Sonia will spend her time at Fresh Milk working on two main projects—one a personal creative project, and the second a wider community endeavour.
The personal writing project will be a series of experimental poems with the working title ‘The Best Estimation in the World’. Sonia will work with transcriptions gathered from interviews conducted during her work in the art department at Baha Mar, the mutli-million resort development in Nassau. Using a voice recognition software, she has collected dense blocks of mostly indistinguishable text rife with errors from these interactions. Part erasure and part found text, she will comb through the material to identify phrases and words, and separate and re-structure them into poetry. Though completely void of all content and subject matter from the original interview, the poems based on the mistranslations would nonetheless develop around an unsettling alternate reality of the tourism model in The Bahamas.
Additionally, she will establish a relationship between Fresh Milk and her larger creative endeavour, Poinciana Paper Press, by conducting a series of workshops on book-binding and design entitled The Art of the Book.
Alex’s work explores the “how come” of life in Trinidad and Tobago. By applying an understanding of human nature, considering the population as both a community and as an individual in a larger global community and by utilising images from the past and the present that act as culturally specific ideograms, he examines cultural, social and historical circumstances that have lead to the development of the present realities of life in Trinidad and Tobago.
His work intends to engage the public by providing familiar points of reference while calling into question prevailing assumptions about Caribbean life that often serve as cushioning from harsh realities. The intention is to confront the audience with a more honest discourse about Trinbagonian culture.
Alex’s aim is that this residency will facilitate the expansion of the scope of his work, building on links established during his participation in the Caribbean Linked III residency in Aruba. This experience reignited a desire to participate in solving problems surrounding Caribbean life and Caribbean connectivity.
About Sonia Farmer:
A Bahamian writer who uses the crafts of book binding, letterpress printing, hand papermaking and printmaking, Sonia’s work is intimately tied to the Caribbean landscape and identity. Often her work engages with contemporary Bahamian society through the lens of history and mythology, specifically in the realms of feminism and the tourism industry. She is the founder of Poinciana Paper Press, a small and independent press located in Nassau, The Bahamas, which produces handmade and limited edition chapbooks of Caribbean literature and promotes the crafts of book arts through workshops and creative collaborations. Her artwork has been exhibited throughout Nassau including at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, Doongalik Studios, The Hub, & the Central Bank Art Gallery. Her poetry has won the 2011 Prize in the Small Axe Literary Competition and has appeared in tongues of the ocean, The Caribbean Writer, Poui, The WomanSpeak Journal, and Moko Magazine. She holds a BFA in Writing from Pratt institute. Visit poincianapaperpress.com to learn more.
About Alex Kelly:
Alex Kelly is a contemporary artist living and working in Trinidad and Tobago. Kelly recently graduated from The University of the West Indies, St Augustine with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Arts. Over the period of his study at the university Kelly participated in several public art projects. Among them are the mural “Hope” at the Family Development and Children’s Research Centre, St Augustine, for which he acted as co-facilitator; an art outreach program at Mayaro Government Primary School, Trinidad and Tobago, which formed part of a collaboration between The University of the West Indies and the Bridge Foundation; and a collaboration with the College of Science Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago designing a fundraising campaign for the creation of new student bursaries at the institution. Kelly has exhibited in three group shows with The University of the West Indies and in 2012 produced the mural “Slave” at the Night Gallery in Woodbrook, Port of Spain.
In 2015 he began occupying a studio space at Granderson Lab, a project of Alice Yard. In August of that year Kelly participated in the Caribbean Linked III artist residency and exhibition in Aruba, where he spent three weeks producing original works and participating in engagements that have expanded the scope of his practice from a national focus to a regional one. In September of 2015 he began working with the University of The West Indies, St Augustine as a guest lecturer and visual arts demonstrator. Kelly is currently interested in facilitating further integration of contemporary art into the national consciousness and public policy, and in providing opportunities for greater connectivity between art communities in the Caribbean.