The National Gallery’s latest exhibition explores the theme of identity in contemporary Caymanian art.
Featuring artwork by more than 20 artists, “tIDal Shift” includes a wide range of media, including large-scale installations, sculptures, paintings, new media and multidisciplinary works, digital art, video and large-format photographs.
Artists were invited by the NGCI to explore the impact that Cayman’s rapid development has had on their sense of self and on the wider concepts of collective identity.
“The Cayman Islands have transformed from a small maritime society to a financial mecca in less than 50 years which has had enormous repercussions on our wider culture, its expressions and material testimony,” Natalie Urquhart, NGCI director and exhibition curator said. “It is not surprising that much of our art community is grappling with the notion of what it means to be ‘of’ Cayman in 2015, and questioning what the future might look like in their work.”
Urquhart said she was inspired to curate the exhibition based on the title of artist Paul Gaugin’s 1897 painting “Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?”
“[These] questions which for me, and many of my contemporaries, are as pertinent to our current condition as they were over a century ago,” Urquhart said.
Exhibited artworks explore many of today’s cultural concerns, including immigration, political status, ethnicity and race, urban development and erosion of tradition. Other, arguably more personal themes, are also examined, including motherhood, family and nostalgia.
“We live in a world that is culturally diverse, technologically advancing, and multifaceted and this influences the subject matter of many of our artists,” Urquhart explained. “Working in a wide range of mediums, their work reflects and comments on modern-day society. I think the work invites reflection and dialogue.”
Exhibiting artists are Shane Aquart, Wray Banker, David Bridgeman, Matt Brown, Randy Chollette, Aston Ebanks, Davin Ebanks, Kerwin Ebanks, Meegan Ebanks, Sean Ebanks, Kaitlyn Elphinstone, Frank E. Flowers, Jamie Hahn, Ben Hudson, Paul Jordison, Greg Lipton, Elena McDonough, Pippa Ridley, Judy Singh, Gordon Solomon, Nasaria Suckoo, Simon Tatum and Elina Zavala.
copy courtesy of the Cayman Compass