Fresh Milk’s 2019 in Review

Thank you for your continued support of Fresh Milk!

At the Fresh Milk Art Platform, we believe in the visual arts and its capacity to empower young artists and bring the Caribbean closer together. Through our local, regional and international programming, we have witnessed the benefit of investing in the arts, a sector that is increasingly vital now more than ever before.

With your valuable support, we will continue to contribute to the professional development of visual artists in Barbados, the Caribbean and its diaspora through our streamlined programming in 2020. While hosting fewer artists on site at Fresh Milk, this year’s residency focus will be on Caribbean Linked – a regional residency uniting artists from all linguistic territories in the region. We’ll also be fostering new international residency opportunities for Caribbean-based professionals.

A special focus for Barbados is the We Gatherin’ project and Fresh Milk is keen to participate to this unique event. If you’d like to work with us to commission new work by local artists for the 2020 Fresh Stops project or support new work for the Fresh Milk Art Board,
click that donate button!

It’s very easy to support us by making a donation through this PayPal link. Your contributions make our programmes possible, and gifts of any size are welcome.

The Fresh Milk Team offers warm thanks and deep gratitude,
and invites you to reflect on 2019 with us in our annual
year in review newsletter!

Kia Redman’s Fresh Milk Residency – Week 2 Blog Post

Barbadian artist and aspiring writer Kia Redman shares a blog post on her second week in residence at Fresh Milk. Deviating from carefully laid plans, this week saw a whirlwind of activity for Kia through studio visits, openings, workshops and bonding sessions with her fellow residents. She has been going with the flow and taking in the action, hoping to return to research, writing and production moving forward, with these experiences to reflect on. Read more below:

My favourite part about making plans has always been witnessing the innumerable ways life will set them off course. The futility of it all and the sense of powerlessness it instigates is nothing compared to the exhilarating sense of serendipity that just overwhelms every derailed plan. This is the state in which my week progressed.

I ended the first week with a clear vision in mind for the goals I was planning to achieve during my second week at the Colleen Lewis Research/Writing residency. I had planned to get a start on writing and tackle some of the topics I had narrowed down. Life had other plans for me. Monday morning I pitched my idea for my community outreach, and the rest of the week went by in a blur of activity, excitability and camaraderie: One moment you could find us chilling on the studio floor with Ewan, as he shared his work with us. The next I was beating everyone at Ewan’s “unwinnable” game Peregrination. There was the invention of our “fish cake crawl” and its strict judging criteria. Our visit to the opening of The Enigma of Arrival -The Politics and Poetics of Caribbean Migration to Britain at the Barbados Museum and Historical Society and our hyped up selfie session. It was a dynamic week.

When I wasn’t off learning and bonding, I planned and prepared for my workshop I called ‘The Time Capsule Project’. Geared toward the class 4 students who will soon be leaving Workman’s Primary School, I thought it would be both a fun and important exercise to create a digital time capsule with them. We are all shaped by our histories. Our past memories, decisions, interactions and tales are the building blocks that form our foundations and influence our personalities, and inform our futures. History is something to be respected, cherished and most importantly, documented. Who better to chronicle the stories of a time than those living in it?

Friday morning I arrived at Workman’s Primary with Ark and Ethan, who had agreed to help me out. We were escorted to a classroom and I greeted the kids the only courteous way you should approach children forced to sit in a classroom all day: with snacks – more specifically Shirley Biscuits. I played them my stop motion animation,“HOME”, in which the little house from a Shirley biscuit traverses obstacles in an effort to find its way home. It was an example to show them how I chose to record my personal history. What followed was a brief chat on the importance of documenting their personal histories and memories, during which they shared with me the best memories they have from their time at Primary School. Using the cameras donated by a past Fresh Milk resident, I set them free and they spent the next couple hours playing, exploring and capturing whatever they deemed most important.

I won’t say what I foresee for this upcoming week. Regardless of what happens, I’m sure it will be an enjoyable one. I do hope that I will get more reading and writing in though…I really miss my hammock time.

