Arts Jamaica

Material Information

Arts Jamaica
Place of Publication:
Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies
Arts Jamaica Ltd.
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
Physical Description:
v. : ill. ; 28-44 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Art, Jamaican -- Periodicals -- 20th century ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )
periodical ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:


Dates or Sequential Designation:
Vol. 1, no. 1 (Apr. 1982)-
Numbering Peculiarities:
Some issues combined.
General Note:
Title from cover.

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
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The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. This item may be protected by copyright but is made available here under a claim of fair use (17 U.S.C. §107) for non-profit research and educational purposes. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact Digital Services ( with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
11269244 ( OCLC )
86644045 ( LCCN )

Full Text

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Newcastle Sketches" from the London Illustrated News 1875 Collection : Peter & Jean King.




P.O. BOX 1288
(813) 223-1621

(202) 955-5550

rts amaica

Managing Editor
Financial Controller

Peter King
Margaret Bernal
Horace Rousseau
Gloria Forsythe

P. O. Box 79
Kingston 8.
Jamaica W.I.

The Managing Board, composed of journalists, artists, and art lovers, wishes
to stress that Arts Jamaica is conceived as a publication dedicated to all that
is excellent in the visual arts of Jamaica. The magazine will aim to analyse
and celebrate those things and persons already recognized as having great-
ness, while remaining open to new ideas and encouraging potential where-
ever it is found.

The year's end seems always to
produce a predictable bout of
nostalgia and review of past events -
and the complimentary optimistic
exercise of anticipation or confronta-
tion of the year to come.
Arts Jamaica completes with this
double Christmas issue its fourteenth
publication in a three year existence.
During this time the magazine has
explored a range of themes -
Landscape, Women, Abstract Art, the
Environment, Craft and Art Integra-
tion. These we hope, have focused
lively and informative discussion on
specific areas of our Artistic tradition.
Cognisant of the ongoing necessity for
Art-outreach, we examine, in this
issue, some historic and contemporary
inter-relationships between Art and
We examine, in the Jamaican
context, the varied efforts to take Art
to the people in murals, Public
Monuments and especially in our
Buildings which embody the creative
expressions of artists, designers,
architects. How we conceive, design
and erect our habitat reflects our
national psyche. We need to strive to
harmonize the many costly structures
which we live and work with our
natural environment and resources,
and to continue to express in these
man-made presences- the creative as
well as the corporate spirit of
endeavour in our people.
This issue contributes to the
ongoing development of this inter-
relationship between Art and Archi-
Season's Greetings!

Arts Jamaica wishes to gratefully acknowledge
the photographic assistance of: Norman
Hamilton, The National Gallery, Archie Lindo,
A mador Packer and Maria Lavacona and Pat











"Six Options: Gallery Spaces Transformed".
Veerle Poupeye Rammelaere

"Murals in Jamaica an introduction and interview
with Fitz Harrack" Normadelle Whittle

"Old Kingston: Its Artisans and Artists"
Marguerite Curtin

"The Gallery Scene, and its newest member: the
Contemporary Arts Centre"
Marie Stewart

"The Life of Jamaica Building", Integrating artworks
into a brand new space.

"Talking About Art and Architecture"
Dorit Hudson talks with Jerry Craig and Valerie Facey

"Artists Beware" Kay Anderson

"What's Happening Now Art and Design in London
and Scandinavia"
Jane Skogstad

"Haitian Art" the interview with Gerald Alexis

"The Non-Review of Dance Jamaica"
Maud Fuller




"A Career in Pottery"
Donald Johnson (Clonmel Potters)


"Spirit of Togetherness" by Fitz Harrack, co-winner of the Jamaica 21 Mural Competition. Location: Montego Bay, the Donald Sangster
International Airport Roundabout. Sponsored by J. Wray and Nephew Limited -Commissioned by the Office of the Prime Minister.
Arts Jamaica All rights reserved.




Gallery Spaces Transformed

By the time this article will be
published the exhibition "6 Options:
Gallery Spaces Transformed" will be
down, except for Dawn Scott's "A
Cultural Object" and David Boxer's
"Headpiece The Riefenstahl
Requiem", which stay on for the
Annual National Exhibition. The four
other works will have ceased to exist,
at least in the form we have known
them, a heartbreaking, but unavoid-
able consequence of the volatility of
the artform we are dealing with. But
hopefully this will not mean the end of
the excitement and the challenge
caused by this show, for the artists and
everyone else involved or interested in
the arts. The time is right therefore to
attempt a post factum evaluation ina
very general, arthistorical context.

Environment, Installation ?
A problem worth considering is how
to define, how to call this kind of
artworks. Essential are the three
dimensionality, the incorporation of
the surrounding space and the use of
assembled material. Two terms come
to our mind: "environment" and
"installation". Semantic discussions of
these two terms would be quite
irrelevant here. An attempt to
determine some of the subtle
differences between both words,
however, can help to generate a better
understanding of this artform and its
art-historical background.
The word "environment" stresses
the preoccupation with space, even as
a subject, and the necessary physical
involvement of the spectator. The
term "installation" rather designs
pieces with a theatrical, assembled
tableaux-character, to be looked at. It
also evokes the temporarily we often
encounter with this kind of art. A lot
of gradations are possible between
installations and environments. Most
of the examples at the National
Gallery hesitate between both. To
avoid complications the term "en-
vironmental art" will be used in the
rest of this text, unless the term
"installation" would be" fully appro-
2 private.

Environmental art in an
arthistorical context
A look at the history of art,
worldwide, teaches that the idea of
environmental and installation art is in
fact all but new.
First there are the three traditional
environmental arts: architecture -
giving this article a righteous place in
this Arts Jamaica issue interior
decoration and the art of gardening
and landscaping. These three all
combine a purely functional aspect,
mostly absent in modern environ-
mental art, with aesthetic considera-
tions, often carrying a meaning. This
can range from the reflection of a
personality, in a house interior for
instance, to the often propagandist
expression of an ideology. The palace
of Versailles in France and the new St.
Peter's Church in the Vatican are ideal
examples for the latter.
In those periods where the idea of
what was later called the "Gesammt-
kunstwerk" (total artwork) was
current, such as the Baroque, Rococo
and Art Nouveau periods in Europe
we get particularly close to the
modern concepts of environmental
art. All the possible media often
also the performing arts, like music -
are used to generate a total experience
for the viewer. A "total artwork" can
therefore easily carry a specific
message, that can be transferred in a
most convincing way (for instance the
Counter Reformation in the Baroque
period). Apart from Europe, we find
numerous other related examples,
usually also linked to ideology,
religion and power. There are, for
instance, the puristic and minimalistic
traditional Japanese interiors, with
their very strong consciousness of
space, the Men's Houses in New
Guinea, and also the Great Serpent
Mound in Ohio, (since environmental
art is not limited to the indoors).
Artforms related specifically to the
modern tableaux-installations are
certainly as widespread. Again they
are mostly linked to "total artwork" -
concepts. Some examples are the
Gothic cerved retables,* the
theatrical multimedia tableaux by
Bernini both having a more
permanent character than most of the
modern installations as well as the

ritual Mbari houses of the Ibo in
Nigeria, showing a dramatical
grouping of clay statuettes in a
half-open, architectural setting.
Another artistic discipline related to
environmental art is of course theatre
design the creation of a dramatical
setting combining requisitorial solu-
tions with the evocation of the right

Environmental art as a twentieth
century artform
Environmental art as we find it in
this exhibition is a product of
twentieth century developments in
(mostly Western) art. Modern Western
art since Neo-classicism can be
understood as a constant search for
the fundamentals in art, even going
beyond all limits ever taken for
granted. This "art about art" aspect,
perhaps the most essential feature of
modern art, plays a very important
role in the growth of environmental
art. Two development lines, often
converging, seem to be essential.
The first one, dealing with the
relation art and reality, started with
the Cubist collage. The collage came
to full development with Synthetic
Cubism after 1911. One reason for this
was that neither Picasso nor Braque
wanted to depart from reality, and to
move into total abstraction. Mondrian
later reproached their "cowardice".
The collage, apart from being a
means to diversify the texture of the
painted surface, was in particular an
attempt to reintegrate reality into the
work, in a very literal way. This
"slice-of-reality" idea was to prove
extremely important for the develop-
ment of environmental art. These
same artists started quite soon to
assemble three dimensional material,
conquering surrounding space and
This reality could of course be
manipulated and the artists started
quickly to explore the highly evocative
power of the waste-materials they
were using.
Dadaism procured the final move
into the direction of environmental
art, more specifically with Kurt
Schwitter's "Merzbau" (Hanover,
1925), an absurdistic, non-functional


junk-interior, destroyed during the
Second World War. Dadaism was a
product of the alienating, nihilistic
atmosphere during World War I. It
was marked by a highly anarchistic
attitude towards bourgeois con-
ventions about life and art. Dadaism is
often misunderstood as merely
anti-art; it was, in fact, much more
than that. Dada was anti-art in the
sense that it rejected, in a very
nihilistic way, all the traditional
preconceptions about art. But it
contributed to and even initiated some
of the major developments in
twentieth century art. Two are of a
special importance here: the multi-
media idea and the ready-made, both
showing a strong theoretical approach
to art. Art about art is also found in a
more explicit form, for instance, by
satirical references to famous art-
works. The most evident example is.
"L.H.O.O.Q." (1917), Duchamp's
provoking and ambiguous Mona Lisa
satire (the Mona Lisa with moustache
and beard).
The concept of environmental art as
it grew in this tradition, developed
further in the Surrealist period, but
was more or less forgotten after World
War II, with the emerging Abstract
Expressionistic tendencies. With the
first signs of emergence of Pop art in
the late fifties, however, environ-
mental art went through an explosive
development. Almost all the Pop-
pioneers, especially in the U.S.A., like
Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg,
Louise Nevelson and Joseph Cornell
the master of poetic evocation as an
earlier precursor, have contributed to
this. The ideas of Dada revived to a
large extent Jasper Johns even quoted
Duchamp in his works. The "slice of
reality" idea, now linked to the
registration of the modern consump-
tion-civilisation became very domi-
nant. For this the artists used all
possible media, but preferably junk
material, reflecting the less glorious
sides of modern society. Robert
Rauschenberg wanted his "Combine-
paintings" to exist in the "gap" (as he
called it) between art and reality.
Artists like George Segaland especially
Duane Hanson explored this approach
to its ultimate consequences the
mimicry of the reality! Duane
Hanson's polyester and fibreglass
figures, fully dressed and with all their
accessories, are of a shocking
naturalism. The whiteness of Segal's
plaster casts creates a greater distance,
and reflects perfectly the alienation of
modern urban culture.

It is worthwhile to note that
happening and performance art
generated in the same context have
always been closely linked to
environmental art. This illustrates very
well the blending of the visual and the
performing arts that has been so
apparent in this century. The third
twentieth century development-line
important for the growth of
environmental art is what I would call
the minimalist-constructivist tradition.
The early revolutionary Russians, like
Malewitch and Tatlin, as well as
Mondrian and the artists involved in
De Stijl in Holland, explored the
fundamentals of art in a totally
different way. Their art is a search for
elemental colours, forms, structures
and expressions, closely linked to their
utopian ideologies. Space and spatial
relationships received a lot of
attention in their work. In this
tradition, therefore, we find a more
puristic brand of environmental art,
instead of the more installation-
oriented approach that generated in
the Dadaist period. The Bauchaus
artists returned, as a logical
consequence of this rationalism, to the
functional. The link between the
functional arts, architecture, interior
design and landscaping, and environ-
mental art has already been
It was only after World War II, in
the late fifties, however, that the
concept of environmental art, in the

strictest sense of the word, was fully
realized. The mobiles of Alexander
Calder, for instance, conquer the
surrounding space through their
movement. Artists like Ronald Bladen,
Donald Judd and Sol LeWitt do it
through an austere geometrical
articulation of space. The multimedia
idea was highly developed, but in a
different way than in the Dadaist
tradition. It stressed the exploration of
specific aspects such as light, motion
or the impact of human interference on
a landscape as we find it in early land
art, soon combining puristic minimal-
ism with ecological concerns.
In the late sixties a blending of the
two major traditions occurred, leading
to the highest degree of theoretisation
art has ever known. Concept art was
the ultimate consequence of the "art
about art' aspect in modern art.
One example is "One and Three
Chairs" (1965), by Joseph Kosuth. In
this minimalist installation Kosuth
confronts a real chair, a photography
of a chair and a dictionary definition
of a chair, treating the art and reality
problemacy in the most explicit way
With the so-called Post-modernist
trends, finally, modern Western art is
going through a period of aftermath
and reconsideration, in which the
artists can make use of almost
everything that happened before. It is
perhaps to6 early to judge, but
interesting things are happening in

"War" Duane Hanson 1967.

Post-modernist interior design. Along-
side the playful mixture of style
references, we can discern a striking
de-functionalisation, bringing these
interiors very close to environments.

How it grew
On my first visit to the National
Gallery one thing was immediately
apparent; experimentation, formal
experimentation especially, was rather
subdued in Jamaican art. Only
recently have some Jamaican artists
started looking beyond the limits of
representation and the traditional
media. This can perhaps be explained
by the fact that Jamaican twentieth
century art has been playing a crucial
role in the growth of a national
cultural consciousness. Art served
(and still serves) a specific purpose in
this society, and because of that the
questioning of art itself as we find it in
European and North American art
would have been rather irrelevant
This, of course, is not a quality
judgement as I do not believe that art
should ever be pushed into unnatural
directions. But this was not the case
for this National Gallery initiative.
Several Jamaican artists, among which
the four invited, showed clear
evidence of moving into the direction
of environmental art. (The four all
have experience with assemblages and
theater design). One artist, David
Boxer, even had more specific plans.
Building a lifesize variant of his boxes,
one the viewer could experience
totally, has been on his wish-slip for
several years. The two American
artists had a broad experience with
environmental art already and were
invited as a mind-widening stimulus.
The specific idea of this show was
generated about two and a half years
ago. This year the plans finally became
true. Six artists were invited and each
of them was assigned a space they
could transform, only limited by what
is feasible. The period from the first
effective steps in February to the
ultimate realisation and the opening
days was one of the most interesting
and exciting events I have ever
witnessed. First the first designs came
in (some of them hold an artistic value
on their own). One of the first difficult
tasks for the curator, Rosalie Smith-
McCrea, was to gather funds by
addressing possible sponsors. By
mid-May, the construction of the four
4 Jamaican projects started. There was

no member of staff at the National
Gallery who was not involved in one
way or another, in the realisation of
this exhibition. Some assisted in
finding material (everyone who has
seen David Boxer's environment can
imagine what kind of detective work
was involved for some of the
elements). The artists had to get
assistance for the construction-work,
such as carpenting, electricity painting
and for about everything else you can
imagine. The last week before the
opening of the exhibition, of course
the heaviest one, was also the week of
the last general strike. This caused
some practical problems, especially
for the two American artists, Sam
Gilliam and Joyce Scott, who only had
this week to put up their piece. But
something very interesting happened
there. Looking at the four Jamaican
pieces, one realises that they have
something in common and that could
very well be the reflection of the
heightened unrest and uncertainty of
this period in general.
For the curator, Rosalie Smith-
McCrea, this show caused some
unusual problems apart from those
already mentioned. There were no
precedents for a show like this in
Jamaica. Unlike a more conventional
exhibition she had to deal with
artworks in progress, that were in most
of the cases only finished the day

before the opening (and even later). It
was because of that impossible to have
a catalogue ready before the opening
of the show. In fact she could only
start writing the major part of it then,
especially since almost all the artists
continuously changed their plans
while working on the piece (very
natural with this kind of art).

