• Today
    November 19

  • 04:45 PM

Drawing on a life behind bars

BEA DOTTIN, beadottin@nationnews.com

Added 25 April 2012

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The recently concluded Holders Season 2012 featured the work of Barbadian artist Randy Ricardo White. About 15 pieces by the National Independence Festival Of Creative Arts (NIFCA) award-winning artist were on show, presented by Julie-Ann Caviezel. The works, though remarkable, have a deeper story to tell as they were all created by a man serving the final years of a 12-year sentence at Her Majesty’s Prisons Dodds. Carol Bernadine, art tutor and coordinator of the Art Programme at Dodds, said the collection on show was White’s award-winning work spanning the eight years he has been in the Prisons Rehabilitation Art Programme. Bernadine said that the Holders Season organizers graciously hosted him this year and this show is meant to be a precursor to his coming out exhibition, which will be entitled Re-Entry. She said of White: “He is basically a self-taught artist. He had the talent, but like most young men when they are going through that phase of on-the-block-thing, his art was really like graffiti and tattoos. “Then he would do pen and ink and then he decided he was ready for NIFCA and did his first big canvas, for which he won the United Nations prize. “From there he won the Ivan Payne Award – which is the top award for visual arts – on two occasions, as well incentive awards.” Speaking about the rehabilitation programme, Bernadine said that the men are very eager and very talented, and the rehabilitation programme succeeded in honing their skills, but getting their work seen was just as crucial. She explained that the rehab programme usually has 17 to 20 men and they keep going back into society. “Phase 1 is art in the prison and they do very well – we got over 40 medals. But when they come out, that is Phase 2. “We have fellows that [have it] hard outside, so Phase 2 is what I am interested in now, that is, getting their work seen,” she explained. Bernadine said that there are many success stories in the programme, with the men enrolling in Barbados Community College, getting Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees, working overseas, and some even setting up businesses. She said that even though some men find work, they can submit their art and craft to a centre where it can be displayed. (LK)

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