Ronald Williams’ Fresh Milk Residency – Week 3.5 Blog Post

Barbadian artist Ronald Williams, the recipient of the 2018 Fresh Milk ‘My Time’ Local Artist Residency, shares his blog post for the three and a half week mark in the studio. This part of the residency was largely focused on production, taking the research and influences of previous weeks to experiment with pattern-making and digital collage. On Tuesday May 22nd, Ronald also led a collage & portrait workshop with a group of Class 4 students at Workmans Primary School as the community outreach component of his residency, where the children looked at African masks for inspiration and got creative and expressive with materials. Read more below:

Week 3 Monday saw me start what I fully intended to be a productive week in solitude. Both Katherine and Daisy were out at the Barbados Museum and the Jewish Synagogue respectively, so I took advantage of my little alone time and was a DJ for a while. Side note: K. O. D. and Without Warning are hard and I’m a lot late to the party but Migos’ two albums are better than I thought they would be. Judge me.

So, first order of real business was to create the pattern I had in mind. The base design is actually the amalgamation of various prints, cut and pasted together in Photoshop and laid on top of a photo of a piece of black fabric. Took much longer than I needed it to. That base image was then flipped, duplicated, pieced together and the process repeated until I got what I wanted. With that, the day was almost up.

I worked on this piece for the rest of the week, getting lost midway, questioning what exactly I was trying to say with the piece and if I could properly translate how I felt without the reading of it going very left. We’ll see.

Week 4 Monday was spent preparing materials for an African mask inspired portraiture collage project that I, along with Katherine and Daisy, would conduct  with the Class 4 students at Workman’s Primary School the next day. This project, which was my community outreach portion of the residency, was my personal highlight of the last week and a half. Daisy, Katherine and I all ended up making one. It was fun.

All things considered, a relatively complicated week and a half where everything didn’t go to plan, but an ultimately satisfying one.

Invitation: Ancestral Architecture

Ancestral Architecture (AA) is a recently founded collective agency led by Umi Baden-Powell and Hannah Catherine Jones intended to generate positive creative responses and conversations surrounding decolonisation and healing for the African Diaspora. At Fresh Milk, AA will be utilising “decolonized” bush rum (the transformation of rum with African herbs and spices) as metaphorical and literal fluid vehicle to connect with and heal themes associated with displacement. 

During our artist residency, AA will be studying the processes and transformations (cane to sugar, sugar to alcohol, product to colonial capital, etc.) of rum, a key product in transatlantic slavery. AA will explore the ways our ancestors channelled trickster tactics and used consumption of decolonized bush rum to fuel other decolonisation tactics and self-healing practices – music and performance. These themes will be explored at our first AA meetings on Thursday, November 16th, 2017 from 6-9pm and culminate in a day long residency finisage on Saturday, December 2nd, 2017 at the Fresh Milk Art Platform, Walkers Dairy, St. George.

Performance, ritual, and community collaboration are Ancestral Architecture’s tools for navigating and addressing cultural and collective issues: the trans-generational, the (in)tangible residues of rum’s history. Alchemy (medicine creation via spice), shamanism (healing), and transformation (intoxication) and their historic/contemporary references will be ingredients of our collective performance: a communal consumption of the collaboratively spiced AA rum, the sharing of stories and traditions in an attempt to promote transatlantic antiphony and transcendence.

It is vital that any outcomes of the AA residency be inclusive, sensitive and generous. We want to produce the conditions for dialogue and mutual knowledge exchange by calling out for community participation at the AA meetings (Thursday November 16th + Saturday December 2nd). We are looking to infuse the work with archival, oral and sonic histories from everyone from rum connoisseurs/historians to DIY home-brew spiced rum makers, artists, musicians, performers and spectators.

With permission, performances, talks, rum production, would be documented and shared publicly and online.

Drop in or RSVP to Umi & Hannah at ancestral.architecture@gmail.com

Fresh Milk Mural Project at St. George Primary School by Evan Avery

Fresh Milk was very excited to have the opportunity to carry out this community mural project on the water tower at St. George Primary School in Barbados! Barbadian artist Evan Avery has beautified the school with his original characters, which were co-designed with input from some of the Class 4 students.

Thanks so much to Shell Western Supply & Trading Ltd. for their sponsorship, and to Infra Equipment Rentals Ltd. for generously donating the scaffolding for the project!