The opening of the BIG exhibition saw a lively cross-section of community celebrating together the big accomplishments of the 10 + 1 artists who stretched their work to big proportions.
Crowd favourite was the young John Henry and his portrayal of the natural woman. LaVanda Mireles once again came with her cyanotype technique, increasing the scale and intensity for the big work. The longer you look, the more you find.
Stalwart abstract expressionist Oliver Benoit offered a lighter, less dense version of his usual. It was almost sweet, but no one would say that about Oliver or his work 8 ft x 5 ft.
Front and centre was the installation of Amy Cannestra. She worked in collaboration with Art School Greenz, using leftover drawings on brown paper and created a waterfall of past and present identity. Close inspection offered parts of drawings of the students. A dozen or so students from the classes found their own drawings in cascade.
Kristianne Buxo and Fred Grissom are an artist duo who work together on the same paintings. One can’t really tell where one stops and the other takes up the brush.
René Froehlich never disappoints in his large sculpture. The title, Dialog, he explains that the conversation is between the many surfaces of wood that he has combined. A mirror, not easy in which to see your reflection, forces the viewer to stoop down — another dialogue with the big sculpture.
Godfrey Luke once again intrigues us with his “Duppy Hunter,” a helicopter made from recycling bits of wire, plastics, a fan. He says that the Duppy Hunter seeks out “the duppy” in our lives — the place where we can all use more love. In this art piece, this love is our care and concern for the environment.
Susan Mains was again struck by her muse, this time creating a large impression, 9 ft x 5 ft. The portrayal of a woman of albinism tangled in a jade vine brings questions to the notions of beauty and social acceptance of the other.
Nico Thomas finds his way in his path to education in an almost illustrative painting. The shape of Grenada is the launching pad, and the gesture ends in a graduation cap. We eagerly await his future offerings.
Dominating the room was Asher Mains’ “Tower.” An installation of banana fibre, and vegetable dyed textile, it is lit from within, casting a grid of shadows on the ceiling. He references Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott’s description of the history of the Caribbean through vivid imagery and the assertion that the landscape and elements within it are part of our collective epic consciousness. One must stand far to see it, then close to absorb.
The fun of the evening was provided by another big surprise — the appearance of a very tall Moko Jumbie. Artists and attendees vied for selfies and danced with the long-limbed one. All agreed that the talented Junior Hosten made a huge impression.
The exhibition will continue through Saturday, 7 April. Susan Mains Gallery is at Spiceland Mall in Grand Anse and is open from 10 am to 5 pm Monday through Saturday.
Susan Mains Gallery is on the brink of a metamorphosis — stay tuned for the big things to come!