From waste to wonder

Cheryl Harewood,

Added 23 October 2012

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To the human eye, they are beautiful pieces although some have been created from discarded pieces of wood and metal. They reflect the brilliance of artistic imagination and creativity – where the artist can create something from virtually nothing. These fine pieces of mixed-media art can be found at the Queen’s Park Gallery at Pelican Village. That’s where the exhibition titled RE-CODED – New World Narratives In 3-D is currently taking place and runs until November 3. Each work of art – some in abstract form, is in its own right a masterpiece. Among those on display is Walter Bayley’s Tortured Sensibilities, which is sure to capture your attention. This work speaks to the socio-psychological wounds this trajectory has left, of being tied up and boxed in; if no longer physically, then in respect of perceptions, self-perceptions and social mobility. There’s also Death’s Cry by Arthur Atkinson, which has more abstract connotations of disaster. It consists of a wooden box, open to one side and containing a big spring. A series of large bolts are drilled into two of its sides, as if in an increasingly desperate effort to hold it together. On top of this contraption are two tangled pieces of black metal: a long bulging appendage reaching out through a machine part of some sort. This is the messy debris of a big, fatal crash; the unfinished business of sugar. One of the featured pieces in the room is a large, detailed ship, constructed with found materials by artist Guru titled Ra III Before The Olive Blossom. It is not a slave ship, though it might appear to be, but is said to be a hypothetical and historically subversive construction, nodding towards Ivan Van Sertima and Thor Heyerdahl and the possibility of Atlantic crossings before the triangular trade. Denyse Menard-Greenidge’s Altar No. 2 will also draw you to its spiritual abstraction. Other artists whose creations are on display include Ras Akyem Ramsay (Precious Cargo), Emma Chapman (Revere Beach), Ireka Jelani (The Seed), Katherine Kennedy (Tropical Glit), and Russell Watson (Ephemeron Specimen 01) – among others.

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