"6 Options" and the public
It can be stated without any
exaggeration that "6 Options" was a
success. The response of the majority
of the visitors was very positive.
Knowing what this response was, is
very important for the National
Gallery and the artists involved.
Because of that, question lists were
distributed, where visitors of the
Gallery could express their comments,
their preferences and their criticisms.
It was also asked whether they were
familiar with environmental art. The
most interesting (and enthusiastic)
reactions often came from people who
were novices and perhaps unspoiled
by fashionable taste and expectations.
People who dismissed the entire show
were extremely rare. Another striking
fact is that the average visitor
represented a much broader layer of
society than the National Gallery
usually sees, in age-groups as well as
social status.
When asked about their pre-

Sam Gilliam with his installation 'Autumn Surf-Niagara'.


ferences, the visitors were quite
unanimous in choosing Dawn Scott's
"A Cultural Object" and David Boxer's
"Headpiece The Riefenstahl
"Ms. Scott and Mr. Boxer's work
show extraordinary sensitivity not
only to the local environment, but
also to the operations of world
Quite a few people preferred the other
pieces, except for Sam Gilliam's
"Autumn Surf Niagara", that was
rather underappreciated.
It was the only abstract piece in the
show, besides dealing with internal
artistic problems. The contrast with
the sometimes extreme narrativity of
the other pieces might have been too
great, and abstraction has yet to be
fully assimilated in Jamaica.

Six Options: an Evaluation
Let's have a look now on how the six
artists answered the challenge of
empty space offered to them by the
National Gallery. Entering the
Gallery, the first "option..."
Entering the Gallery the first
"option" the visitor is confronted with
is Colin Garland's "From Reality to
Illusion". The space assigned to him is
perhaps the most difficult, but also a
very interesting one. It is two stories
high and has no clear limits. On the
other hand it offers the viewer an
almost infinite number of possible
viewpoints. The problem of trans-
forming this space was solved in an
interesting and elegant way with the
cascading paper banderoles, softly
moving with the slightest air current.
But Garland is no abstractionist and
one gets the impression that he (maybe
unluckily) felt the urge to add some
anecdotal elements. These act as a
kind of Garland signature and consist
of motifs typical to his work: the
paper mache cats, the white-haired
woman and the painted or paper
mache shells. The scene displays a
cruelty however, seldom encountered
in Garland's work: the indifferent,
mysterious cats surround the dis-
membered and decapitated manne-
quin-woman. Almost everything is
painted in a white much colder and
clinical than that of the banderoles.
This lack of colour is very unusual in
Garland's work and reinforces the
atmosphere of silent violence in the
piece. The only coloured elements are
the highly illusionistic older painting
he included ("Shell Mural", 1976) and

the coloured paper mache shell
hanging in front of it, illustrating the
statement Garland wanted to make
with his title.
Sam Gilliam's "Autumn Surf
Niagara", the second work in the
show, forms an interesting comple-
ment to the first piece, because in a
way he is making a similar statement in
space. To understand this piece, one
must know some things about Sam
Gilliam's artistic evolution. Until 1969
he worked as a painter, within the
limits of the traditional canvas. He
started experimenting and took of the
canvas from the stretcher, leaving it as
a shapeless piece of painted fabric.
This opened a whole lot of
possibilities, since the fabric could
now be manipulated in a three
dimensional form. "Autumn Surf" (as
it was originally called), can be

considered as the logical consequence
of these experiments, an extended
canvas to be developed in space. He
didn't use real canvas, but a very light,
non-woven fabric, with a slightly
glittering surface, giving special
luminous qualities. In 1972 this piece
was shown for the first time and since
then it has been exhibited about ten
times, until 1974. Now, after more than
a decade, Sam Gilliam has used it
The installation of this very flexible
work did not demand much planning.
Sam Gilliam was, in contrast to the
other artists, extremely relaxed when
his piece was put up. He kept changing
it slightly, until the opening-hour of
the show. He adapted his piece to his
space by hanging it, attached to
several points as a drapery from the
ceiling. He added the wooden frames 5

"From Reality to Illusion Colin Garland.

in the background, strongly reminding
of painting stretchers, and the two
hanging poles. Their rigidity contrasts
heavily with the softly cascading
shapes of the hanging fabric. He also
added a local touch: pieces of
Jamaican fabric and riverstones. His
piece is certainly not anecdotic, but
the title, the shapes, the colours and
the riverstones stimulate your
imagination to give it an interpreta-
tion, as a waterfall, a forest or perhaps
a mountain range, certainly something
from nature. In contrast to Garland's,
you cannot enter in this piece, at least
not without destroying it. To relieve
this tension Gilliam added the mirrors,
giving an interesting additional visual
access. It took me quite a while to get
used to this piece, but time is exactly
what it needs to be fully appreciated.
It must also be noted that Sam Gilliam
is a highly acclaimed artist in the
U.S.A., because of the importance of
his experiments.
The next environment you entered
was also made by an American artist,
Joyce Scott, but it could not have been
more contrasting, "The Things Lovers
Do" is a highly narrative and comic

comment on the silly things people do
when they want to get, to keep or to
get rid of a lover. Joyce Scott's piece is
a good example to explain about the
"total experience" idea behind
environmental art. With all the
elements, such as the special red
lighting, the little altar shrines with the
sex-shop paraphrenalia in the corners,
the black lace, the glitter and even
burning, afrodisiac incense on the
opening day, she creates a very
"camp" atmosphere, somewhat be-
tween a church and a whorehouse. She
pays a lot of attention to patterns, the
spray-brushed erotical symbols cover-
ing the walls, and textures, as with the
use of beads and crochet. This can
maybe be related to her mixed
American Indian and African heritage
and also shows affinities with the
North American feminist art move-
ment especially with Judy Chicago.
The somewhat narrative of "The
Things Lovers Do" starts very
"innocently" and wittily with afrodi-
siacs, the things consumption-society
forces people to do for their love-life
and male-female stereotypes. It

becomes more literally narrative with
the "Love Diary", telling the story of a
stereo-typed love affair, apparently
something Scott went through herself.
There is a build-up to the
unexpectedly bitter and tragicomical
conclusion, illustrated by the maso-
chistic, pseudopornographic self-
portrait on the wall.
From the comic-strip atmosphere of
"The Things Lovers Do" we come
right back to a much more
straightforward reality in Dawn Scott's
"A Cultural Object". This work
consists of a zinc fence spiral, again
with a narrative leading to a climax.
The zinc fence is filled with almost all
the typical features of popular, urban
Jamaican street-culture, ranging from
Dance Hall to sex, religion and
politics. The climax is built up with a
clever dramatic sensitivity to the
unavoidable confrontation with the
agonising madman in the centre.
"The 'blow to the stomach' turning
that corner, will remain with me. I
can't say more."
Everything has been done to make this

The central "shock" piece at the end of Dawn Scott's spiralling "Zinc fence".


"The Room" Laura Facev.

experience as realistic as possible, a
wry shock of recognition. The dance
hall bills are as real as the graffiti on
the wall, carefully copied from what
Kingston walls display as is the dirt on
the floor. Over statement is used here
and there to force up the shock-effect.
The discomfort and the claustro-
phobia the visitor experiences reflects
the atmosphere of the ghetto in a very
effective way.
Dawn Scott took a "slice of reality",
the reality of the majority of the urban
population and brought it into the
National Gallery, traditionally, let's
face it, an "uptown" place. Her
message is especially directed to those
who do not wish of care to see the real
circumstances. It also demonstrates
the effectiveness of environmental art.
Besides this general message, her
piece also contains more specific
comments in the different stages of the
spiral. The often imposed, surface
features she shows, reflect deeply
rooted attitudes and conditions. In the
scene devoted to sex for instance she
confronts the spectator with the
ambiguous attitudes towards "brown
girls", the shameless patronisation of

the black woman and the imposed,
self-denying beauty-ideals. Humour is
not absent in all of this, except maybe
in the final phase decay, madness
and death "Jimmy Leave in space",
as one of the graffiti in this section
The realism of her piece does not
exclude formal considerations, au
contraire, she uses them very
effectively to reinforce the message, of
the narrow, trap-like spiralform of
zinc. The repetitive disposition of the
dance hall bills, for instance, recalls
the echo-effect so popular in local
music, while the fluffy brushstrokes
surrounding one of the sexy posters
evoke the fake exaltation of those
Dawn Scott's "A Cultural Object"
had the strongest potential for
controversy. (Oddly enough natural-
istic art often has that effect:
escapism?). It indeed caused some
controversy, or certainly emotions,
but most of the reactions were so
overwhelmingly positive that one can
only conclude that Scott touched the
right sensitive chords.
Laura Facey's "The Room" looks

like an oasis of quietude after Dawn
Scott's culture shock. The point of
departure is as it often is for Facey
- an original poem, evoking an
atmosphere of physical absence and
spiritual presence in a room. "The
Room" is a highly contemplative,
minimalistic and self-contained table-
aux-installation, of an Eastern finesse
and intuitive precision. "The Room"
displays a very private world, a
"mental interior" where only visual
and mental access is possible. The
feeling of presence-absence is
reinforced by the mask (a self-
portrait), the hanging chamois clothes
and the puppet. The spirituality of the
piece is highly determined by the
overwhelming use of the colour blue,
the cosmic "Laura Facey-blue" we also
encountered in the related work "And
Deep Within That Blue". It also
creates strong sense of space,enlivened
by the more textural elements. The
minimalistic furniture-elements
strongly recall the austerity of a
Japanese interior. The only bits of
chaos in this highly controlled
environment are the landscape-
drawing on the floor and the 7

Detail from Boxer's Headpiece: the Riefen-
stahl Requiem shows scene from "Narcissus
trapped in his self-kiss".

threatening blue cosmic cloud above,
opening this cerebral microcosmos to
the world and the macrocosmos.
But there is also a more general
sense of disquiet, loneliness and even a
certain morbidity. The blue, for
instance, also evokes a drowned,
underwater feeling, a suffocating
silence. The puppet is easily associated
with manipulation, while the low black
cupboard unconsciously recalls a
There is a lot of "presence" in this
"empty" room: life and death, nature
and civilisation and the spiritual and
the material, approached with an
Eastern resignation. It is a work that
demands attention and contemplation
and it is certainly one of the finest in
the show.
The last "option", David Boxer's
"Headpiece-The Riefenstahl Re-
quiem," is without any doubt the most
complex and elaborated one of the six.
The basic message, though, is rather
simple and easily readable: the frailty
of human culture under the threat of a
worldwide (nuclear) holocaust. The
recent fortieth anniversary of the
atomic bombing of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki added actuality to his
message. In contrast to Dawn Scott,
he does not present the viewer with a
fragment of this possible future reality,
but with a complex visual allegory,
8 maximalising the evocative power of

the waste-materials used. He develops
his theme with a complex web of
references to Classical, and to a lesser
degree also Christian mythology. He
also reminds us of some of the
holocausts that occurred in the past.
."Headpiece" also refers to his older
work (he has even incorporated
some pieces) since it summarises
thematical concern that lasted for
more than a decade. "Headpiece"
reads almost like a book, since it is
divided in fifteen scenes leading to a
narrative, but also purely visual,
The point of departure is a ten
minutes fragment of Leni Riefenstahl's
"Olympia", a propaganda film made
for Hitler on the occasion of the
Olympic games in Berlin. The film had
to be a glorification of the Olympian
ideals, conformed to nazi-ideology and
started with a visual eulogy of Greek
art. This classical serenity becomes
with hindsight very ambiguous.
Boxer manipulates these images in an
extended video collage, adding all
kinds of scenes of violence and
destruction. Among the most penetra-
ting, are the aria from "Madame
Butterfly" the sentimental story of a
geisha in Nagasaki, waiting for her
American lover which turns into a
horrible Baconian scream, and a news
documentary of the Cambodian

holocaust. This "Riefenstahl Re-
quiem" became then part, as a video-
installation of the entire piece.
David Boxer used the classical
dichotomy Apollinic Dionysiac in
the dramatic build-up of "Headpiece".
When the visitor enters, he is guided
from the light-blue, orderly, Appolli-
nic left side to the chaotic, dramatic
Dionysiac climax at the right hand.
The story starts with a reference to the
Jewish holocaust. It consists of a small
room, gloomy as a concentration
camp crematorium, filled with a
seemingly infinite number of plaster
heads, lost souls for whom there is no
escape. Another motif on this side is
the Narcissus-theme: narcissism lead-
ing to personal destruction, a motif
very appropriate for this century,
especially the last decade, often called
the era of the ego. The cut-out paper
fish swarming all over the walls create
a visual unification and reinforce the
archeological feeling one gets in this
piece (think of Port Royal). But
they also adapt to the particular scene
that they are linked with. In the
Narcissus theme, they represent the
idea of regeneration, a rare positive
element among this overwhelming
pessimism. The Apollinic side comes
to a climax with the "Apollo-box".
Apollo, being the god of the rational,
science and medicine, is in Greek
(Continued onpage 35)

Boxer works at the centrepiece for The Three Graces.


Normadelle Whittle

Murals in Jamaica Reaching Back to Shared World Traditions

This article is an attempt to bring
out the intrinsic merits of mural art by
highlighting some of its various
successive aspects since prehistory
with specific reference to Jamaica.
Mural art is usually a two dimensional
art form executed directly on a wall or
on a given ground mounted on a wall.
The earliest manifestations of this art
form was identified in cave art from
the Paleolithic or Prehistoric age
about 30,000 BC. These were largely
confined to Europe within the deep
caves of Lascaux, France and
Altamira, Spain. The Perigordian
group did simple engravings as well as
outlines using one colour flat wash to
portray images of their prey; horses,
oxen, deer and mammoths whom they
had hoped to obtain magical powers
from, by sometimes actually using a
sharp tool to pierce the image of the
animal. In the painting the bodies of
these animals were depicted in full
profile, yet the horns and hoofs were
in another perspective. The Magdalen-
ian group hoped to achieve similar
results, out of which they developed
an increasingly high standard of
drawing and use of more colour to
emphasise modelling. The human
image was then not as important to
prehistoric man as was his source of
food and clothing therefore he visually
portrayed the most meaningful factors
in his simple pattern of life. This
magico-functional concept from the
early beginnings although the magical
aspect gradually became latent
developed into a more aesthetic
decorative form.
Since those times many people in all
parts of the world throughout the ages
have enriched not only their
architecture but their culture with
frescoes, paintings, mosaics, archi-
tectural sculpture, murals and many
other art forms that record significant
events or vivid group ideals and
In the early sixteenth century
Michelangelo, a Florentine painter,
sculptor, architect and poet, painted a
monumental series of scenes illustra-
ting Biblical events for the Vatican,
Rome. Today, more than four
centuries later, the Sistine Chapel

With The Compliments of

Paleolithic painting representing bison.

remains one of the greatest
achievements in World Art. Frescoes
were the order of the day a difficult
technique which required the artist to
be quick and sure (painting on wet
plaster with pigments and lime water
would set quite easily). This technique
has been preserved from periods
between 2,000 6,500 B.C. It was
very popular during the Gothic and
Renaissance periods for beautifying
palaces, cathedrals, chapels and
churches. Throughout the millenia of
its use, this technique has changed
little although the modern artists have
a wider range of colours and materials
available to them than did earlier
Another technique Michelangelo
and other virtuoso painters used was
trompe l'oeil which employs illusion-
ary effects in order to create a greater
sense of reality by using foreshorten-
ing and perspective. This technique is
presently used in the form of wall
paper murals by some commercial
mural specialists for interior and
exterior spaces; not intended to be
taken seriously, they add interest, fun,
freshness and other dimensions to
what might be a stark facade. The
themes explored by these commercial
artists are sometimes neo-classical or
an illusionary extension of the specific
Encaustic was another technique of
painting suitable for monumental
works using pigments bound in warm
wax then painted on to the surface.
Mosaics and frescoes spread over
the walls of basilicas and country
shrines. Figures of heroes, Saints and
angels filled surfaces hundreds of
square feet. The Mosaics were of all
kinds; wall mosaics, stone mosaics and


