Versia Harris

Bus Shelter Location: Gun Hill, St. George

Versia Harris

Barbadian artist Versia Harris received her BFA in Studio Art in 2012. She has done a number of residences in the Caribbean and North and South America and has exhibited in London, China, Nigeria, Moscow, Michigan and Aruba. She was awarded a Fulbright Laspau Scholarship in 2017 and received her MFA at Cranbrook Academy of Art, Michigan USA in May, 2019, where she also earned a Mercedes-Benz Financial Services New Beginnings Award. In 2022, Versia took part in Documenta15 with Alice Yard and exhibited in Grimmwelt Museum in Kassel, Germany. She continues to exhibit internationally, while teaching at The Barbados Community College.

About the ArtWork:

Human beings and nature are inextricably linked, as our well being and mental health is supported by the outdoors and green spaces. The pandemic and the volcanic eruption, that forced us indoors, darkened our lives and our skies, was inevitably going to create a sour period of time and recovery. The isolation caused by social distancing, left cold, many physical connections often taken for granted and the volcanic eruption exacerbated the separation by forcing us to close our windows. Both disasters made us all painfully aware that our simplest and most fundamental of human tasks; breathing, was at risk. Breath that is also so intertwined with that of our trees, plants, and weeds.

As an artist, my work as always involved the relationship between the mental space and nature. Trees, forest, gardens, jungles and open spaces are, for me, metaphors and references for the mind. But this time of isolation pushed me further inwards than I thought I could or was ready to go. Iʼve learned that the link between my inner mind and outer space goes farther than the allegory. The two are tied by a kind of existential string, where one is a mirror of the other. As dark as our skies got, so did my sense of self. Through my mind and my imagination a whole new space, often neglected by the distractions of the outer world, revealed itself to me.

The work I am submitting for this project is about going through the layers and portals of the mind, that is also the mirror to the outer scape. A journey that can seem like turmoil, as if being in a hole deep in the earth, looking up at an unreachable sky, or being overwhelmed by a a great wave; to constantly look up and out for hope and light. What do we see and feel when we look up? What do we see when we look in. With what what eyes do we look out? I hope that my bench will be a place of wonder and refection for the sitters. To see the portals of their own mind reflected back at them as an invitation to stay reverent to the outdoors while connected to the call and lure of their mysterious inner worlds.