Barbados is taking part in the Biennial of the South that was launched on Wednesday in Caracas by the Venezuelan Minister of Culture, Ernesto Villegas, in an online ceremony.
Bajan artist David ‘Guru’ McClean is proudly representing Barbados with his work Negro Primero, created by the artist from recycled materials, as well as organic elements, such as mahogany, cedar, and calabash.
Under the theme ‘People in Resistance’, the Biennial of the South will host 177 different artists, 52 of them from Venezuela and 125 from abroad, representing 25 countries.
Among the countries represented in the Biennial of the South, in addition to Barbados, are the following: Colombia, Argentina, Cuba, Brazil, Germany, Egypt, Mexico, Russia, Syria, Palestine, Peru, and Switzerland, among others.
Two years ago, Barbados also participated in the Third Biennial of the South with a sculpture made by artist Onkphra Wells.
His piece, depicting the suffering of Afro- Venezuelan Orlando Figueras, killed by fascist mobs in Caracas, was highly praised by Venezuelan critics and the Venezuelan Minister of Culture himself.
In his welcoming remarks, Venezuelan Culture Minister Villegas said: “Just like Yulimar Rojas [the Venezuelan athlete who broke the triple jump world record in the Tokyo Olympic Games], we have to make our greatest effort in this Biennial to reach perfection. The participating artists have given their best to enlighten us with their work.”
The pieces from the Biennial of the South will be on display until the 28th of November of this year, and one can view them on www. bienaldelsur.gob.ve
The Negro Primero masterpiece by McClean was shown to the Barbadian public at the Venezuelan National Day celebration on the 5th of July of this year, at the Bridgetown branch of the National Library Service, where the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office with responsibility for Culture John King delivered the featured address.
Pedro Camejo, known as Negro Primero, is an Afro-Venezuelan hero who bravely fought and died in the Battle of Carabobo, two hundred years ago, when Venezuela sealed its independence from Spain.