35 Half-Way-Tree Road, Kingston 5, Jamaica. Telephone: 92-63370/4, or 92-62088


Byzantine mosaics. The earliest wall
mosaics consisted of shells, pebbles,
semi-precious stones and pieces of
volcanic pumice applied to the walls
and vaults of first century BC.
grottoes. Attempts to add colour to
this scheme led to the introduction of
coloured glass and pictures or patterns
were created by setting very small
pieces of coloured material in cement.
Byzantine mosaics usually depicted
christian scenes substituting either
glass, marble, terracotta or precious
Stained glass or translucent murals
were a distinctive feature of medieval
churches in northern countries where
the natural light is not intense. The
famous parable of the sower for
example was created in a panel from
North Choir Aisle, Canterbury
Cathedral c. 1200. This art form has
been revived in recent contemporary
creations such as the church of Maria
Konigin, Germany c. 1954 where a
continuous curtain of stained glass
from floor to ceiling forms a wall of
the building bearing a religious
narrative. Pictorial images were
produced by using coloured sheet
glass set in a frame.
It can be seen, therefore, that from a
very simple beginning the art of mural
painting has led man, through the
centuries, to self expression not just on
a decorative level but to create more
meaningful imagery. However, the
inevitable changes of society have
created a need for new approaches to
architecture and art. Some of the
works of Ancient mural techniques
have been preserved to date and
allows us to incorporate similar
methods and materials to create and
conserve our murals for the future.
In the twentieth century and nearer
home in the Americas one of the
aftermaths of the Mexican Revolution
saw a rebirth of mural painting
spearheaded by a group of artists
including Diego Rivera, Jose Orozco,
David Siqueiros and Juan O'Gorman.
These social commentators wanted
their people to know more about the
Mexican peoples struggles, history and
potentialities. They tried to establish a
syndicate of revolutionary painters

intending to do work useful to
Mexico's mass populace in their
struggle, at the same time producing
an art aesthetically and technically
proficient. To blend these two values
was of the essence. They deliberately
wanted a collective approach work,
aiming to destroy egocentricism and to
replace it with disciplined group work.
(They also allowed for apprenticeship
of the painting craft while a work was
in the making. This seemed an ideal
situation but it did not prove totally
successful.) In a series of programmes
they covered walls of many public
buildings with deeply moving murals.
Stone mosaic technique was rooted in
the overall tradition of Mexico's art
history and this and other old
traditions have since become highly
developed. These painters had
common beliefs, were all sympathetic
to the struggles of their fellow men and
wanted to use murals didactically to
bring art to the people.
By comparison the tradition of
mural art is not evident in Jamaica.
Apart from the Arawak cave paintings
discovered at Mountain River cave, in
St. Catherine there is little emergence
until our post-moder period.
Rhoda Jackson, Carl Abrahams and
Gloria Escoffery were among the
first to explore mural techniques in the
early 50's. Many of Jackson's murals
were done in tourist hotels featuring
the typical market woman in a more
refined almost exotic image. Her
murals also filled the interior walls of
the prestigious Nathans store down-
town Kingston (now non-existent,) as
well as the Jamaica's Peoples Museum
of Craft and Technology soon after its
establishment in 1961.
The most exciting work done by
Abrahams is sometimes said to be his
murals. He began by painting in clubs
and bars, (the Sugar Hill Club mural at
Red Gal Ring being the most popular).
He also did murals in the bathrooms
and verandah spaces in many Kingston
homes, including the Samudas,
Burnett Webster and Dudley Mac-
Millan. Two of Abrahams' mural
designs have been awarded first place
in two separate competitions. The first
in 1955 in the Jamaica Mural
Competition, was placed at the
Banana Industry Board building, the
10 second in 1983 commemorated


Jamaica's 21st Anniversary and has
been executed at the Norman Manley
International Airport. This mural
bears a Jamaican socio-historical
commentary from the Arawaks to the
In 1956 Escoffery was commission-
ed to do a mural at Victoria Pier. She
also in the early 60's executed murals
in Schenectady, USA and locally for
the Sugar Manufacturers Association
and West Indies Sugar Company, the
latter two murals dealt with Sugar
Escoffery's murals were done on
hardboard panels, and mounted on
walls. Later Karl Parboosingh also
attempted murals having been
influenced by certain beliefs of the
Mexican muralists. Spurred by a
strong feeling towards his community,
he identified with the concept of mural
art as a people's art. He was to exploit
both techniques and ideas that he
found while studying the art of murals
in Mexico and incorporate this, with
his own iconography in his work. On
his return home he received several
commissions from government and
private sources as well from his friends.
'Parboo' made a 'tribute to the people'
when he painted 'Resurrection' in 1974
at the Anglican Church in Duhaney
Eugene Hyde created several indoor
and outdoor murals for many
prominent sites throughout Jamaica,

including a coloured stone mural
commissioned for the Extra Mural
Department, U.W.I. between 1964 -
1965. The Columbus Mural Com-
mission portraying Christopher
Columbus' historic first landing in
Jamaica at Discovery Bay in 1494, a
large mural for a Primary School at the
bottom of South Camp Road executed
as a Labour Day Project both were
done in 1973.
Hyde's murals were based on one
common theme and focus, Jamaica -
from its discovery, and various
cultural and industrial developments
to tribute to a fellow artist -
(Parboosingh). Others painters have
made their contribution to mural art in
Jamaica including Seymour Lychman,
Alexander Cooper, George Rodney,
Barrington Watson (particularly his
major work at the Olympia Hotel), Eric
Cadien and others. These artists have
constantly referred to historic and
patriotic sensitivities intrinsic to our
Jamaican expression.
Unforgettable too is the intuitive
approach to mural painting in our
'concrete jungle' areas living spaces as
well as community spaces. Unknown
individuals whose creativity have not
been dampened by the clutter, filth or
other negative factors, still strive to
"make their mark" as well as express
their creative urges. The interior and
exterior spaces of local drinking bars
have been often converted into wall

Mural exterior of Mexico University. Carimac Murals (detail) at the University of the
West Indies.

For Reservations call:


- 922-4661
- 952-4300
- 974-2566
- 957-4210

mioi. O ,
roaef Jamaica that Flies"


"Resurrection" Karl Parboosingh Duhaney Park Church.

paintings featuring, decorative pat-
tern, big 'bamboo' motif embracing
and dancing figures or other symbollic
forms which enhance the relaxed and
high spirited drinking environment
Graffiti, (derived from graffito which
means'drawing scratched on wall') has
been developed from mere illegible
scribblings into pictorial forms dealing
with significant issues of the day, a
means of commercialising wares,
expressing beliefs religious or
political, sexuality and propaganda -
for all to see.
Theatrical backdrops are usually
large environmental murals using the
sotto in su or trompe l'oeil techniques
to distort perspectives to create three
dimensional qualities essential to
theatre art. Here too our artists have
consistently been involved in the
cross-fertilization in our creative
disciplines. Hyde, Garland, Susan
Alexander are but a few of the artists
who have so contributed.
Despite the lack of tradition,
Jamaica has adopted this art form and
its techniques, and we should not now
allow this age old art form to
disintegrate in Jamaica. Our architects
especially should increasingly become
sensitized to the integration and
planning of local architecture, with
all-round benefits.

Today however artists have now
been put in a position whereby they
wait for commissions to d" mural
paintings instead of tacklif ifon their
own, largely because of financial
constraints therefore many local
contemporary artists who would like
to employ this medium, desist. Eric
Cadien does not see himself creating
'civic' art specifically but continuing
his trend of experimental works
through mural art. Other groups of
artists have united, and gained
sponsorships in order to attain
materials, appropriate space etc.
like the group of four young artists
headed by Rafiki Kariuki who
approached the Jamaica Constabulary
Force with their ideas; by mutual
arrangement the group is now
executing a 20' x 30' mural for the
folding door panels in the lecture
theatre at the Police Academy,
Twickenham Park.
They initially thought to take art
into that military institution because
they felt it was a discipline easily
omitted from scheduled activities.
They also felt, that there was often
great indifference between youth and
Police and that through this effort
some of these misunderstandings
could be alleviated. The youngsters
have noticed so far a significant
interest shown in their work and a

development of mutual respect which
hopefully will be of great benefit to
other youngsters a group fostering
good will through mural art.
Today the art of mural making is
slowly emerging as one of Jamaica's
more demanding art forms, in the
interior or exterior of traditional
churches, commercial and industrial
buildings, institutions, private homes
and in airports. It is not only created
for civic beautification but also to
communicate and instill certain
nationalistic beliefs, religious icono-
graphy and sometimes for spiritual
upliftment. It is "art for the people"
reaching them in their environment.
Most of these murals have a strong
environmental quality in terms of
humanistic content and illusionism.

, A j

"The Lady and the Parrot" -
confrontation in a local bar -

a whimsical
Archie Lindo.

With the Compliments of

TELEPON$i: 924GS461Oi TEfkX .4

A Recent Jamaica Mural

A Profile of the Work and the Artist

"Spirit of Togetherness" by Fitz Harrack, mounted at the Sangster International
Airport Roundabout in Montego Bay.

One recent major commission
completed after one year, was that of
sculptor, Fitz Harrack. This design was
selected from a number of entries to
commemorate Jamaica's 21st year of
Independence celebrated 1983. It was
originally to be located within the
Sangster International Airport in
Montego Bay but a suitable space was
not found; the next best space
identified was at the roundabout
outside of the airport building.
Harrack considers this four sided
relief a sculptural mural. The
technique might well be considered a
revival of stone mosaic suitable for
outdoors. After more than twenty
years of research, experiments and
development of Cast Stone, he finally
invented a method of using this
material successfully which he
exhibited in a 3D form at the Institute
in the early 60's and now for the first
time 2 dimensionally. Cast stone is
essentially a pulverised mixture of a
variety of local aggregates and
minerals and rocks, to form a mix
which is added to water, all minerals
are local excluding the tools and the
pulverisor. Seville and Rose Hall
Estates were among the historical sites
12 from which the sculptor collected tiny

coloured gravel which gave the piece
its colour also rocks, without
destroying the land. One of the main
factors required of the work was
durability how well it would endure
the harsh environment of the sea and
sun. To this end, pores were wax
sealed so that salt and water could not
be absorbed. Cast stone slabs last for
many, many years and the artist
believes that the rain and sun will
actually enhance the colours. The
other materials, terracotta, scald
copper and brass might not have the
life span of the cast stone slabs, but the
entire work could be maintained, by
an annual cleaning process. (Harrack
feels that every sculptor, painter or
ceramist should be able to maintain
and restore their own work.

Spirit of Togetherness was the
sculptor's theme depicting a "feeling
of living, working together and playing
through music and dance" to celebrate
Jamaica's twenty first Independence
Anniversary. Harrack thought it was
an appropriate subject base for the
design, music and dance being
international art forms. "Music or
dance will never die in this country,"
Harrack says, It is just beginning." The

dance movements illustrated were
extracted from studies and sketches
collected from our own indigenous
dance history National Dance
Theatre Company performances from
the early 60's starting with "Etu" to
"Dinky Minny."
Simplicity was his main aim rather
than a strict academic approach.
Twenty one human figures were
illustrated, each one representing one
year since independence. Each panel
visually portrayed images of musi-
cians, dancers, traditional popular
instruments such as the fife, banjo and
shaker, with a specific focus.
Harrack has given many workshops
for sculptors, carvers, and artists in the
suburban areas as well as being a part
of the Festival Committee for years.
For him, it is very important that he's
involved in the development of the art
movement in his "community",
Jamaica. "I am a community man!"
Art should not be seen on just a
personal level, but be shared and be a
part of people... "to add to people's
taste and way of living". Harrack sees
mural art as relevant to the viewing
public and young artists alike and as
having great potential in our society.
He feels a need for more murals in
Jamaica and that architects should
make more allowances for the artists'
input in order to facilitate work in this
field. Unfortunately, the sculptor says,
there are very few artists locally who
are capable of creating this type of art
form; dealing with mural art it is an
education in itself. He believes there is
adequate space and facilities, also
capable artists and enough young
apprentices who could work together
but one of the vital ingredients is sadly
lacking finances.
On completion of this major work,
Harrack sees this experience as a part
of his sketch book on display, or "one
leaf mounted", and he has many more
pages to use and equally many more
books to complete.

W -, _


Marguerite Curtin

Old Kingston: Its Artisans and Artists

(In tribute to H.P. Jacobs)

In 1850 John Bigelow, a New
Yorker, visiting the seaport of
Kingston remarked that his "first
impressions of Kingston were not
favourable" and that he "had no
occasion upon further acquaintance to
change them". In spite of the
transformation that took place to its
city centre when Kingston became the
capital of Jamaica (1872), yet another
visitor from New York was equally
unimpressed with this city of 40,000
inhabitants. Writing in 1899 A.K.
Fiske had this to say "... and though
well supplied with water from the
Liguanea Hills and fairly well kept, it is
a rather dingy and unattractive place
on close inspection". He bemoans the
fact that "there are no notable
buildings architecturally" though he
does concede that there was "a
creditable courthouse, hospital, public
library and museum, and a fine market
and landing place of recent design".
But there were those visitors whose
impressions of Kingston were more
favourable.... Mark Twain, for
example, while on the yacht,
"Kanawha" had a brief stay in
Kingston (1902) and remarked in
passing that it was an interesting town.
He and friends were on a two-week
floating poker party in Caribbean
waters. He commented, too, that...
"Jamaica provided the most prodigal
exhibition of tropical scenery that
could be imagined". Much earlier, the
visiting artist James Hakewill recorded
Kingston's city-scape with apparent
enjoyment; familiar landmarks like
'bollards' and water pump, as well as
Kingstonians and their stray animals
are interesting features of his etchings.
J.E. Kidd, another visiting artist
recorded not only the rooftops and
crow's nests of prosperous Kingston
merchants but also captured the
maritime atmosphere of a bustling
seaport. Again, Adolphe Duperley's
daguerreotypes of the 1840's hold a
certain intrigue and charm a city
with old trees guinep, breadfruit,
mango, naseberry, tamarind behind

Advertisement -The Jamaica Mercury and Kingston Advertiser 1779.

high-walled gardens where scented
jasmine disguised the odours of
'privies' and water-closets.
Advertisements like this one in The
Jamaica Mercury and Kingston
Advertiser of 1779 indicate that, like
the actors, who came regularly with
their Companies to play in Jamaica, so
did the artists arrive in the "winter
season". They took up lodgings in the
fashionable part of town in order to
secure the patronage of the well-to-do
who desired to have portraits done of
themselves and their families. In the
late eighteenth and early nineteenth
century miniatures were particularly
The founding of Kingston had been
the direct result of the catastrophe
across the harbour the earthquake
of 1692, which demolished the
'wicked' and wealthy city of Port
Royal. The new city of Kingston, had

been laid out on Col. Barry's 'hog
crawle'. As the town became
prosperous, the population grew apace
and its empty lots began to disappear
quickly. The wealthy merchants
designed their houses based on the
fashionable Pattern Books of the day
but it was a multitude of workmen who
anonymously erected the houses:
bricklayers, stone-cutters, masons,
carpenters... men who were know-
ledgeable in the use of local brick,
stone lime, and timber. There were
free black, white and coloured
artisans, others were skilled slaves who
were hired out by their masters as
'jobbers'. It was this labour force, too
- fore-runners of Jamaica's building
industry which was responsible for
building the fortifications which
safeguarded the Kingston Harbour
and the island's south coast.
The need to build houses suited to 13


