It was an evening for the arts at the Barbados Community College (BCC) as the hard work of the institution’s creative students culminated in a display of their work.
Family, friends and supporters came out to opening night of the Nitty-gritty-themed art display by the final year students in the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Studio Art programme. Kontrast was the theme of the portfolio by students who also completed the Associate’s Degree in Graphic Design and Fine Arts.
An array of art pieces in the Morningside Gallery and Studios was admired by onlookers.
Coordinator of the BFA in Studio Art programme Ewan Atkinson told Barbados TODAY he was very proud of this batch of students who had worked hard and succeeded in the difficult programme. Their body of work was described as impressive and diverse.
In the 20th year of the portfolio hosted by students, he said: “I think what a lot of people don’t recognize is how much dedication is involved. For too long in Barbados, parents and schools and teachers alike have pushed kids towards the arts if they’re not successful in the sciences or anywhere else.
“Art is more important than people tend to realize, but that is a global issue. What artists do is reflect the communities and societies in which they live; it’s not just decorative.”
Kia Redman’s art was inspired by things around her that make her Barbadian. Roots Routes was the title of her series that sought to capture Barbadian culture as being not just Mother Sally or Crop Over, but things that are seen every day that can be transformed into art.
Her displays of national treasures featured Barbadian items like Shirley biscuits and Banks beer covered in plastic, to be seen as something precious. She also screened her short animated video which won Best Short Animation at the Barbados Film and Music Awards last year.
“I really hope that the idea of culture can be redefined and we can start documenting things that happen around us naturally that we see, more than just this tourism-based idea of culture,” Redman said.
Eighteen-year-old Dean Currency was among the graphic design students who displayed their work from throughout the two-year programme. His display included a brand of pepper sauce they were challenged to create called Fiyah, the hottest pepper sauce one would ever taste, and a remake of an Interview magazine cover with Disney’s Mulan.
He has created his own business, called Trinity, which specializes in self-branded products such as posters and illustrations. His passion for graphic design began in secondary school and has now become a part of who he is.
“I don’t know what I would be doing if I wasn’t doing graphic designs,” Currency said.
The self-described comic book nerd said his main inspiration comes from those very books.
Alaina Carty expressed her love for music through art by visualizing how music can be translated into marks and symbols. The 22-year-old BFA in Studio Art student explained that she always listens to music during her artistic process, so she decided to combine the artforms.
Even though it was time consuming creating each piece, she wanted to not only show musical notations but how the body reacts to music and how its expression changes. Her work was inspired by late composer and songwriter John Cage, who experimented with musical notations.
“I eat, sleep and breathe graphic design,” said Aaron Davis as he gave Barbados TODAY a brief tour of his display.
He set up a laboratory display for viewers who saw the ingredients involved in making pepper sauce. His unique twist was the addition of rum to appeal to Barbadian rum drinkers.
The 19-year-old wants to be an illustrator and graphic consultant as he loves creating products for people. Davis’ everyday designs are influenced by his love for rap and neo-spiritual music.
The public will be able to view the students’ pieces at the Morningside Gallery and Studios every day, except Sundays, until May 12, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.