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Caribbean Artists Video Series: L ‘Oeil du lézard

Louisa Marajo 

In 2018,  AICA Caraïbe du Sud, launched a series of videos about Caribbean art practitioners titled 'L ‘Oeil du lézard' or  'The Eye of the Lizard' . The video series was initiated by Dominique Brebion and seeks to continue the work that that she does through the AICA and her curatorial work. The series is meant to further continue the international reach of Caribbean art. The videos are offered in English, Spanish and French for these reasons. The series aims to present the practices of contemporary artists from all over the Caribbean through the partnerships already established leading to videos on artists from Martinique, Guadeloupe, Barbados and Guyana.

Valérie John

Tide Rising Art Projects share these goals in common with 'The Eye of the Lizard' and we are therefore pleased to share their work on our platform. The videos so far feature artists such as Valérie John, Bruno Pedurand, Luz Severino, Louisa Marajo, Ewan Atkinson, Jean Marc Hunt, Christian Bertin, Thierry Tian Sio Po, Shirley Rufin, Raymond Medelice, Ricardo Ozier-Lafontaine and Agnés Brézéphin-Columin.

See these artists videos through our Caribbean Contemporaries playlist 

About Season 2 of our art docs series

Nicole Smythe-Johnson with Rubis InPulse Art Project students at The National Gallery of Jamaica

In our first season of art docs we focused on having artists speak about their work as well as the work of other artists. In season 2 we have focused on a perspective on the curation of Caribbean art with highlights from the studio  practices ofJamaican and Trinidadian contemporary artists. 

This season, independent curator and writer, Nicole Smythe-Johnson, spoke with us about the nature of curating, the skills needed and the process of curating an exhibition. She also shared her journey to becoming a curator. Nicole also discusses selected art installations that were a part of the 2017 Jamaica Biennial. The artists whose work is featured in this first section of our 2nd series of videos are: Xayvier Haughton, Deborah Caroll Anzinger, Laura Facey and Andrea Chung.

In part two of our season we speak directly to three young artists who were a part of the 2018 Blaqmango Residency programme: Esther Chin, Kelley-Ann Lindo and Errol Keane II. We also feature artists who joined the NLS Kingston programming as residents or exhibitors: Camille Chedda and Kearra Amaya Gopee . Later in the second part of Season 2 we discussing ideas with Afifa Aza

Remember to follow us on Instagram, like our Facebook page and subscribe to our YouTube channel to keep notified of our upcoming videos and events.

Life After Art School Series resumed in 2019

Final year students at The School of Visual Arts, EMC

We continued our 'Life After Art School' series on January 22nd with the current group of final year students at The Edna Manley College. Acting Head of the Art History Department at the College, Dr. Petrina Dacres invited us the Research Methods she co-teaches with Dr Katie Dieter. We discussed options and strategies in an art career after leaving art school including education pathways, residencies, collectives and community and online presence. Deborah Carroll Anzinger of NLS Kingston also joined us to share new funding and research opportunities and how to apply to an art residency like the newly funded NLS Artists Residency.


L-R: Danielle Russell, Oneika Russell, Nicole Smythe-Johnson, Dwayne Lyttle

About Tide Rising Art Projects 

Tide Rising Art Projects is an artist-led initiative coming out of Kingston, Jamaica. The initiative is the brainchild of Jamaican artist and lecturer, Oneika Russell. We started out of an identified need for actively practicing local and regional visual artists to have their practices documented and promoted. Oneika’s involvement with the Caribbean Linked IV programme in Aruba, her work with NLS Kingston and the 5 year period spent teaching students of various levels and disciplines at The Edna Manley College of the Visual & Performing Arts all inspired the creation of the project. We started recording our first videos in March of 2017.

Our aim is to document and promote the practices of local and regional contemporary artists and initiate engagement opportunities for Caribbean contemporary artists within the region and internationally as well. We also aim to provide education opportunities for artists and the public as well as research resources through our videos, website content, seminars and workshops.

Our current projects in 2019 involve the creation and publishing of online videos about local artists as well as ongoing collaborations to promote a curated group of contemporary artists in the Caribbean. At present our resources dictate the scale of project we can work on but we do view these early projects as the necessary capacity building activities for an eventually larger reach.

About the team

Oneika has been a practicing artist both locally and internationally from 2005. She has exhibited both regionally and internationally and has had the opportunity to participate in various programmes such as the MEXT: Monbukagakusho scholarship, the Davidoff Art Initiative/ Residency Unlimited Residency Programme and the Commonwealth Arts & Crafts Award. She has also taught at The Edna Manley College of the Visual & Performing Arts in Kingston from 2014-18. Oneika was also the creator and main contributor behind the crucial and now archived art blog, ART:Jamaica. Oneika acts as producer, secondary videographer and editor on the series of short form art docs on our YouTube channel and liaison/ planner for our curatorial projects. 