"M* a


the basement, to the carefully pegged
.. .. . .- .beams in the garret, each feature
...reflects the craftsman's quest for
beauty and excellence.
From the crow's nest on the roof,
the trees of the city 'yards' make an
interesting foil to the rust-coloured
i zinc roofs of old Kingston. In strong
SScontrast to mansions like Hibbert
House are the modest two room
Sehouses of the late nineteenth century
Artisans. "State Garden" which stands
at the top of Duke Street (Manchester
Square) is a good example. The artist,
Herbie Rose, captures the charm of
this small dwelling house, as he does
the spacious elegance of "Head-
quarters House".
We are indebted to yet another
artist, Alexander Cooper, whose
watercolour series in the early 1970s of
Kingston's houses has done much to
awaken interest in these buildings. In
the midst of neglect and dilapidation
this artist successfully captures the
simple dignity of many a ramshackle
building of old Kingston.
I _j Undoubtedly, Kingston has always
caught the imagination of the artist -
and the young Claude McKay's
account of his going "up to the city"
expresses the excitement of a sixteen
year-old arriving in the metropolis in
"State Garden House" Susan Shirley 1985 pen on paper.

eighteenth century Kingston houses.
From the small staircase leading from .
the climate to provide ventilation
on the one hand; to protect from
hurricane, on the other, resulted in the
emergence of a distinct architectural
style: the fusion of classic Georgian
forms and elements with the
indigenous and functional. An
excellent example of this merger is the
townhouse at the corner of Duke and
Beeston Streets. Built circa 1755 by
Thomas Hibbert, it later became "the
Headquarters" of the General of the
army. Still later it became the office of
the Colonial Secretary and the seat of L
the Legislature. Recently the house
has become the head office of the
Jamaica National Heritage Trust.
The only survivor of four houses "Headquarters House" by Herb Rose.
connected with a bet as to who could Built c. 1755 by Thomas Hibbert, this graciously proportioned town house, one of 4 built in
build the finest structure, "Hibbert response to a bet waged by 4 wealthy Kingston businessmen, became the seat of Legislature from
14 House" certainly typifies the best of 1872 1960; it is now the home of the Jamaica National Trust Commission.

With the Compliments of

Alcan Jamaica Company II,

December, 1906. He relates how he
went with his friends "to concerts in
Queen Victoria Park and to beaches
where we swam. I was very happy".
And then came the devastating
earthquake of January 14, 1907.
McKay's dreams of trade school were
dashed and he returned to the safety of
the rural hamlet of Zion Hill,
Clarendon. Thirty years later, the
seventeen-year-old Albert Huie
arrived in Kingston from Falmouth.
Like McKay before, this young artist
must have felt the throb of the city and
its people though the mood was
different. In the period leading up to
the labour movement of 1938 his
painting, "Days without Ending"
records this period of growing
depression and discontent as the
number of unemployed in the city grew.
Posterity is indeed indebted to those
young artists, who in the late thirties
and early forties strove to capture
images unique to Kingston and its
people. Unknown and unrecognised
they truthfully recorded their insights
of the city. For example, Carl
Abrahams (b 1913) sought to use his
talent as a cartoonist in order to
eventually establish himself as a
painter. At long last Kingstonians
could, with humour, recognize
themselves on the wharves, in the
markets, as well as on the
thoroughfares, its lanes and streets.
For years living and working
without interruption in the heart of the
city, from his studio on Beeston Street,
David Pottinger has faithfully
captured his city and its people -

women with shopping conversing with
each other on the streets; revivalists in
the lamplight of a street meeting.... all
are a part of this artist world.
Is it Kingston's enigmatic quality
that has arrested the imagination of
contemporary artists? Vitality amid

decay? Whatever, their works within
recent decades have helped to
underline the uniqueness of this
seaport capital. Now more than
ever we should move with speed, and
caution, to conserve what remains of a
city with so distinct a character.

Safeguard our Future

Fight Drug Abuse

With the Compliments of


"City Street Morning" David Pottinger. Collection: The Frame Centre Gallery.

Subscription rates (inclusive of postage, handling) Kingston 8.
4 issues J$25.00 / US$20.00.
t it) Back copies available on request.
Amount enclosed:
(Please print cheques and money orders to be made payable to: Arts Jamaica,
P.O. Box 79, Kingston 8.)

Local Art-Stops and...
. The ten art galleries which Kingston
now proudly boasts have provided
over the year past (and many -
preceeding ones) an exciting and often '
gourmet diet of exhibitions.
S.Some of the opening scenes and ; il
offerings of.... 1

The Frame Centre Gallery --
Upstairs. Downstairs Gallery \

The Haitian art exhibition organized by Gallery Director
Pat Ramsay, right) at Mutual Life.

And in St. Mary Harmony Hall has bee
the scene of an exciting architectural
transformation, from 19th century
property house through Methodist
manse, and today houses a bustling art
gallery and restaurant.
The restoration of this building success-
16 fully demonstrates collaboration between artists and architects with strict attention to good design, and good local craftsmanship.

_" .4


the Contemporary Arts Centre

The Contemporary Art Centre had
its official opening on September 23.
The opening of the centre marked the
first phase of what has been
Barrington Watson's dream for 30
years. The successor to Gallery
Barrington, the Contemporary Art
Centre is located at 1 Liguanea
Avenue, Kingston 6, at the junction
with Hope Road.
A building that had previously
housed a variety of activities -
including a betting shop, a car rental
agency and assorted restaurants has
been transformed, with a dramatic
facade including bold red panels.
The architects for the conversion
were Vayden McMorris and Desmond
Hayle of McMorris, Sibley &
Robinson and the main contractors
were H & R Developers. At the
opening, Barry Watson listed the many
organizations and individuals that had
contributed materials, skills and time
to the establishment of the Centre.
This was reinforced in a subsequent
conversation with Dian Ferguson, the
General Manager, who expressed the
centre's gratitude for the generosity of
people who contributed to the Centre.
Such as the restaurant that not only
catered for the opening, but helped
with transportation during construc-
tion or the hardware store in Grange
Hill, Westmoreland, who delivered the
tongue-and-groove lumber used in the
ceilings to the Centre in Kingston.
The extension has proven to be
somewhat controversial. Some observ-
ers of the conversion of the building
quietly advised against the red paint.
But both Barry Watson and Dian
Ferguson, have been delighted by
the positive response that the dramatic
exterior has stimulated. Watson tells
of children bringing adults into the
building to find out what is inside; his 5
year old grandchild commenting on
the "pretty building" learnt that it was
grandfather's and was taken inside.
The handcartman who, after investiga-
tion, commented that he "loved what
is going on in there".
Inside the building, the welcome is
warm. On entering through the door,
there is a marked change of mood.
The lounge offers comfortable
armchairs, where artists and art lovers
drop in and stay to talk. The centre
aims to "provide for artists, and public
alike, a meeting place with excellent
surroundings". It would seem from the

response so far that the Centre is
meeting a need that is felt by others.
There is also a library, international
in range, offering some art books
which are unavailable elsewhere in
Jamaica (as well as poetry books and
novels) used by students from the
School of Art and others.
The galleries are largely lit by
natural light during the day the
curved gallery in the 'tower' on the
north-eastern side of the building most
strikingly by skylights. Before the
opening Basil Watson's sculpture
"Reach", was most effectively shown
in this gallery.
The opening exhibition of the
Centre included the works of painters,
sculptors and ceramists who live/work
in England, the Netherlands and the
U.S.A. as well as Jamaica: Ralph
Campbell, Karl Craig, Ernest Crich-
low, Erwin de Vries, Gloria Escoffery,
Fitz Harrack, Andrew Hope, Edna
Manley, Stafford Schlieffer, Vernon
Tong, Barrington Watson, Aubrey
Williams, Cecil Baugh, Belva Johnson
& Donald Johnson. An exhibition of
the works of Aubrey Williams, the
Guyanese painter who lives in
England, opens in December. An
international network of links with
artists, galleries and museums is an
aim of the Contemporary Arts Centre
- to present and promote Jamaican
art while making developments in
other countries accessible to a
Jamaican audience. A film and video

Marie Stewart

library are planned to extend the
works already begun with the reading
room. Film and video material on or
by artists will be available for viewing.
The educational function is central
to the plans for the Contemporary Arts
Centre. Long term plans include an
Academy of Fine Arts for graduate
studies. Immediate plans are for a
series of Art Appreciation lectures by
local and visiting speakers, starting
with a lecture on Philosophy of Art by
Dr. Rudy Murray, a Jamaican who
lives in Canada.
The existing facilities of the Centre
include an area being prepared for a
sculpture garden. It is hoped that this
will serve to stimulate and encourage
the production of sculpture for
Another theme that runs through
the stated aims and objectives of the
Centre is the encouragement of the
use of art in public areas and
buildings: a consultant service is
offered to government, companies and
individuals on all matters relating to
the purchase, framing, hanging and
restoration of works of art; it aims to
promote an educational programme
on the importance, the value and the
necessity of art for the public,
collectors, commercial firms and
corporations; to offer a leasing service
for major works of art to firms,
corporations and individuals; main-
taining close working contact with
architects and developers. 17

The facade of the CAC photo Amador Packer.



The second phase of the develop-
ment of the Centre may be described
as the development of the commercial
side of its works. An L-shaped
extension to the existing building is
being planned to include a frame shop
and a print-making studio for
lithography, silk-screen printing and
etching by professional artists.
The Contemporary Arts Centre is
very much the dream of one man,
Barry Watson. The centre is
conceptualised as unique, but
complementary to the National

Gallery, existing commercial galleries
and the School of Art. Talking about
the development of the idea on which
he has worked for so long, Barry
Watson says that it has been very
much like the process of producing a
painting. It is a personal statement, a
major commitment to the develop-
ment of contemporary Jamaican art,
by one of our leading artists. He says
that having established the first phase
of the centre, he is now thinking about

The expansive library.

phase two; the next painting is the
important one when a painting has
been completed. The centre will be
run by the General Manager, overseen
by a 9-person board. With the opening
of the centre, Barry Watson says he
can now visit as one of the artists in the
lounge. You are encouraged to visit
the dramatic new Art Centre in
Liguanea. You will probably find, as
others have done, that you will stay
longer than you planned.

The Sculpture Alcove with skylight tower.
With the Compliments of

CO'TEMPOR.AR' ART CEATRE 1 Liguanea Avenue, Kingston 6, Jamaica, W.I., Telephone: 92-79958




51=" !t me t,,
f .*

I. i
Head of a Negro Boy by an Unknown Artist, Watercolour circa 1830, 15 X 13/' National Gallery Collection.
Photo- B St Juste

50 ST. JAMES STREET LONDON S W1A 1JT Tel; 01-629-5477 Cables: JAMCO # G Telex: 262820

The Life of Jamaica Building artworks in a brand new space.

Arts Jamaica salutes the beautiful new headquarters of Life of Jamaica in this photo-spread and acknowledges the
kind assistance of Life of Jamaica, New Kingston.

Mahogany and brass door to Board Room by
Winston Patrick. Painting by Peter Marshall

The entrance lobby to the LOJA building with wall
hanging in by Winston Patrick.

Detail of Door
showing solid
carved twin
panels and
cast brass


The life of Jamaica Building
completed in 1983 represted the
realization of the company's long term
desire to see their central facilities
housed in a tasteful, compact and
distinctive environment. The building
- situated on Dominica Drive, New
Kingston fully answers this need. In
addition to the satisfaction expressed
by company personell, this building
designed by architect's H.D. Repole
and associates has earned the
Governor-General's award of Merit
(commercial) and the Jamaica 21
Award (Honourable Mention).
The soaring graceful interior to
the credit of interior designer Hestor
Rousseau and artist Winston Patrick
- creates a working environment
which, in all its touches, reminds of the
beautiful natural environment outside
its working walls. Carved mahogany,
rough raw cotton fabrics, glinting
sensuous highlights in brass and
copper abound in the corridors and
open-style offices.
LoJa has indeed set the precedent
for working environments which
nurture and stimulate the whole

~~ ~----;~


- --~


I Ff

- ---- -




.- -

I -

Bar Relief Winston Patrick elegantly sculpted rubbed mahogany
and cast brass harmonize in this wall sculpture by Winston Patrick.

- Lobby Hanging -a Winston Patrick fibre construction in sisal with
copper accents. The lobby and entire building abounds with lush
growing plants in a profusion of containers.

Architects impression of the new LOJA Tower building with exposed

Maquette for proposed LOJA tower Winston Patrick

Wza~ q~


~~wC-. 7_-.1-
'~---- CY.


Talking Art and Architecture

Excerpts from an overview discussion
on the integration of art and
architecture and wider relevant issues
in today's Jamaica Dorit Hudson
talks with Valerie Facey and Jerry
Craig. f

DH: What are some of the questions
that are useful and ought to be
raised and the issues we think of
as important in the area of the A 1
integration of art and archi- Intricate
JC: I personally have always felt that design
not enough architects take the arts w
artist into consideration, into import
discussion, in the early stages of I've f
the development of their Schoo
buildings and they consider art enough
as something which just fits in architi
spaces in the walls, rather than more
something that could play an DH: Yes, it
important factor within the in Ki
architecture, cularl'
DH: And they don't take the artist sensiti
into consideration in new and o
buildings.. .For instance look at n
the dependency on glass. In New depend
Kingston most of the new glass,
buildings are all glass walled. For doors,
art, you need corridors, common depend
areas within a building. VF: What
now tl
VF: You should however go to the horre
PanJam offices where there are
walls. This particular corporate JC: As yc
plan was for an existing building closely
to which two floors were added, with I
in a rather unique way. It's a very at 1
contemporary design, an artistic incorp
design using glass and etc.
aluminium. The interior is incorp
designed for executive offices, build
and all in all it is intended to be climal
almost an art gallery at the same inner
time. fresh
DH: Years ago when nobody was DH: There
pushing the arts, 60-100 years school
ago, there were buildings with for cl
walls to hang art works on. talking
Today we are supposed to have a where
law where one percent of the Jamai
cost of a public (government) readil
building is to go toward art you
works (though I don't know if it's depos
been passed yet), and yet you
have these kinds of buildings VF: Reme
going up. DH: Yes a
JC: Look for example, at the Sistine manu
Chapel! That was how they used these
the arts and the architects. They And


A AIn 4b- 0 'l

SA. & .A 'ua l & .&A *A* PA AS gPAS IA 0
lacework of fashioned wood 'fan-light' over door used to enhance ventilation.

ed and combined, and the
ere always considered an
tant part of the building.
elt even from the Art
1 that we've not had
h discussion between the
ects and artists, we need
's something that's left out
ngston architecture parti-
y. For there is much more
ve treatment of housing
offices, on the North Coast,
stance these are not as
dent on concrete and
but tend toward French
fretwork, shingle. Not a
dency on air conditioners!
of the traditional coolers
hat we have to face current
ndous electricity bills?
)u know, I worked very
y on the Seabed building,
'at Stanigar. We discussed
length how we could
)orate local material, fibres
The Seabed design was
)orated several old existing
ngs was done with local
tic conditions in mind,
walkways for example with
air coming in, and cool.
is, as you know, a whole
1 of architecture planned
inmates similar to ours. I'm
g about New Mexico,
they use adobe. Here in
ca you have materials
y accessible, everywhere
have some kind of clay

mber wattle and daub?
nd woods, horse hair, cow
re, molasses, cane trash-all
can go into the mortar.
ill of this is here. But has

anybody looked into this? Last
year one of Aga Khan's awards
for Architecture went to the
mud houses of North Africa,
made of mud, multi-storied
strong buildings and extremely
VF: Well there is no doubt about it.
We want to put an emphasis on
"old time things" as much as
possible both for practical,
and aesthetic purposes.
DH: Just recently for instance, I saw a
new house being erected, a
brick house...
JC: There another point I wish to
make, and that relates to

The great mosque at Jenne, an ancient seat of
Islamic teaching in West Africa, dated from
the fourteenth century made of pise (rammed
clay or earth) and timber it endures till today.
Photo by Werner Forman, from Basil Davidson's
Africa: History ofa Continent (published 1972
- Hamlyn).

