Sometimes to escape the madness and the constant busyness of life, I lock myself in my room with Enya’s Greatest Hits album down low and I write. I write poetry, short stories and even start plots for novels. Sometimes I even sing. Some people take refuge in music or dance, some like me in writing, while others find the calm in visual arts.
Visual arts over the centuries have been a way of expression. Caribbean art expresses the culture and history of the people. The fact that some artists paint, draw and sculpt aspects of the Caribbean culture, some without even giving it a second thought, just proves how deep our history has been etched in our brains that it reflects in our thoughts and actions.
A field trip to the National Gallery here in Jamaica opened my eyes to this. The Gallery was divided into separate centuries, with each art piece being represented by a century. Each piece told a story of what was happening in Jamaica during those years.
A particular piece that I found quite interesting was one done by Edna Manley during the twentieth century. The sculpture represents the black community pushing down with strong hands on negativity and oppression and the head is turned up, which is interpreted as “looking up in order to better ones self.” This piece reflects what living in Jamaica was like at a time when we were getting ready for independence and the effects afterwards.
Visual art isn’t just a drawing on paper or a painting on a canvas, it tells a story and sometimes tells history.
http://nationalgalleryofjamaica.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/negro-aroused-reinstalled-1-cropped-2.jpg (2010) (Retrieved March 29, 2012)