Fresh Milk welcomes Danilo Oliveira and Dorothea Smartt to the platform

Fresh Milk is pleased to welcome Brazilian artist Danilo Oliveira and British-Barbadian poet & artist Dorothea Smartt to the platform for the month of November, 2016.

Danilo’s recent work has focused on ways to engage with the idea, sensation and political concept of the border. Border defines identity, defines quality of life and shapes definitions of the future. Contemporary relationships with borders have two key aspects: abstractly, we have no more boundaries between us due to globalization; on the other hand, questions around borders have never been so relevant as they have in the last decades, in addition to all of the symbolic borders we encounter in our everyday life.

During this residency, he will be continuing his ongoing project ‘About Invented Borders’, by investigating borders in Barbadian and Caribbean society, looking at the history of the region and exploring its ties to Central America. Through research, his concept involves discussing the relationships people have with the boundaries around them and the collective memories of communities towards these borders; whether political, “official” borders or more complex, inner borders and barriers specific to different areas or cultures.

The project will include producing a series of drawings and installation work containing several invented maps drawings, made randomly in response to Danilo’s time in Barbados. The amount of drawings will vary according the spacial and temporal possibilities.

Dorothea’s work typically bridges the islands of Britain and Barbados, effortlessly shuttling between local and global scenes, as it weaves a diasporic web. She has two full collections, Connecting Medium [2001, Peepal Tree Press] and Ship Shape [2008, PTP]. In the latter, ‘a powerful work of reclamation, restitution and reanimation’ [Wasafiri] she offers a name and imagined life to the African buried in Samboo’s Grave,  Lancaster.

Her latest chapbook, Reader, I Married Him & Other Queer Goings-On, serves as a precursor to her ongoing research towards new live-art work and her third full poetry collection. She aims to continue  reworking standard narratives, this time imagining same-sex relationships and cross-gender experiences in the early 1900’s among ‘West Indian’ workers on the Panama Canal.

Dorothea’s Fresh Milk residency will afford her an opportunity to play and create in a safe, welcoming space. She wishes to work towards creating a multimedia performance reflecting the internationalism  of the Panama Canal construction, perhaps collaborating with artists she met during her time  in  Panama and other artists in Barbados. She will explore the possibility of a collaborative scratch performance, incorporating media such as Skype and PowerPoint presentations with live performance.

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Danilo Oliveira. Photo by Natalia Garcia

Photo by Natalia Garcia

About Danilo Oliveira:

Danilo Oliveira is an artist, curator and professor based in Sao Paulo, Brazil:

“The last 17 years I’ve been working in various mediums: painting, drawing, muralism, graphic arts, conceptual and community based works. Especially connected to the idea of collective practice, I founded the group Ocavalo in 1999, and Base-V (base-v.org) collective in 2003, working in a few groups since then. Besides the lonely work at the studio when I’m painting, it’s the social insertion that  is always the final goal, even for the paintings. Every artwork is a form of relation. The muralism and other works which expanded in the given space, have played a central role in my production. Now, even my canvas paintings only exist when articulated in the space: glued, nailed, stretched, tied. My curatorial practice works the same way: collective, seeking inclusion and with no artistic boundaries. I’m interested both in contemporary and “popular”, folk or ancestral productions and views on culture and art.”

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About Dorothea Smartt:

Dorothea Smartt has an international reputation as a respected poet, live artist, and literary activist. Born and raised in London, with Barbadian heritage, she has two full collections, Connecting Medium and Ship Shape [Peepal Tree Press]. Her recent chapbook, Reader, I Married Him & Other Queer Goings-On, “…is subversive, radical, and surprisingly panoramic…”. She was awarded an Attached Live Artist residency at London’s Institute for Contemporary Arts, an Arts Council of England One-to-One live art development award, and most recently their Grants For All as an independent artist.

Over the past twenty-five years, her credits include engagements with the British Council in Bahrain, South Africa, USA, Egypt, and Hungary. Her seminal work “Medusa? Medusa Black!”, was cited as an O.B.E [Outstanding Black Example) of British live art. Other works include: “Triangle” [A Black Arts Alliance commission, with Kevin Dalton Johnson], exploring generations of UK Blacklesbian & Blackgay lives. “Tradewinds/Landfall”, an international cross-arts residency, exhibited in Houston, Texas and the Museum of London Docklands. In 2013 she was keynote speaker at Barbados’ Frank Collymore Literary Endowment Award.

She is currently researching a new work, to culminate in a third full poetry collection. In it she continues to rework standard narratives. This time imagining cross-gender experiences, same-sex relationships, and the role of traditional religion/spirituality in sustaining the ‘West Indian’ workforce constructing the Panama Canal, in the early 1900’s.

She is a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art, Programme Manager of Inscribe (Peepal Tree’s writer development programme), and Associate Poetry Editor at SABLE Litmag. In 2016 she was honoured with a nomination for a Barbados Golden Jubilee Award, and her collection Ship Shape proposed as an ‘A’ Level English Literature text.

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