"indigenous materials", we used
a lot of this in Seabed, fibres,
traditional straws, criss-cross
bamboo etc. And I'm dying to
see how this stands up.

VF: Is there sufficient research into
how to prepare, preserve, collect
these things?
JC: There is some, but not enough.
Also attention needs to be paid
to planting of the trees, to the
primary areas. We must also
question how aware our
professionals, architects, design-
ers are of these developments.
DH: Well for one we need a design
VF: There is a Building Arcade on
the Red Hills Road now, where
the layman can walk in and buy
his supplies with advice from the
variety of over 30 dealers there.
DH: What I would like to see is a
house design excluding air
conditioning with solar panels
for water, and built on a storage
tank (this lack of water has been
a long standing problem.)
JC: I recall when, to encourage a
wider consciousness, the city
would foster an interest in design
and public consciousness, by

Wickerwork tent of the Kurtei, near Niamey,
Photo: Werner Forman (from Africa: History
of a Continent B. Davidson Hamlyn 1972).

having competitive events, in-
viting competitions for public
monuments, murals, etc. I
remember when the Bank of
Jamaica (the first building under
the new 1 %o law), invited
entrants for their mural competi-
tions and Parboosingh, Barring-
ton (as Chairman), myself and
Mel Etrick went to every known
artist in Jamaica, looked at their
work and voted on it. And we
got the money to get the
collection together, (and outside
of the National Gallery it is
perhaps the greatest single
collection of the Jamaican
artist). And in reality, murals are
perhaps the most effective
"outreach" area of local art, as
seen by the public...
DH: But we must ask too Jerry, who
are in control and responsible

for the care and preservation of
these murals?
Let us look back too at the
treatment of some of our old
buildings and discuss their
treatment, preservation. Take
for instance too Minard. During
the seventies Minard was a home
for wayward boys and in the
dining room were all the busts of
the Prime Ministers of England.
ringing the room left same way.
What temptation!
JC: Also take vintage buildings in
private hands full of incredible
antiques, family portraits etc..
and no protection against
vandalism. For me, the National
Trust law should protect these

DH: If private individuals apply for
important national architectural 23

With the Compliments of


North Street building.

Patrick Stanigar

building there should be
provision for supervision (via the
National Trust perhaps) and
appropriate grants for rebuilding
in keeping with traditional
aesthetic convention. There is,for
instance a place in St. James,
Retirement, which was brought
to my notice, because it was
proposed as the site of the local
dump. It belongs to the St. James
Parish Council. And note that
this was a building, a stone
building, which was the subject
of Kidd print, with working
waterwheel, aqueduct on 12
acres and 7 or 8 buildings. As far
as I known, reconstruction plans
which I proposed (in 1975) were
passed and that is where the
matter has stopped.
VF: I feel strongly that private
groups can help here too in
consciousness and preservation,
for instance in Ocho Rios there
is a Tourism Protection Society
which is involved in clean-up,
paint-up of the city. And it is
going to go on to preserving and
developing vernacular archi-
tecture in that whole area,
between Ocho Rios and MoBay.

Art in Architecture

The more I get to know Jamaican
Artists the more disappointed I
become with their perception of
Is it bad habit or is it ignorance that
allows either an "Artist" or Architect
to feel that Art and Architecture are
separate things that seek combination?
Isn't Architecture Art? Perhaps in
Jamaica it is not at least, not in the
sense of the art of painting, sculpture,
music or literature. How very sad then
for Jamaican Art.
As I believe that such an intellectual
situation offers little hope for any of
the Arts, I would rather assume (being
a determined optimist) that no one
misunderstands the word Architecture
but that some license is being taken
with the word Art and that what is
meant is Painting or Sculpture in
Unfortunately (to the annoyance of
some of my Artist friends) I have never
been able to build up any great
excitement for this cause even though
I seem to have been identified with it.
This is probably based on a
misunderstanding of intentions. The
few times that I have encouraged the
use of the work of Painters and
Sculptors in buildings, it was done
because it was appropriate to an
Architectural situation and not done
for its own sake. As a matter of fact, I
have spent at least equal time resisting
attempts to load my clients buildings
with "Art" either because it would
further the case of Jamaican Art or
because some Artist felt that he was
going to give the building lasting
Specifically, I have come to believe
that attempts to legislate the purchase
of art objects for Government
buildings or the linking of private
development planning incentives to
Art (both practices of some
"enlightened" societies) are destruc-
tive to the Arts of Architecture,
Painting and Sculpture.
Although these are nice ways to
guarantee a flow of income to Artists,
they contribute to a perception of Art
as a commodity and this status should

never be accepted by the Artist in his
own mind. Even though we all know
that Art can be object, merchandise
and property all at the same time, an
Artist only produces banality if he is
guided by the marketplace. In-
creasingly, the evidence of this is all
around us.
This is however a problem for the
souls of Painters and Sculptors. I am
very selfishly interested in the art of
Architecture which I enjoy thinking of
as an art in the sense of Medicine or
Engineering. Art, in the sense of music
or painting and most important of all,
a Craft very similar to pottery.
While there is no question that the
walls of buildings may be useful for
exhibition of paintings, I find little in
the subject to excite an Architect. It is
all much better left to those occasional
"representative" committees to argue
over content and to see to it that there
is fair play and the benefits are evenly
spread over the "qualified" artistic
As for the use of murals to beautify
walls, I think this is a very risky
business for both Painter and
Architect. Examples range from the
extravagant as in Mexico City (and
remarkably at our University) to the
more modest level where the
occasional wall is painted to give
accent to a space. Usually, these
solutions occur on the most mundane
of buildings and are essentially
decorative in impact. What a sad fate
for painting.
There is I think an intimacy between
person and object which is required
for a depth of meaning to be found
within the facade of a painting. This
intimacy is impossible to achieve
through a car windshield (as is the case
at U.W.I.) or rushing from customs to
a taxi (as is the case at one of our
airports). I think that if this intimacy is
withheld, no matter what the intended
content, the work can only become
ornament or symbol. I would have
thought such a work could only be a
hollow achievement for a Painter.
Even though there are occasional
situations where the greatness of an
(Continued on page 35)

' o .: . : . : *i,. ... .

...... --.._.- .. = . -. .
04019 MW
0bt 4


Kay Anderson

Artists beware! Making art can be
hazardous to your health. There are
considerable amounts of toxic
elements present in art supplies,
including school art supplies.
A substance is described as being
toxic if it damages tissue or health, or
destroys life; either quickly or over a
period. Many minor discomforts
such as upset stomach, backache or
skin rash can be traced to the use of
art materials. More chronic or life
threatening illnesses such as heart
disease, leukemia, or cancers of the
bladder, rectum, kidney and brain can
also be traced to the use and or
misuse of art materials.
Exposure to pigments such as flake
white (basic lead carbonate) cobalt
violet, chrome yellow and naples
yellow can lead to the cumultive
building up of lead in the system over a
period of time. Lead is also contained
in stained glass hobby kits. Emerald
green used to contain arsenic
compound. Many pigments are
toxic in powder form but harmless in
suspension in the tubes. Powdered
pastels as well as glazes can affect the
respiratory system. Asbestos, linked in
numerous studies to lung cancer, is
believed to be present in the talc in
clay used by potters.
A survey conducted in the U.S.A.
showed that turpentine 'was to blame
for the highest percentages of cases of
child poisoning'. Other studio
material which figured in cases of
child poisonings are glue, paint-brush
cleaner, and thinners. High levels of
volatile spirit vapours can have a
hazardous effect on the respiratory
system through breathing fumes for
long periods. Rubber cement contains
normal hexane a mild neurotoxin
capable of causing permanent nerve
damage after repeated exposures over
a few months. Benzine and toluene

With the Compliments of



can cause blood disorders while
toluene and zylene, solvents often
found in enamels, lacquer thinners and
silk screen supplies have been linked
to headaches, dizziness, kidney
damage and harm to developing
foetuses. Many of these solvents or
substances are highly flammable so
they ought to be stored in proper
containers, in limited quantities.
Neither plastic nor glass should be
used for storage as the plastic might be
too thin and the glass might break.
Artists who work at home should keep
all volatile or potentially hazardous
material properly stored and labeled
in order to protect themselves and
their families. Needless to say no
smoking or naked light should be
allowed in the area in which these
materials are kept.
Volatile solvents are all potentially
toxic without good ventilation. Artists
and craftpersons as well as high risk
groups like young children should be
educated about the potential effects of
the materials they use. They could
then help to protect themselves by
developing safe art and craft practices.
These include making sure that they
work in well ventilated areas as many
of the toxic substances are inhaled.
Gloves should also be worn if some of
these substances are being used for a
long time.
Children should not be given chalk
pastels to use as they might lick their
fingers or inhale the dust.
All art users need to limit their
exposure to health risks posed by art
materials. What is a safe level of
exposure? This is a controversial
question it is enough perhaps to point
out that "the acceptable exposure
levels set for industry by the
Occupational Safety and Health
Administration in the U.S.A. are

Harmony ?
OCHO RIOS Open daily
Four miles east of Ocho Rios on
the main road to Oracabessa.

The Gallery
10 a.m. 5 p.m.
Tel: 974-4222

The King's Arms
11 a.m. Midnight
Tel: 974-4233

generally given for an eight-hour-a day
exposure, while artists often live and
work in the same place 24 hours a
While there is no documentation
here in Jamaica, of how often artists
are getting into trouble, there are case
studies as well as research done in the
United States which link toxic art
materials to chronic disease. The 1981
National Cancer Institute research
findings revealed that painters seem to
be more prone to bladder cancer and
leukemia than sculptors and others.
Among a group of 1253 white male
artists, 238 deaths from malignant
cancer were reported as against 186
deaths expected in a similar sample in
the general population. Thirteen
bladder cancer deaths were found
among white male painters as against
four deaths expected in a similar
sample in the general population.
Statistics such as these suggest the
need for more data to be made
available to artists, of both sexes and
all races, about the degree to which
exposure to art materials pose a risk to
their health. Data at this moment is
inadequate, as there is as yet no
regulation which requires routine
labeling of art supplies known to cause
accute illness, although identical
chemicals in industry are regulated by
the U.S. government. Spurred on
perhaps by the passage in California of
a law to establish mandatory labeling
of toxic art supplies, 35 manufacturers
of fine-arts supplies, representing
about 90% of the manufacturers of
such products, have joined with'the
Artists Equity Association and
developed a program of testing and
labelling of toxic art supplies. Many
companies have reformulated their
product with non-toxic chemicals
rather than carry strongly worded
The outlook for artists is therefore
not totally grim. With the practice of
proper housekeeping, good ventila-
tion, less exposure for shorter periods,
and the availability of specific labels
on art supplies or reformulated non
toxic art materials, artists can limit the
risks to themselves and their families.

A gingerbread house . an
exceptional art gallery ... the
finest Jamaican craft... a
Victorian pub and restaurant ..
elegant and relaxed.


Jane Skogstad

What's Happening Now Art and Design in London and

"Exhilarating" is the word which
best sums up the current art scene in
London and Scandinavia. I became
almost satiated with the veritable
"smorgasbord" of art and design when
recent travels took me to London,
Copenhagen, Oslo and Bergen,
Norway. I was overwhelmed again and
The Francis Bacon retrospective
exhibition at the Tate Gallery in
London should not be missed by fans
of Bacon. Even non-advocates of this
controversial painter's work are likely
to become converts if they see this
exhibition (which closed in London
Aug. 18 but will be shown in Stuttgart
Oct. Dec. 1985 and in Berlin Feb. -
April 1986.)
Bacon is a true master of colour and
technique, and his powerful paintings
aggressively seduce the viewer. Room
after room of the mostly large works
(many triptychs) confront and
mesmerize as an environment, as well
as individually.
This is Bacon's second retrospective
at the Tate the first was in 1962; and
Alan Bowness, Director of the Tate (in
his foreword to the catalog) calls
Bacon "surely the greatest living
Francis Bacon is an enigma. Since
1945 when his "Three Studies for
Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion" was
shown in London, his paintings have
confounded critics as well as the
public at large. Basically a figurative
painter and most often a painter of
figures in rooms his images
frequently have a raw violence about
them which can be shocking. But there
is inevitably an inherent beauty of
masterfully applied brush strokes
against raw linen canvas or perhaps
the jolt of flat rich color used as a
background to isolate a figure,
creating an exciting contrast. Always
his paintings are framed behind glass
at his insistence, giving an overall
surface unity.
Quite a few of Bacon's works in the
late seventies and eighties have moved
26 away from the explicitly human form,

and the titles "Sand Dune" (1981),
"Landscape" (1978), "Jet of Water"
(1979), or "A Piece of Wasteland"
(1982) reflect this shift. Often
incorporating images of newsprint,
arrows and even the box-like
structures which sometimes encapsu-
late his human figures, these works
have a dynamic, ethereal quality about
them. Seemingly, the only thing
shocking about this subject matter is
that Bacon chose it!
On closer inspection, however,
some of these works do appear to be
"figurative" in the earlier sense. In
"Sand Dune" (1983) for example, an
amorphous form (human?) hangs
suspended from an open-ended blue
box against a bright orange

A blind cord and bare light bulb
(ubiquitous images from earlier works
such as "Portrait of George Dyer
Staring at a Blind Cord" (1966) and
"Self Portrait" (1973) hang from an
unseen source into the blue room-like
"Provocative" is an understatement
when applied to Bacon's work.
Perhaps one of the reasons for his
great success as a painter is that in
addition to his incredible technical
talent, Francis Bacon gives his viewers
an on-going, larger than life, visual
equivalent to The Sunday Times
Crossword Puzzle. The Tate's per-
manent collection is, of course, first
rate; an outstanding collection and
well presented.
Also in London, and a welcome

SWith the Compliments of


Sole distributor of Sta-Rite Swimming Pool Equipment
Dealers in Industrial Water Treatment Chemicals & Equipment
Kemtreet Distributors of Chlorine and Swimming Pool
Equipment throughout Jamaica.


