried to wrap our minds around one bizarre event, another would occur, and another, often not in sequence but multiple parallels.

The political shifts to the right, the worldwide high level financial corruption and economic disruption, the exposed sexual depravities, the muddied war-terrorism divide, the fast and furious hurricanes taking lives, and the digital assaults of individuals come to mind. As the battering continued, some events ‘hit home’ followed by the anguish, the tears, the quest for answers and the resolve for sanity. We came to recognize our individual insignificance and inability to change the world, but these happenings fueled us change ‘our own world’ with a call to life, love and compassion. We raised funds, we protested and stood in solidarity, we cried for the loss of life, we prayed for healing and we meditated in hope of better days.

For many artists and empaths, the notion that things were broken beyond repair (shattered) felt real. We exploited this emotion and expressed it in our work, using our art to open the conversation on being fractured, being pained, and the growth and rebirth that emerges, that is, LIFE. This is highlight in the works of this exhibition. Some of us discuss all aspects, some of us parts, but collectively we explored the idea that being in human form has its challenges, that we experience differently, and that we choose our own way – rightly or wrongly, widely or narrowly – to work through them.

‘Mushin’ is the Japanese philosophy of "no mind" (無心 mushin), which encompasses the concepts of non-attachment, acceptance of change and fate as aspects of human life. It is deployed in the Japanese Ceramic Art form ‘Kintsugi’ as the art of broken pieces, that treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. Embracing damage is one of the concepts that this pop-up exhibition aims to relate. Many times, the damaged vessel becomes even more beautiful because of the treatment of cracks.

In choosing the location for this show, we thought about the physical spaces we go to when shattered. They are many, but not all suitable for the showing of art. The St. George Parish Church topped the list as it has been one of the main patrons of The Arts through the centuries. Through the stained glassed windows, the paintings of enlightened beings, the amazing floral decoration and the grave yard epitaphs, in St George Parish Church we can feel the connections between anguish, beauty, God and Art.

Oneka Small | Curator

Artists Alliance Barbados 31 January 2018 Featured Artists: • A. Ashanti Trotman • Amanda Trought • Arlette St.Hill • Barbara Pickering • Cher-Antoinette Corbin • Cy Hutchinson • Hebron Chism • Heidi Berger • Henry Fraser • Jason Hope • Kathy Alkins • Lorna Wilson • Makemba Kunle • Margaret Herbert • Martina Pilé • Nick Whittle • Oneka Small • Stella Hackett • Tracy Deolivere Greenidge • William Cummins

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