The Waving Art Gallery at Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA) has had the privilege of displaying a very appropriate selection of art for the past 6 weeks.
During the time of the 35th Anniversary of the airport, Andy Johnson and “Links” have made the correct exposure and are now showing their photography as art.
The photographs on display show a variety of airplanes they have focused on — all taken at MBIA. To zoom in on the technical details would be a bit pedantic — you can see for yourself the proficiency of these two experienced photographers.
More compelling is the narrative – the beauty of Grenada posed against these sleek aluminium tubes that speed through the sky, their cargo predominately people.
Intriguing to the imagination is the stories of the people that these have brought to us. Visitors, foreign investors, students, “JCBs” (sorry folks), all with their own personal agendas for alighting here. The “just-come-backs” come for family — weddings, funerals, graduations, and a very few for showing off their newly acquired status and accents.
The students, promising doctors and veterinarians, willing to be a part of our local community for the years of study. The foreign investors — the least likely to engage, but yet coming for something that they desire. And of course, the tourists, who we always welcome warmly and we treat better than our own.
Photography in art has taken a bit of a back seat in the last few years. In the 90s in the Grenada Arts Council annual shows, works of photography were regularly seen by local photo-journalists like Harold Quash, Roland Benjamin, Jim Rudin, and Roger Brathwaite. In fact, Roger Brathwaite’s picture book of Grenada was published by the MacMillian Company. More recently, the work of Dave Lewis has shown in the Grenada Pavilion at the Biennale di Venezia, a series named “My Father’s Land”. Here he curates a small collection of his own work portraying his 100-year-old father, who still lives in Birchgrove, St Andrew. It has been a compelling body of work, seen by tens of thousands in the heart of Europe.
Perhaps in these days when everyone has a camera on their phone, and selfies are the order of the day, we have lost that thoughtfulness of yesteryear. It was expensive then — not only the equipment, but also to have the photos “washed” (developed). It was a slow process, many times you wouldn’t see the results till weeks or months after the snap. So in these days [with] everyone fancying themselves a photographer, it is good to see the attention these two young men have given to a subject. You can feel the passion, and isn’t that what art is all about.
The exhibition continues until 14 November. The Waving Art Gallery at MBIA is free to all. You will find it up the stairs — where you can also wave at your loved ones getting on or off the planes. It is managed by volunteers from the Grenada Arts Council. You can follow Andy Johnson and Linksprod (Alleon Gulston) on Instagram to see more of their compelling photography.
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