"Sand Dune" Francis Bacon 1983 from catalogue Francis
Bacon 1985, Tate Gallery.


antidote to the violence of Bacon's
images, the Hayward Gallery is
exhibiting (until Sept. 29) "Hockney
Paints the Stage," featuring work by
David Hockney for stage sets,
primarily operas. It is a light-hearted
show, and Hockney ensures that we
are entertained by the use of tricky,
theatrical lighting and other dramatic
effects. The exhibition includes
environments, vignettes, and two-
dimensional paintings as well as
miniature sets recessed into the wall
which are reminiscent of the Throne
Rooms at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Even the Exhibition Guide, which cost
a mere fifty pence, opens up to form a
paper vignette of a set from "Les
Mamelles de Tiresias."
An excursion to Brighton to see the
Royal Pavilion was a disappointment.
Though billed throughout London as
the "Grandest Palace in Europe," the
building is being renovated. The
picturesque domed roof is covered
with scaffolding, and the upstairs is
There was nothing disappointing
about Copenhagen, however. A
traveler's dream city, Copenhagen
abounds in pedestrian streets lined
with shops containing extraordinary
crafts, glassware, silver, and all
manner of beautifully designed items
for the home, as well as the most
current clothing. Danish furniture is
world renowned for its creativity,
simplicity and perfection of detail.
Store and restaurant designs are a
delight to experience, as are their
wares including elegant gourmet
food. Copenhagen has it all!
Tivoli Gardens, the enormous
amusement park in the center of town,
pre-dates Disneyland by many years.
Incorporating theatres, restaurants, a
lake, playgrounds and rides for
children, it is a charming environment
by day, metamorphosing into a
splendid, magical world after dark.
And Copenhagen's museums boggle
the mind! For such a tiny country with
only about 5,000,000 inhabitants and
no natural resources to speak of, one
wonders how so few have been able to
do so much with so little.
One of my favourite museums was
the Glyptothek with its enclosed

With the Compliments of

atrium-rotunda filled with enormous
palm trees, bougainvillea and hibiscus,
providing a tropical oasis in this
northern climate. The museum boasts
an especially impressive collection of
Gauguin paintings, in addition to
many other well known works.
There are fabulous old castles, one
of which, the Rosenborg, houses not
only ancient tapestries, silver furniture
and the Crown Jewels (which for pure
design surpass those of England,) but
also the earliest piece of kinetic art
which I have seen. Produced in 1692, it
is a small portrait of a woman. Wedge-
shaped strips attached vertically to the
surface cause her eyes to appear to
follow you as you walk past!
The coup de maitre of museums,
however, is just north of Copenhagen,
has the improbable name of Louisiana,
and is magnificent. A youngster in
terms of age, the museum opened in
1958 as a museum of contemporary
Danish art but with the aim of showing


the interplay of art, architecture and
However, in the middle sixties the
museum's emphasis shifted to Inter-
national art rather than Danish, and
the collection began with Post World
War II works. In twenty years' time,
the museum has acquired an
astonishing number of major works by
first rate international artists, housed
them in a spectacular environment,
and managed to establish and maintain
a high calibre of temporary
The site and the building itself are
crucial to the basic aim of the
Louisiana. Situated in a wooded park
overlooking the sea (actually the
sound between Denmark and Sweden)
on one side and a lake on the other,
the initial location was an 1855 house.
Several extensions have been added,
and there are more to come; there is a
unity of space-to-space and building-
to-site and art-to-site which is thrilling 27

Recreation park, with picnickers seated among Calder sculptures. From: Louisiana. The
Collection and Buildings, 1984.

and soothing at the same time.
Louisiana's park location on the sea
makes it a natural home for the
sculpture which plays a major role in
the collection. There are thirteen
works by Giacometti, as well as major
pieces by Calder, Moore, Miro, Arp,
Max Ernst and Dubuffet. But that is
only the beginning. The paintings and
environments are impressive too, as
are the two current exhibitions.
The largest and most captivating of
the two exhibitions, for me, is called
Homo Decorans, and it is such a
diverse and all-encompassing under-
taking, it is very difficult to describe.
Basically, I suppose it could be
summed up as Post-Modernism (as
part of a worldwide trend) within a
historical context of decoration. But
"decoration" in every sense of the
word is included; even body art.
Numerous pieces of Memphis
furniture (that wild and crazy kitsch
which has been emanating from Milan
since 1981) and photographs and
models of Post Modern architecture
are prominent. But we are also shown
almost every conceivable way man has
decorated himself and surroundings.
There are headdresses, overall body
tattoos, African neck rings, Punk hair,
sleek contemporary jewelry, a fashion
show of designer clothing (on video.)
There are examples of pattern and
decoration in home furnishings, ritual
pattern-making in India, contemp-
orary Western pattern painting and
wall murals, decoration of Pakistani
lorries, South American Indian feather
pieces, and on and on. It was
In another wing, a show entitled
"Lucas Samaras: Polaroidfotografier
1969-83" was installed. Large, vividly-
coloured still life and figurative
Polaroid photographs make up the
exhibition. The subject matter, again,
is dramatically decorative, and the
technology mysterious. In some cases,
Samaras has taken three or more large
colour prints of the same photograph,
cut them into strips, and arranged
them in such a way as to s-t-r-e-t-c-h
them out eerily. If you visit
Copenhagen, do not miss the
Norway's main claim to fame in the
art world, of course, has been Edward
Munch. Thousands of his works were
left to the City of Oslo by Munch when
he died and are exhibited in the
Munch Museum. Others can be seen
in the National Gallery, also in Oslo,
28 and in the Rasmus Meyers collection

in Bergen. (Bergen is also a perfect
home base for touring the scenic fjord
area of Western Norway where many
Norwegian painters have gained their
subject matter and inspiration.)
Munch's paintings, like Bacon's,
simply cannot be appreciated in
reproductions. The works themselves,
especially en masse, are gripping. An
extremely sensitive and disturbed
artist, Munch had experienced a great
deal of sadness early in life. Many of
his themes come from the pain of love,
jealousy and death. Munch executed
the same subject matter several times
in different media, so it is interesting
to compare the variations of "The
Shriek," for example, and "Puberty."
The ancient stave churches in
Norway are a major source of pride
and are carefully maintained. One
remarkable example in central
Norway was built in 1150 A.D. and
appears in practically perfect condi-
tion, in spite of its timber construction
and very little restoration. These old
Viking buildings, partially influenced
by Romanesque architecture and
containing both pagan and Christian
elements, often feature quaint gabled
roofs pinnacled with dragons. They

serve as reminders, along with the
Viking ship museum and the old-style
buildings with grass-covered roofs,
that Norway and the other Scandi-
navian countries are of the "Old
They, like much of Europe, have
suffered many defeats as well as
victories. They have been conquered
and passed back and forth like petit
fours on a plate. Perhaps it is not
surprising that they have learned to
treasure their heritage and preserve
their handiwork.
While each of the Scandinavian
countries has its own identity and
national pride, there is a great deal of
cultural exchange. One of the
highlights in the Oslo Museum of
Industrial Arts was an exhibition of
Finnish glass. These unique pieces
took the form of sculpture as opposed
to utilitarian objects.
Northern European cities may not
have the reputation for art and
architecture that Florence or Paris
has, but there is surely an exhaustive
amount of unique and excellent art
and design in these areas. I have only
touched on the highlights.

"Evening on Karl Johan Street" Edvard Munch 1892 Oil on canvas Rasmus Meyers.
Collection Published in the Masterworks of Edvard Munch, Exhibition Catalog, The Museum
of Modern Art, 1979.


"Haitian Art'A MP

"Haitian Art' M W SM.-

Key Anderson continues her interview
with Gerald Alexis, Director of Haiti's
National Gallery.

GA: Another artist that you have is a
man called Louis Saint, who paints
market scenes. He is a very young
artist not one of the masters of
Haitian art. He has been the pupil
most likely of a man called Petion
Savain, who has used the circular
composition which originally was
offered to the modern artist by the
primitive artist. Now Savain was a
trained artist and painter I don't
know to what extent Louis Saint is.
He probably worked with an artist
but did not attend a school. I don't
know him personally. But he uses
the technique of Savain of putting
everything in circular shape. Now
he doesn't always respect that
because maybe he does not
understand the idea which is at the
bottom of this, regardless of this
his figures take on this rounded
shape and at times pointed so
they can go back on a radius of the
circle, and it makes it very
interesting, very appealing this
way of twisting the human figure.
From the exhibit also you have
Else Louixor who studied at the
Academy of Art. He is very very
good at creating a neo-
impressionist effect. He calls
himself an impressionist, but he is
not really an impressionist. He
uses the true crude colour, as the
impressionists did, the stroke of
the brush is used also to create the
,movement. He uses light in the
fashion that the impressionists use,
but he is not an outdoor painter.
He paints by imagination, he uses
that technique to produce this
liveliness that resembles the
impressionists, and the painting
which is on the cover of the
catalogue shows extreme move-
ment, and you feel that the work is
in motion, that the people are in

motion. Of course he has used a
subject which is in movement
itself, its a ra-rah group which is
sort of a peasant carnival, it's
always in movement, it's very
noisy. He created this atmosphere
of noise and constant movement
just by the brush stroke and the
use of the colours.
From the show you have also Ober
Jeanchille, who is a landscape
artist. He is called primitive
because he is very meticulous. He
spends a lot of time doing every
little leaf on every plant. He is a
landscape artist. His colours are
very very nice to look at,
predominantly his work is green,
punctured by lightspots. He
generally dresses his characters in
white, so they come out better, on
the greenish background and his
art is very quiet in the fashion of
country side landscapes, when you
are totally away from the noise of
urban areas, where everything is
so peaceful that people can call
each other at long distances, and
you can hear. This is the
impression that he gives in his

Another artist is Prosperpierre
Louis a decorator as was
Hippolite. He belongs to a rural
community which is up in the
mountains above Port au Prince
and they had a way of decorating
everything, even the tombs.
KA: Do you see any ongoing links
between Haiti and Jamaica?
GA: We first of all have at the National
Museum in Haiti a commitment,
to have a Jamaican show from the
collection of the National Gallery
here. I think this should be
intensified. We should have more,
and more exchange shows like
that, even of individual artists. The
artists should be exposed in
galleries, and be able to sell their
work in Haiti as should Haitian
artists; this should not only
be in the visual arts, but the
performing arts also should
inter-change, because we have
so much in common, we have the
same origin, the same nature, we
are the same people, we see the
same light. I think that we have
the same sense of rhythm.
So I think that we should try to 29


One of Petion Savain's market scenes done in 1971.
collection: Marguerite Curtin.

work something, not only between
Haiti and Jamaica, but also other
Caribbean islands, and to create
something which could be
Caribbean, which it is already but
which is not recognized as such.
When you think of Caribbean you
think of tourism and cricket,
whereas it is a very very important
cultural area, and it should be
presented as such. But first of all, I
think we should know each other
through such exchanges.

KA: Finally, could you tell me
something about the role of the
National Museum and also the
private galleries like the Nader

GA: At the National Museum we only
have expositions of private
collections or museum collections,
or collections of certain institu-
tions. We do not sell at the
Museum. It has to fill certain
criteria. For an artist to show at
the National Museum he must
have a recognized reputation,
must be of a certain time, he can
be modern of course, unless it is
something spectacular, but there
are certain requirements that have
to be met. However, there are
private galleries, in other institu-
tions, such as cultural centres and
things of that sort, that do present
shows of individual artists or
groups of artists and there the
works can be put up for sale. They
do not have to be famous. It has to
be quality of course because the
institution has to look at slides or
photographs of the work make a
selection that would appeal to the
Haitian public, that would
communicate with the Haitian
public, and do what Pat has done
(Pat Ramsay, Director of Mutual
Life Gallery), come to see what
was available, select what she
thought would be proper for
exhibit here. The same process
can be done. Its a very
awesome venture as you know to

transport works of art, so it's an
incentive for the artist to be able
to know that he has a chance to
sell when he gets to that point. It
would be sort of an investment.
Now it would be ideal to find
institutions would sponsor that
would put up the money for these
projects and that would get it back
if the sale was good.
But these are two aspects, the
aspect of the private collection
and more representative type
show, like the one we would have
from the National Gallery or
individuals or groups of artists
who put up together and show.
KA: In Jamaica we have an Annual
National Exhibition which is open
to the range of artists. There is a
section which is by invitation and
a section that's juried; just about
anybody can enter. That doesn't
mean your work will be put up,
but at least it will be viewed. Do
you have something like this?

GA: We have something like that. It's a
yearly contest that is destined only
to young artists. Many of them
enter, only about ten or twelve are
chosen for the exhibit, and it's
done by the Cultural Centre which
takes on the expenses framing, the
catalogue and so forth and the
artists can sell their works without
any commission being retained.
This is the only real set event.
Several private organizations have
from time to time organized such
contest. Very recently the
foundation for health and
education has done a contest of
that sort and it was very
successful. There are juries of
course who select the work and
contribute the prizes.

. ,u ;. . -..-- .. -. '.' s....

HE'A, sjldia '
*- -: .-d; --n. -- d, n ,
-l e '" 'r" n .' "-"

-etidin, 14 ..

LUUCIE SMITH,- E.,. Av t i- the
,. Seveitleq Phaidon,. Oxford, 1983
ID., Movements In Art-Sinee 1945,
..Thames aind Hudson, London, 1984,
(revised and enlarged edition)

SMITH-McCRAE, R., 6 Options:
..Gallery Spaces Transformed,
National Gallery of Jamaica,
Kingston, 1985 (exhibition cata-

ROBINSON, Charlotte, The Artist and
..the Quilt, Alfred A. Knopf,
September, 1983.
Flash of the Spirit (African and
Afro-American An and Philosophy)
Vintage Books August 1984.

"Local Colour" Sense of Place in Folk
Art"' by Wiliam Ferris publishers
McGraw Hill Book Co.

Jamaica's Cultur Heritage
- a rih end a legacy

-. .^ ; ^ ^ ^ '-'^sr : ^ -.. Al

Maud Fuller

The Non-Review of Dance Jamaica

photo Maria Layacona
COURT OF JAH (Nettleford 1975) with dancers of the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica against the backcloth designed by Colin Garland,
one of Jamaica's major artists. NDTC's collaboration with visual artists has resulted in decor designs by such other painters as Eugene Hyde, Milton
Harley, David Boxer, Kofi Kayaga, Karl Craig, Susan Alexander, Lloyd van Pitterson and Howard Parchment. The dance-work is in tribute to Bob
Marley, the reggae composer.

