Announcing Selected Artists from the First Fresh Milk/Healing Arts Initiative Open Call!

The Fresh Milk Art PlatformFuture Centre TrustEnviron Ltd (Adopt A Stop Barbados) and The Healing Arts Initiative in partnership with CULTURUNNERS as part of the World Health Organization are pleased to announce the Barbadian artists, selected by jury members across each participating entity, who will design new works to be incorporated into one rain shelter and two benches for installation on the Barbados Trailway Project.

Anna Gibson will provide artwork for the rain shelter, while Dion Gibson and Anya Greaves will provide artwork for the benches. Their works will be installed in May/June of this year. Congratulations to the artists, and stay tuned to see their completed pieces!

Learn more about the artists and see previews of their proposed artworks below.

About Anna Gibson:

I’m a Barbadian contemporary artist who explores multiple mediums, crafting images of body manipulation through realism and expressionism. I have been practicing for over 5 years completing my Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts (2017). I have been able to participate in some local (Barbados) group exhibitions at The Punch Creative Arena, UN women ‘1in3 Art Exhibition’ at the UN House Barbados, ‘Young Artist’ at The Barbados Arts Council Art Gallery and more.

My artwork is routed in exploring women’s’ bodies and their relationship between our cultural, racial, and social environment. Focusing on insecurities, my artwork explores and exposes the vulnerabilities women have about their differences to each other, and how they seek to mentally and physically mask or morph their bodies, in an obsessive process of evolving, using various beautification methods to achieve acceptance.

Excerpt from her proposal for the rain shelter:

In response to this project’s agenda of valuing our natural environment and taking mental comfort in its properties, I decided to depict an interactive space between us and nature. Due to the pandemic, we have been restricted and confined in various ways, especially with the constant presence of the mask, which feels like it has become a big indicator of the surreal timeline we are living right now. Using the mask as an analogy of inhaling and exhaling, I focused on creating imagery with movement and lightness to ease the mental suffocation that the mask represents.

About Dion Gibson:

Dion Gibson is a Barbados born visual artist and graphic designer. He began his artistic venture in 1990, using a range of media from watercolours and pastels to acrylics, and since acquiring a Bachelors in Graphic Design, has begun a new journey into Digital Art rendering. Digital media exploration has gradually begun to affect & challenge his fine-art practice.

Acknowledged as having a way of capturing ‘the dramatic’ especially in his use of composition, Dion delights in the Surreal and is passionate about bringing dreams and visions to life. His concepts can be unconventional at times, carrying a futuristic value and a satisfying attention to detail. He will often times request a black canvas to get his work started.

Some of the artists that inspire him are Kervin Andre, Stanley Greaves, Timothy Parker and Salvador Dali.

Dion believes that art is a medium that has the capacity to challenge how we see the world and invariably affect how we relate , how we engage and how we live. Part of the role of art is to help others see what is possible. He is looking forward to widening his scope in the area of ‘Art as Activism.

Excerpt from his proposal for the bench:

[This artwork] tries to offer  solutions to Mental Health issues while taking a look at the effects of Covid, La Soufriere Volcano and Hurricane Elsa. It tries to communicate the unique emotions of each natural activity by drawing the connections towards men in society. In so doing, it draws the line between poorly managed or unresolved emotions in men, mental health and suicide … The tears seen on each man’s cheek are important, because society generally does not allow men to cCry” which results in unhealthy pent up of emotions. Here we are letting men know that “it is okay to cry” (…allow your tears to be washed away by the sea.) 

About Anya Greaves:

Anya is a 19-year old Barbadian visual artist, expressionist and hobbyist. Her eyes are the windows to her resplendent and complex imagination; her hands, her instruments. From the lively and colourful world around her, she draws her inspiration, and from it she emanates her vibrant and unique perspective.

Anya has an innate artistic gift, and from the moment she gripped a crayon, her creativity was
communicated through her strokes. With influence from her parents, she was exposed to and enamored with the sundry textures and mediums of arts and crafts. Throughout primary and secondary school, she had a drive to refine her skills and took to drawing, painting and mixed media. In secondary school, she formed a mentoring relationship with her art teacher; criticism and love. From it she attained a grade 1 at CXC Visual Arts.