Danielle Russell is a local filmmaker who has participated in both The British Council’s script development workshop and the JAMPRO/JAFTA PROPELLA script to screen development film project. Both projects have seen the short film she developed through the programme be screened at The Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival. She has also acted as art director and producer on other local films. She studied Communication at CARIMAC at The University of the West Indies in Kingston and Film and television at The Communication University of China in Beijing. She has also taught ‘Storytelling’ and ‘Scriptwriting’ in the University of Technology, Jamaica’s Animation BSc. programme. Danielle works as videographer and advisor for our art videos on our YouTube channel.

Petrina Dacres is the Acting Head of Art History at The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Art. Her teaching and research centers on Caribbean and African Diaspora Art, Public sculpture and memorials, and memory studies. She has also worked as a curator, most recently on the exhibition, ‘Uprising’ at the National Museum Jamaica in 2016. And, was recently the inaugural Stuart Hall fellow at Harvard University's Hutchins Center. Petrina has been working with the initiative as an independent curator on two projects currently in process. 



Artist, Camille Chedda, during a video shoot

Here is an update: 

We have been working over the last year on a second series of art docs featuring a selection of contemporary artists who have been working and exhibiting in Jamaica since 2017 including Camille Chedda and Kearra Amaya Gopee. Our new series also features independent curator/ writer Nicole Smythe-Johnson and her recent project. The first in our new series of videos will be released on Feb 17th. Save the date!

You can now watch archived footage from 'Life After Art School'

If you missed our live event you can still access the information shared by all the great presenters for 'Life After Art School' now on our YouTube channel. 

Life After Art School & DAK'ART REPORT were presented in collaboration with NLS Kingston. 
The event was held on June 26th, 2018 at NLS Kingston in Kingston, Jamaica. The event was aimed at providing new graduates and other interested persons with practical options and strategies for launching and art career. 

The speakers who participated in the event were independent curator & writer, Nicole Smythe-Johnson;  visual artist,  art lecturer & Rubis InPulse Art Project's  project supervisor Camille Chedda, visual artist & designer Leasho Johnson, NLS Kingston's director & visual artist Deborah Caroll Anzinger; and visual artist/ art lecturer & Tide Rising Art Projects' director Oneika Russell. Please note that this video represents an estimated 75% of the presentations at the 'Life After Art School' live event.

Feel free to drop us a line at tiderisingartprojects@gmail.com if you have any business enquiries. Consider joining our mailing list to keep connected. 

Nicole Smythe-Johnson, Camille Chedda & Leasho Johnson are confirmed presenters!

While plans are underway for our double event on Saturday June 23rd at NLS Kingston we have further exciting news. Independent curator and writer Nicole Smythe-Johnson will be discussing various issues to do with building an art career form a curator's perspective such as artist statements and studio visits. Visual artists Camille Chedda and Leasho Johnson have a breadth of experience amongst themselves on areas such as studio practice, further education, residencies and portfolio presentation.

Camille Chedda
(Photo courtesy of www.repeatingislands.com)

Camille Chedda is a Jamaica-based visual artist whose practice currently moves between drawing and installation. Her work moves between scrutiny of local popular culture and post-colonial thought. She was the inaugural recipient of the British Coucil's Trans Atlantic Artist's Residency Exchange (TAARE). Chedda has also completed the Art OMI residency in the USA and she holds an MFA from The University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. She is also project co-ordinator for The Rubis InPulse Art Project and lecturer at The Edna Manley College of the Visual & Performing Arts.

Nicole Smythe-Johnson

(Photo courtesy of artforum.com)

 Nicole Smythe-Johnson has played quite an important role in her work as an independent curator since deciding to go in that direction after being Senior Curator at The National Gallery of Jamaica in 2014. In the period since then she has been the inaugural recipient of the Tilting Axis Curatorial Fellowship. In her recent project, Neither Night Nor Day, is a presentation of the work of Jamaican intuitive artist, John Dunkley through a different lens. The exhibition was curated by Diana Nawi and Smythe-Johnson acted as Assistant Curator. The project is a collaboration between The Perez Art Museum Miami and The National Gallery of Jamaica. Smythe-Johnson is also the editor of the University of the West Indies-based Caribbean Quarterly journal. She is soon to begin her doctoral studies at The University of Texas, Austin.

Leasho Johnson
(Photo courtesy of suziewongpresents.com)

Leasho Johnson's work has evolved in different ways over the years since he first began his practice in the mid 2000's. He has sought to use the means of graffiti art, as well as re-appropriating found objects towards the goal of challenging very fixed cultural norms and ideas about sexuality and masculinity. He has been a recipient of the Davidoff/ Residency Unlimited studio residency in New York, The Bluecoat Residency in the UK and Caribbean Linked in Aruba. He has also worked as a designer for over ten years and is soon departing to undertake an MFA at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

We hope to see you there for both Life After Art School from 10am to 11:30am and DAK'ART REPORT from 11:30 to 1 pm.
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