Pleading extreme partiality and an
intemperate bias I hereby disqualify
myself from writing a "review" (with
all the objectivity that the genre
entails) of Rex Nettleford's latest
book. Given the subject matter and
the author's indisputable command of
the topic, any criticism might be at
best superfluous, at worst pre-
sumptuous. For this is not a book
about theories, theses and intellectual
speculations: there are no false
premises; no non-sequitur argument-
ation. At its simplest (but by no means
simplistic) DANCE JAMAICA tells
the story of the coming of age of a
dance company through the eyes of an
omniscient narrator, who just happens
to be one of the real-life protagonists.
Its rites of passage, its growing pains,
the dogged determination to exist -

all are documented with forthright
honesty. But this is not just a book, it is
a labour of love: this is not just a book,
it is a text a text rooted in history
and fact. The ideology and
philosophical underpinnings such as
there are, are integral to any
understanding of the Company's terms
of reference stoically self-imposed
and rigorously enforced. They exist as
the beacon that which gives light
and points the way to pilgrims on a

I know that many of the literati,
glitterati and rumorati would have
preferred an expose mired in kas-kas,
back-bite and scandals both major and
minor; and the conspicuous absence
of malice, the singular lack of aired
dirty-linen, is bound to bring cries of

"Too laundered to be true!"
"That is the expurgated version!" (one
suck teet) But aren't there enough
denigrators with tongue poisoned and
pen poised to provide the "true"
version? Look for it under Coming
Detractions. Instead, Nettleford wisely
chose to write a definitive text to
which serious students of dance -
both practitioners and would-be critics
- can have recourse. It is a Dance
Dictionary richly annotated and
generously illustrated. Much of the
information is encyclopaedic as
well it should be. Some, even
repetitive but such is the nature of
reference and cross-reference. It is at
one and the same time a dancer's
handbook (choreography, lexico-
graphy) and a layman's guide


(information, interpretation). One
cannot but hope that an informed,
initiated audience will be better able
to distinguish between process and
preference; to better appreciate what
goes into creating a dance work while
stubbornly preferring KUMINA to
is not to stifle 'gut' reaction or
cerebratee' spontaneity out of exist-
ence, but if there is to be a
trickle-down effect of the dance
touching the lives of all the people,
then audiences should have the
wherewithal to approach the dance
with something more than wide-eyed
attempts to address (if not redress)
that situation.
Once again, Nettleford manages to
pin-point with laser-beam accuracy,
the setbacks that beset a nascent
endeavour. He takes us behind the
scenes to witness the pragmatic
alternatives that even creative artists
must opt for, for sheer survival.
Anyone who knows Mr. Nettleford,
knows how defensive he is about the
Company. He is not about to allow
philistine criticism to go unscolded.
Yet there is a magnanimity of spirit
that permeates the book. Every
scribbler who has ever penned a line
pro or con the Company is duly
recognized. Even those critics with
whom the author has no common eye,
are graciously acknowledged. Mr.
Nettleford, is passionate about the
Company; and yet there is a dignified
restraint about the writing. He
'contains' himself at crescendo spots
when a little flamboyance would have
been forgiven. He makes no
outrageous claims for either the
Company or himself. Quite the
contrary, he down-plays much of his
own contribution but with no trace of
false modesty.
With the wealth of photographs and
pictures at his disposal, an author of
less scholarly integrity might have
succumbed to the lure of making of
frieze tell the tale. But the clever
'disarray' of pictures and photographs
that do not necessarily match the text
on the companion page, forces one to
32 read the book rather than leaf through

another "coffee table glossy."
One thing that sets this book apart
from other retrospective, is the
palpable sense of energy which
bespeaks beginnings an urgency to get
on with the job! The final chapter
dispels any notion of complacency.
The attitude throughout is never one
of "We've fought the good fight, top
that if you can". Instead it is "We've
fought the good fight, but the battle
has just begun". And it is in that spirit
of urgency, and the awareness that
there are yet, heights to be scaled and
depths to be plumbed, that I offer a
suggestion (not a challenge) to the
Company. You need the overseas
tours they serve you and the nation,
well. They validate your place in the
international order of things. We who
live abroad need the overseas tours -
both for the pride you engender in us
as for our own 'groundings' with our
roots refresher's course for those of

us who sometimes develop a 'hazy'
recollection of the birthright, but I
would like to see equal emphasis put
on nation-wide tours. Too many
Jamaicans living in Jamaica have never
seen 'their' company perform live on
stage. A tour of six towns per year
would hardly qualify as strenuous.
"The NDTC... must insist on holding a
mirror up to the society and must
constantly question why and for whom
the Company exists". (DJ p 277) With
such an acknowledgement of mission
it behoves the company to find a way.
You continually draw from the
well-spring of rural Jamaica, take them
back a draught of the mellowed
nectar. Civic-minded sponsors and
employers have always allowed
time-off for tours abroad, surely they
would be no less co-operative for tours
at home. Mr. Nettleford admiringly
made reference to the ingenuity of the
German entrepreneur with his
(Continued on page 34)

With the Compliments of


One panel of triptych by Susan Alexander ofNDTC's "Sulkari".


Summer Art on the Waterfront was
the National Gallery's first approach in
presenting a practical Art Programme
for children. This programme con-
tinued for two weeks in July for
children 7-14 years. The activities
included; Art Appreciation, Tours, / .
Studio Workshops and demonstrations
by Batik artist Dawn Scott. These
young art enthusiasts worked intently
as well as creatively throughout the
The National Gallery hopes to
present a similar art educational
programme for the Christmas holi-
days, beginning December 16-20th.
Registration at the Gallery December

Tours and Research
Students of all levels and interest
groups continue to request tours of the
Gallery's Permanent and Special
Exhibitions and also to use the
Education Department's small re-
search library on Jamaican Art and
Artists. "Journeying" Marguerite Stanigar conte and pastel on paper. 19% x 25%.

Monthly Lecture Series
October 2nd marked also another
first for the National Gallery in the
launching of a monthly lecture series
- 'Masterpieces from the National
Collection' which will feature an
indepth appraisal of important works
from the Gallery's Collection. These
twelve monthly lunch hour lectures
will be selected and delivered by
Petrine Archer Straw and should be of
interest to Art Lovers, Collectors,
Students and Artists.

Jamaican Art In New Orleans
The International Trade Centre in
New Orleans in collaboration with the
New Orleans Museum of Art and the
National Gallery of Jamaica presented
a special one week exhibition 'Six
Jamaican Painters' at the prestigious
International Trade Mart Centre. The
artists exhibiting were veteran
Jamaican Painters; Albert Huie and
Carl Abrahams, Modem Expression-
ists Milton George and David Boxer
and Internationally prominent Intui-
tives Kapo and Everald Brown.
They were chosen by visiting Chief
Curator, William Fagaly of the New
Orleans Museum of Art and works
were selected from the National
Gallery's Collection and other "Shells" Eve Foster watercolour on paper 8 x 10%.


important private collections. This
exhibition opened October 23rd and
was attended by Mrs. Rosalie Smith
McCrea, Acting Chief Curator of the
National Gallery.

Annual National
After almost five months of viewing
the most recent special exhibition at
the Gallery titled '6 Options: Gallery
Spaces Transformed' has been
partially disassembled with Dawn
Scott's 'Cultural Object' and David
Boxer's 'Head Piece' remaining. The
Annual National Exhibition of
painting, Drawing, Sculpture,
Ceramics and Fibre Art opened on
Sunday, November 24th; (this
exhibition is open to all artists resident
in Jamaica and Jamaican artists living
abroad). The selection of these works
was made by a selection committee
appointed by the National Gallery.
Exhibitions of this nature provide an
opportunity for young artists to have
their works exposed at a National

"Caribbean Focus Jamaican Art
Ms. Emma Wallace, Visual Arts
Officer at the Commonwealth Institute
in London (as part of her tour to the
Caribbean Region) visited Jamaica in
November to select artists to be
represented at the 'Caribbean Focus'
exhibition at the Commonwealth
Institute in June- July 1986. The
exhibition will be divided into two
categories: (1) Jamaican Intuitive
Show Curator, David Boxer.
(2) A selection of seven Contempo-
rary mainstream Jamaican artists,
showing six works each Curators
David Boxer and Rosalie Smith
McCrea catalogue compiled by
Rosalie Smith McCrea. The basis of
the selection is based on Caribbean
Contemporary Artists presently work-
ing who are well known in their own
region yet not necessarily known on an
International level. This show will be
on view for seven weeks in London as
well as other countries.

"Lover Boy" Lester Hoilett cedar 31".

(Continued from page 32)

make-shift performance venues, and
to the inner resourcefulness of the
dancers performing under less than
ideal conditions. Wouldn't that
resourcefulness surface again for ye
olde folks at home?
Against the threat of "interminable
yearnings for atavistic rhythms", (DJ p
277) there need be no fear: not with
the constant infusion of new and
young blood, and youth's exuberant
insistence on being contemporary.
The ground-breaking has been too
solid, the foundation too sturdy for us
to every doubt that the Company will
move from strength to strength.
It is eminently sensible and most
befitting that Rex Nettleford should

have called on Edward Brathwaite to
write the foreword to DANCE
JAMAICA. The spiritual nexus
between the poet-historian and the
dancer-historian transcends mere
aestheticism it has more to do with
vision. It is symbolic that Brathwaite
set up a contrastive overview of the
creative outburst of Jamaica via
Nettleford with that of the southern
Caribbean via Derek Walcott. As one
absorbs the masterpiece that is the
foreword, that brief encounter with
the sublime makes for heady musings.
I could not resist the thought that if
there were to be a pantheon of
Antillean gods, these three would
stand tall, not atop a remote Olympus,

but in and among the youth yearning
for heroes other than those icons that
come in bleached or bronzed statuary.
By the end of the book, we have
travelled through time and space and
witnessed birth and renewal, genera-
tion and regeneration. Dance is no
longer sheer entertainment: it has
taken on the almost mythic
proportions of identity drawing
sustenance from a rich motherlode of
culture and tradition. DANCE
JAMAICA is downright inspirational.
Its sense of direction, its focus, its
search for excellence can transpose
themselves into guidelines for a
purposive existence.

ai W.



(Continued from page 8)

mythology also a very cruel and
merciless god, often bringing death
and destruction. The destructive
element of the rational, or the
seemingly rational, has been well
demonstrated in the proceeding
scenes (and, don't forget, nuclear
bombs are a product of scientific
Another central scene, the "Three
Graces Room", is an ironic and
slightly "Freudian" Victorian setting.
The Three Graces, one of the symbols
of human perfection and beauty, here
became part of a total earthquake-like
chaos, where all the "divine" laws are
violated. The explosion-motif, that
seems to generate all the chaos, the
flowing curtains and the de-regulated
clock, all evoke the horror of a nuclear
catastrophy. The burned books act as
relics for everything that might be lost.
The transition from the Apollinic to
the Dionysiac side is complete now
and goes on with references to
man-made destruction, war, and
natural disasters, such as volcanic
eruptions, reminding us of Pompei and
Herculaneum, ideal symbols for the
frailty of civilisation.
The video-installation already dis-
cussed adds sound and motion to the
environment. The soundtrack of the
video plays an essential role in the


total experience of "Headpiece" (and
effects the atmosphere of the other
works nearby). The disposition of the
three monitors, with a different
colour-intensity, adds abstract dimen-
sions to the total image.
The final scene is dominated by the
somewhat "Indiana Jones and the
Temple of Doom" like Gorgon-
head, governing, together with the
gauzed head painted on the wall and
the one assembled from chair parts
laying on the floor, as a kind of Anti-
Trinity over an apocalyptic waste-
land. They are surrounded by the
useless and horrible relics of what was
once vital and meaningful. In this
scene we also see the three kinds of
heads we found over the piece, giving
it its name, confronted. They display a
gradual disintegration from classical
perfection to total decay.
There is much more to say about
David Boxer's contribution, a stern
warning for what might happen in the
future. Being familiar with it for
months now, I still discover new
elements and possible associations
everytime I enter this inexhaustible
Reconsideration of the four
Jamaican pieces, demonstrates very
clearly what they have in common.
They all spontaneously deal, in their

own way, with destructive violence,
chaos, loneliness and death. This must
certainly be attributed to the hardships
this nation, and the world goes
through, something we find also
reflected in the recent work of an
artist like Gloria Escoffery or younger
people like Robert Cookhorne and
Douglas Wallace. Organising this
exhibition was therefore, if only
because of that, fully relevant for what
goes on in Jamaican culture. Wouldn't
it be tempting now to give similar
invitations to other artists, people who
showed inclinations to environmental
art already, but also artists for whom
the challenge would be entirely new
like, let's say, Milton George or
Everald Brown. We look forward to
the follow up!

painted work of art behind and above an
altar of a Christian Church. It may be a
simple panel or a triptych or polyptych
having hinged wings, painted and/or carved
on both sides. The carved examples often
contained fully three-dimensional tableaux
(after JANSON).

(Continued from page 24)

Artist manages to transcend situation,
the effort can only be considered to be
risky. The Painter risks the strong
possibility that his Art will become
ornament or good taste and the
Architect risks the integrity of the
building (not to mention his Client's
I have been involved in this situation
on a few occasions with one failure,
one success and one result I cannot
really judge as I am prejudiced by
having "designed" the "painting"
The failure occurred only because
the work was never executed and the
space left bare. With the best will in
the world, a number of us failed to get
the beautiful and appropriate sketches
produced by Colin Garland turned
into murals for the side walls of the
Ward Theatre Auditorium. This was
many years ago and the mouldings
which were to surround them may be
still seen, waiting, on the theatre walls.

The success is really that of Fitz
Harrack. He not only understood
Hester Rousseau's and my design
intentions in Conference Room No. 2
at the Jamaica Conference Centre, but
added a sensuality and richness of
colour to the room which I at least had
not envisaged. The result I cannot
judge is on a small office building in
Trinidad. I mention it only because it
was done by me on a building of my
own design but suffers from a lack of
meaning as a painting while being
successful architecturally.
Notwithstanding success or failure,
one of the areas of Architecture which
has excited me in recent years has
been the exploration of the
possibilities of the uses of traditional
craft, such as weaving and pottery, for
the production of architectural
elements. Thus the acoustic baskets,
wicker ceiling tiles and macramed
sound baffles at the Jamaica
Conference Centre. I think that there

is a great future in this for producing
an Architecture which we can call
Jamaican (at least in fabric if not in
style). But this is a very difficult thing
to achieve and requires Artists like
Jerry Craig who can bridge the gap
between the formal world of the
Architect and the ever so informal one
of Cottage Industry.
Along the same lines, but somewhat
different, I am in the midst of one of
my periodic love affairs with the art of
Masonry. However, this time it is
different (isn't that always the way),
for I have mixed this with a brand new
excitement with ornament and a
search for an Iconography and
approach to a Jamaican Architectural
ornament. It is in struggles of this sort
that I think there is a meaningful
future for the Art in Architecture.

Earthern ware Form Michael Layne 10!.
Scholarships and Awards:
The Ronald Moody Estate has
announced its intention to establish a
Trust Fund for awarding two prizes in
Sculpture each year. The prizes will go
to the outstanding Third and Fourth
Year student each year and is open to
Jamaican and Caribbean Nationals
studying for the Diploma at the
Jamaica School of Art. The first award
will be made in June, 1986 and the
selection will be done by a Committee
headed by Mrs. Edna Manley.
Also being presented this year is the
Elizabeth Stiebel Memorial Prize for
Jewellery. This award is being
presented from a fund established in
memory of Elizabeth Stiebel who died
tragically in a car accident. At the time
of her death, Miss Stiebel was a Fourth
Year Student in the Jewellery
The new Academic Year opened in
October with the largest First Year
group (75) on record. This is an
indication of the growing numbers of
young people who are recognizing the
36 importance of the Arts as a profession.

The year also saw the beginning of
the Technical Certificate Programme
in the Evening School. This is a similar
qualification that is being offered to
full-time students, and it will be the
first time that such a Course is being
offered to part-time students.
Welcome to the Dean of the
Cultural Training Centre, Dr. Sydney
Scott. Dr. Scott has many years
experience in teaching, administration
and research in the West Indies,
England and Canada, including
twenty-five years teaching experience
at Glenmuir High School.
New Staff:
Laura Hudson
Yvonne Fredricks
Rex Dixon
Walford Campbell
Rita Fletcher
Donna Watson
Mercella Bromfield
Hugh Bromfield
Ingrid Logan
Rachael Fearing
Farewell Resignations:
Mrs. Ivy Johnson-Chevers
Mr. David Roper
Ms. Ruth Francis
Mrs. Betty Cataldo
Ms. Hedy Buzan

Special Farewell:
To a beloved colleague, friend and

pioneer of the School Ralph
Campbell, O.D., who passed away on
the 26th of November, 1985 at 6:40
a.m. He will be sadly missed by all -
but, his outstanding contribution to
the development of the Arts will live
Also to Stephen Brook ex-Tutor in
Art Education who passed away in
England after a short illness. He will be
remembered by everyone at the
Roots Festival:
The students' Annual Roots Festival
will be officially opened on the llth
December, 1985 at 10:00 a.m. with an
Art & Variety Sale. The Sale will run
for two days.