She uses art as her gateway into another dimension and flourishes in the joy of creating whenever she can. Her focal point is in “Making your dreams reality.”

Excerpt from her proposal for the bench:

Recent events in world history, particularly on my small island of Barbados, have shaken us. Throughout my life, the thought of a pandemic has never dawned on me. Initially, the virus’s emergence in China seemed far away, and I never dreamed it might travel over the ocean to Barbadian shores …  We desire stability as we emerge from the mental coop that [the pandemic, La Souffriere volcano and Hurricane Elsa] forced us into, and the proposed concept seeks to demonstrate this. It depicts a contrast between the past: the historic train line, and the present: the Barbados Trail-Way project initiative in St. George Valley, Barbados’s south central area.


CULTURUNNERS produces cross-cultural campaigns, exhibitions and journeys, promoting peace-building & sustainable development through art. Launching at MIT in 2014, CULTURUNNERS’ first project was a multi-year artists’ road-trip broadcasting between the United States and the Middle East. It has since grown to encompass large-scale cultural exchange and diplomacy projects, an artist-led media platform, artists’ spaces and partnerships with institutions around the world.

Fresh Milk is an artist-led, non-profit organisation founded in 2011 and based in Barbados. It is a platform which supports excellence in the visual arts through residencies and programmes that provide Caribbean artists with opportunities for development, fostering a thriving art community.

Fresh Milk offers professional support to artists from the Caribbean and further afield and seeks to stimulate critical thinking in contemporary visual art. Its goal is to nurture artists, raise regional awareness about contemporary arts and provide Caribbean artists with opportunities for growth, excellence and success.


The Future Centre Trust is a non-governmental organisation focused on raising awareness of environmental impacts to Barbados and the planet with a vision to be “a catalyst for sustainable living today and tomorrow”.  It is the main executing entity for the Barbados Trailway Project – a paved bicycle and pedestrian path located primarily on right-of-way lands of the former Barbados Railway.

This network of multi-purpose walking, hiking, running and cycling trails will provide year round recreational access for both locals and visitors, considerably expanding much needed public green space on the island.

For the past 25 years, Adopt A Stop has provided regional and international companies with a unique opportunity to display their products and services on bus shelters and benches in Barbados. The concept for Adopt A Stop was created by Barbadian Barney Gibbs while studying at Cambridge University. The project was then introduced to the island in 1993 as a socially-conscious way to provide a much-needed amenity. The priority was tropical designs constructed with local materials, placed at prime locations to give maximum impact.

The traveling public has embraced the project. The medium provides popular seating and shade for users; while increasing traffic rates mean drivers and passengers are frequently stopped in front of sponsor’s signage.

Fresh Milk contributes to the 2019 Understanding Risk Caribbean Conference

The 2019 Understanding Risk (UR) Caribbean Conference took place May 27 – May 31 at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill Campus, Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination (EBCCI) in Barbados. This conference brought together representatives of government ministries and national disaster management agencies, disaster risk management practitioners, urban planners, insurance industry stakeholders, private sector organizations, academia, multilateral development banks, regional partners and donors to discuss the core theme ‘From Risk to Resilience: A Foundation for Action’.

Janot Mendler de Suarez, a consultant with the World Bank, most recently the Caribbean Technical Programme of GFDRR’s Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance initiative, and Pablo Suarez, Artist in Residence, National University of Singapore – Lloyd’s Register Foundation Institute for the Public Understanding of Risk, invited Fresh Milk to co-develop three artistic interventions for the conference. These projects acted as a way of translating and communicating key factors about environmental risks in the Caribbean into a visual language, as well as showing tangible examples of resilience within our culture and landscape in Barbados.

Photographs by Dondré Trotman unless otherwise specified.


Risky Timelines:

Concept: Janot Mendler de Suarez & