Joshua Clarke

Bus Shelter Location: Four Roads, St. John

Joshua Clarke

Joshua Clarke is a graduate of the Barbados Community College with a BFA in Graphic Design. He has worked in game development as a character, environment and concept artist (Le Loupgarou), as sequential artist on graphic novels (Power in the Blood GreenBook Comics 2020) was a semifinalist in the Kingstoon Pitch Competition(Junkyard Dragon 2019) and is the winner of the first Black Celebration in the Future art contest(2020). A childhood spent reading has given him a lifelong love of storytelling and an inability to put the pencil down has drawn him inexorably to his career in illustration and concept art. A student of culture and history he attempts to capture that same joy and wonder of the stories that inspire him while ensuring representation of the fullness of Blackness in his work. His work shows a particular focus on Afrofuturism and Afrofantasy as he seeks to claim space of diasporic Afro Caribbean identity in the stories that shape our collective imagination.

About the ArtWork:

Afrofuturism – Afrofuturism is a cultural aesthetic, and philosophy of science and history that explores the intersection of the African diaspora culture with science and technology

Solarpunk – Solarpunk is a literary and artistic movement that envisions and works toward actualizing a sustainable future interconnected with nature and community. The “solar” represents solar energy as a renewable energy source and an optimistic vision of the future that rejects climate doomerism, while the “punk” refers to the countercultural, post-capitalist, and decolonial enthusiasm for creating such a future.

Afrofuturism, Solarpunk and Caribbean identity. These are the three pillars I hope to explore and illustrate with the work. As a piece of public art that exists to be pored over repeatedly I’d like to create a multilayered work that the viewer can find a bit of respite and enjoyment in every time  they see it anew.

The pieces would be two complimentary pieces in a bombastic illustrative style, infusing elements of graffiti into the illustrations to depict a level of dynamic, kinetic energy that is both inviting and welcoming. Complimentary distortion of perspectives in the pieces would work to encompass a full vision of the future from the small island point of view.

For the vertical piece a global view from the island itself – fisheye perspective painting, graffiti style, from high pov above the island. Change your point of view and anywhere on earth can be a vantage point, our connection to our neighbours – a vital link in climate resiliency. This would be about shifting perspectives about ourselves and our place in the Caribbean, pride, innovation and collaboration across the Caribbean is how we weather this storm.

For the horizontal piece on the bench itself it would be another distorted perspective piece, this curving inward inviting the viewer into the piece. Depicting an area where natural beauty and residence coincide, probably in the north of the island. In this piece I would incorporate striking examples of the kind of technological advances that could be incorporated into uniquely Barbadian architecture and living without necessarily disrupting it.

In the move toward resilience in the face of climate change education is vital, there are many facets to education but with illustration comes imagination, it’s one thing to conceive of implementation of green technology, it’s another to see it incorporated in a unique and appealing way – water tanks, reforestation, solar panels, wind turbines, vertical gardening etc. A visually dynamic piece that captures the embrace of potential for the possible.

I myself have felt futility and despair as I think of a small island’s role in the face of climate change. Paying the debt to nature of an industrial world is a daunting one, and one need only watch the news to see the first signs of what’s to come. But we are still here, we are still alive, and while we live there are concrete steps we can take to prepare to survive and thrive in the face of what is to come.