National pride on display
AN EXHIBITION showcasing traditional aspects of Barbados and Barbadian life is now on display at the Pelican Art Gallery.
It features the work of seven artists/photographers, who are also good friends – Allan Ashby, Larrie Belgrave, Rasheed Boodhoo, Glenroy Jordan, Everick Lynton, Denzil Mann and Neville Legall.
Legall, a former president of the Barbados Arts Council who is curating the show, told EASY magazine the exhibition came about at the urging of his friends.
“The guys said ‘Legall, you’re always doing a show around March, you got to do something and we want to be on board’.”
He said the national pride of his friends was reflected in the subjects of their paintings or photographs. Familiar seascapes, landscapes or country scenes; traditional chattel houses; market scenes; beach scenes; the elderly with the wisdom of ages in their faces and buildings or now gone vehicles, draw the viewer back to a bygone time.
“We are very proud of this country and things Barbadian. We grow up in this country. We love this country. We love the history, the culture of this country. And so the paintings you see on the walls depict things Barbadian.
“When you look at all these paintings, you can see Barbados. You don’t have to wonder where is this, what is this, what is it trying to depict. Everything is there,” Legall said, stressing that artists have a major role to play in stimulating interest in the island’s heritage and culture.
His guiding philosophy is that with so much stress and pressure in the world, art should be a medium through which an artist, and by extension an art lover, relaxes.
“Art should not be another form of oppression, so we don’t come with rules. It is simply painting the things we love. We drive around the island. We love the landscape. We love the people as they go about their daily activities,” he said, as he admitted many of the scenes depicted were fast disappearing.
Legall’s opinion, however, was divided as to whether he believed Barbadians appreciated their culture and those who try to preserve it in oils, water colours or by print.
“Sometimes, you feel the artists are finally getting a little appreciation but then sometimes you wonder because a lot of people still don’t see art as relevant. A guy would drive a car for $100 000 but he would not want to pay $500 for a painting,” Legall noted, adding art was seen as a subject for those “who did not do well at school”.
The show runs until April 2.