Items for Sale will include:
T. Shirts
Jewellery rings etc.
Stone Paintings

Other activities will include:
(1) Treat and concert for Maxfield
Park Children Home on 13th
December, at 10:00 a.m.
(2) Students' Fete 13th December,
9:30 p.m.
Venue: Amphi Theatre of the
Proceeds are in aid of Scholarships
and Equipment for the School.

Airft W027de
"Great nations write their auto-
biographies in three manuscripts, the
book of their deeds, the book of their
words and the book of their art. Not
one of these books can be understood
unless we read the two others, but of
the three the only trustworthy one is
the last."
John Ruskin

With the Cotn imts of
--, 'I
S "'-""
_-.. o -- ..._.-_. -. . . . .. :
A. A"ll,..o. :~ L- T', ,, .. r. : , . ; .


Donald Johnson
Clonmel Potters

A Career in Pottery?

Is Pottery a lucrative venture? A
question frequently asked by interest-
ed persons. In a survey carried out
recently in Britain it was found that
many potters could find better paying
employment elsewhere. The same
survey also discovered that those who
got the best returns and at the same
time got the most satisfaction from
their work, were those who practice
Pottery full-time. It seemed too that
the independence and the absence of a
boss were important incentives.
This article discusses certain aspects
of 'Career Pottery', however, purely
commercial or industrial pottery is
beyond its scope; studio or art pottery
being the main subject of discussion.
In looking at the different routes
one may take we see firstly the avenue
of doing a full-time or part-time course
at an Art School. The ability of an Art
School education to assist one's
development depends essentially on
the organisation of the course and the
competence of the instructors to
administer the course coherently.
However, as all graduates know, a
diploma or degree course does not
make one fully prepared to function
professionally but the basic skills and
theoretical knowledge acquired from a
good course can become a vital
starting point.
Although most graduates become
teachers and who can blame them
when it could take in the region of
J$100,000 to outfit a complete studio?
there are a few who genuinely wish
they could make the plunge. But could
they earn enough to sustain a lifestyle
comparable to that of their peers? And
where would the capital come from?
Could they borrow at today's rates of
interest? Being relatively unknown
and taking five or more years to
adequately resolve the mountain of
aesthetic and technical problems, how
could such a venture survive? No
wonder that of the forty or more
pottery graduates of the Jamaica
School of Art less than five are full-
time practitioners today, despite the
fact that the demand for pottery is
quite healthy and growing.
Secondly, there is the option of
doing an apprenticeship with an
established potter. As an apprentice,
the aspiring potter learns directly from
everyday practice and he usually
acquires the good and bad habits of
the master, along with a great deal of

his style and philosophy. This is a
natural consequence as an un-
cooperative or rebellious apprentice
would upset the studio's harmony and
would not be welcomed.
The apprenticeship method of
development is not very popular today
being replaced by numerous educa-
tional institutions, the latter consider-
ed by some professionals as turning
out persons of questionable capabili-
ties. Harry Davis is of the opinion that
in "... a School of Art.... the chances
are that the teaching staff has no
experience of what it takes to earn a
living making sound pots..." not having
done so themselves. "In all
probability" he goes on to say "they
came straight from another teaching
institution of the same kind staffed in
the same way."
Perhaps what is needed is a teaching
workshop where graduates could
intern (apprentice) for a period,
gradually working up to professional
Finally, there is the 'go it alone'
approach of teaching oneself perhaps
with the aid of books. The self taught
method is extremely costly and time
consuming but mature and intelligent
people have accomplished a great deal
working on their own although rarely
achieving anything of exceptional
From the above, a keen observer
might conclude that a wise approach
would be a combination of two or
better still all three options. In Jamaica
however, apprenticeship options are
relatively non-existent; there being so
few practising potters. In any case,
regardless of how one starts, setting up
and operating on your own is
doubtless inevitable and it is what
happens from this point onward that
really counts.
Success will depend on one's ability
to establish an efficient studio within
the constraints of one's resources and
the opportunities that might present
themselves. There are no hard and fast
rules for this as studio design and
layout ultimately depend on what and
how much you produce, on their size
and shape, whether the work is glazed
or not and at what temperature it is
Also intimately related to studio
functions is the state in which raw
materials are received at the studio
and the extent of processing necessary

Figure Vase
Clonnel Potters
unglazed with

to make them ready for use, bearing in
mind that inefficient processing alone
can ruin the whole project. In these
matters one must be very versed
within the technical sphere or you will
have to seek out someone who can
give you expert advice.
Of course, efficiency is only
important as far as it relates to quality,
and quality should be one's prime
concern. Good designs are impossible
to achieve easily. A great deal of effort
and time must be expended to
facilitate the gradual 'unfolding' of
desirable solutions to design problems
while at the same time the
considerable care and acute discern-
ment required in the selection and use
of materials cannot be over
emphasised in the quest for higher
Putting creative talent, skill,
resources, market opportunity and
luck aside, what the aspiring potter
needs most of all to succeed is
dedication and courage as well as the
encouragement of others whose
sensitivity to 'clay' furnishes a dynamic
source of motivation. As a potter
myself, the only advice I find pertinent
is the one given to us by our teacher
and friend, Cecil Baugh, and that is
"....regardless of what happens, never
give up."


Congrats Dr. Hyatt

Arts Jamaica send special con-
gratulations to Vera Hyatt who has
successfully completed her doctorate
in art.
Vera has pursued a determined course
and accomplished professional cre-
dentials which few Jamaicans have yet
achieved. Instrumental in "pioneer-
ing" the way for SITES Jamaican Art
exhibition which took our art out to
the American public, with visible
results, Vera's accomplishments will,
Arts Jamaica knows, involve champ-
ioning the cause of Jamaican art,
wherever she is.
Good luck Dr. Hyatt.

Caribbean Focus '86
Plans move into high gear for the
Commonwealth Institute's focus on
things Caribbean when the Institute's
programme for bringing the cultural
diversity and dynamism of the West
Indian cultural scene before audiences
throughout Great Britain. Included in
the events, which get underway on
March 5, with the New Caribbean
Regional Exibit opening at the
Institute are an Exhibition Con-
temporary Art from the Caribbean and
showing of Jamaica's Intuitive Art.

"Christopher Columbus" Carl
Abrahams Collection: The Jamaica
National Trust.
Focus on the Columbus 500th
. The 500th anniversary of the
meeting of the two Worlds the Old
and New continues in high gear in St.
Ann especially in 1986. Throughout
the New World discussions are
underway, for the event which
culminates in 1992.


Nortnadella Whittle is a Jamaica
School of Art graduate in Painting and
Art Education, and was involved in
teaching art and craft techniques at
High School level. She is currently
working the Education Department at
the National Gallery of Jamaica,
special interests interior decorating
and swimming.

Veerle Poupeye-Rammelaere was
born in Belgium, in 1958 and gained
her B.A. and M.A. in Art History and
Archaeology at Rijksuniversiteit in
Ghent. Belgium. Since 1985 she has
lived in Jamaica, and is currently
education docent at the National
Gallery and part-time Tutor (Art
history and research methods) at the

Dr. Marie Stewart born in Kingston
and educated at St. Andrew High
School for Girls, gained her Ph.D. in
Psychology at Bedford College Univ.
of London in 1981. Recently returned
to London from a 3 year stint in the
Netherlands, she maintains her
interest in Jamaica's cultural affairs
and is researching the life of Nambo
Roy for an Arts Jamaica feature.

Matd Fuller, actress, educator
writes on Jamaican culture when time
allows, and work in the Toronto
Education system. She has been a
catalyst for cultural "things Jamaican"
since moving from Kingston to

Jane Skogstad is an American
interior designer who has lived in
Jamaica for the last three years. A past
president of the Georgie chapter,
American Society of Interior Design-
ers, she is currently working part time
at the National Gallery on a voluntary

Donald Johnson graduated from the
J.S.A. where he studied under Cecil
Baugh, and went on to form the
Clonmel Potters with wife Belva. For
the last 9 years he has worked there,
developing technical expertise as well
as perfecting design and glazing. The
Clonmel Potters presented the fine
recent work, including porcelain in
their September exhibition at the
Bolivar Gallery, Kingston.

Several Jamaican artists are "carrying the art-banner" for themselves and their
country overseas. "African" (Robert Cookhorne) exhibited in Bern, Switzerland
at the Suti Gallery in September. "African" (pictured above) with his "Head of
Christ" Collection: Guy Mclntosh, displayed 39 works on paper. Artist
Christopher Gongalez also exhibited abroad recently, with a show in New York.

Kay Y. Anderson is President of the
Jamaica Artist and Craftsmen Guild
and a director of Market Research
Services. She graduated from U.W.I.
with a B.A. and Dip. Ed. and from the
J.S.A. in 1983 She recently held her
first solo exhibition at the Frame
Centre Gallery, Kingston.

Marguerite Curtin was born in the
corporate area (near Cross Roads) and
is a teacher, educator, painter and
writer. At present, she works as
Historical Researcher for the Jamaica
National Trust.

Patrick Stanigar is a Jamaican
architect who works currently with the
Urban Development Corporation. He
is especially interested in sensitive
harmonies in local architecture and
worked extensively on the Seabed
Building (The Conference Centre).

42 Jay Street, Cambridge, MASS.
On September 28, 1985 a new art
gallery was established to promote
African, Caribbean and Contemporary
fine art. The Gallery Light Center, Inc.
of Cambridge Massachusetts opened
its doors to an International Group
Exhibition of established and emerg-
ing artists from several different
countries from Jamaican Ralph
Campbell, Kofi Kayiga and Bryan
McFarlane, a Trinidadian painter Roy
Crosse, and Allison West, a British
painter now living and working in
Jamaica. There were also works by
Lutalo Makonzi, an African ceramist
and Jamaican sculptors Christopher
Gonzales and Winston Patrick. The
keynote speaker at the exhibition was
Edmund B. Gaither, Director of the
Museum of the National Center of
Afro-American Artists.
Gallery Light Center, Inc. is owned
by the known Jamaican artist and
Royal College of Art scholar Kofi
Kayiga. Kayiga presently lives and
paints in Cambridge Massachusetts.
It is Kayiga's goal to sell, project and
promote art of the highest standard
and he has founded the gallery to
foster this goal.

With the Complhaents of

"The Dancers" Vernal Reuben (Woodcut detail).

Brother Everald Brown's unique man of stone
featured on the cover of the Irish art magazine
CIRCA in its July/August issue this year.
The 1985 End-of-Decade Nairobi Conference .
was marked in a special way by local artist. ; -
The commerative Poster produced for that -:
event by artists Judith Salmon, Rachel Fearing, RALPH C-; y
June Bellew and Sharon Chacko to Nairobi MAW-H',- ".
and around the world, symbolized the TO NOVE'S0.Z -8 -
strength, unity and love of Peace of local A GREAT EA--
women, and women everywhere. Supported ARTIST AND- D.
by the Women and Development Unit/
Barbados a few copies of this poster
are still available locally.

SUPPLIES LTD. TELEPHON 92-67475/6. 92-67340


UI~ ? i

- P

Arts Jamaica Chairman and art-
aficionado Peter King hosted a salute
to Cecil Baugh, master potter recently
at his Waterloo Avenue residence.
Potters, (mainly Baugh's ex-students),
art lovers and collectors heard Senator
the Honourable Ossie Harding's
tributes to this much-respected
teacher and artist, whose long career
has been dedicated to innovation,

Arts Jamaica wishes to record the
passing of two stalwarts of the
Jamaican cultural scene who have
contributed in fullest measure to the
nurturing of our creative confidence
and development. The Rev. Robert
Verity and historian H.P. Jacobs were
involved in an integral and long-
sustained way, in pioneering unflag-
gingly, the investigation of our "hidden
heritage" and the sharing of these
dimensions with the widest possible
public. Our cultural life has been
enriched by their presence, and their

Institute of Jamaica The Junior Centre -
founded by Rev Verity in 1940 received his
40 27yrs. continuous service.

excellence and teaching. Here Senator
Harding, (2nd from L) himself a
connoisseur-ceramic collector intro-
duces the vintage collection of Baugh
ceramics and special guest Cecil
Baugh (L), and Dr. David Boxer,
Director Curator, National Gallery;
Host Peter King whose Baugh
collection was on display is at right.
Matron Symes also lent over 40 pieces.


In 1986 Arts Jamaica anticipates
continuing its thematic coverage of
events personalities and styles in local
art. This year a major issue on the
Caribbean art scene and its
practitioners, is also planned. This will
continue consolidating the inter-
national outreach already earned for
example for Jamaica by it major sites
travelling exhibition and solo artists
shows. It is timely that the widest
possible audience and especially
West Indians abroad become
familiar with their lively cultural

At this time, Arts Jamaica wishes to
acknowledge with sincere gratitude
the continued support of our
advertisers whose loyalty to
sustained creative expression makes
this magazine survive. Our energetic
Chairman and Board, and especially
friends of Arts Jamaica Toronto Hon.
Ossie Murray and Mr. Asquith
Atkinson are thankfully ever
supportive and ever present.

Season's Greetings!

F, Al


Gauefry Guldle

National Gallery
Kingston Mall
Mon. Sat.: 10.00 a.m. 5.00 p.m.

Bolivar Bookshop and Gallery
1D Grove Road, Kingston 10
Mon. Fri. 8.30 a.m. 4.30 p.m.
Saturday 9.00 a.m. 1.00 p.m.

Frame Centre
Tangerine Place, Kingston 10
Mon. Fri. 8.30 a.m. 5.00 p.m.
Saturday 9.30 a.m. 1.00 p.m.

Contemporary Art Centre
Corner Liguanea Ave./Hope Rd.
Tues. Fri. 10.00 a.m. 10.00 p.m.
Sat./Sun. 2.00 7.00 p.m.
Closed on Monday

Hi Qo
Spanish Court, New Kingston
Mon. Fri. 9.30 a.m. 5.00 p.m.
Saturday 9.30 a.m. 1.00 p.m.

33 University Crescent, Kingston 7
Mon. Fri. 10.00 a.m. 12 noon;
12.00 p.m. 5.00 p.m.

Mutual Life Gallery
2 Oxford Road, Kingston 5
Mon. Fri. 10.00 a.m. 5.00 p.m.

Garden Gallery
1 Mannings Hill Road
Mon. Sat. 9.00 a.m. 4.00 p.m.

Upstairs/Downstairs Gallery
108 Harbour Street, Kingston
Mon. Fri. 9.00 a.m. 4.00 p.m.

Makonde Gallery
Waterloo Road
Mon. Fri. 10.00 5.30 p.m.
Saturday 10.00 4.00 p.m.
Galleries Outside of Kingston

Gallery Jamaica
Plantation Inn, Ocho Rios
The Designers Gallery
Trident Hotel, Port Antonio
St. Ann's Bay Gallery
Mon. Fri. 9.00 a.m. 4.00 p.m.
Sam Street's Musem of African Art
Gallery Hoffstead
58 Hanover Street, Hanover, Lucea
Gloria Escoffery's Gallery
Brown's Town, St. Ann Tel: 0975-2268
Gallery Joe James
Rio Bueno, Trelawny
Harmony Hall
Ocho Rios
Open 10 a.m. 6 p.m. daily.
Frame Centre Gallery
Little Pub, Ocho Rios
Mon. Fri. 10.00 a.m. 6.00 p.m.
Saturday 10.00 a.m. 2.00 p.m.

"Jamaica land of wood and water" (Detail) Karl "Jerry Craig"

With the Compliments


Jamaica national
PHONE: 926-1344-6, 926-8285

i:: ~ 'I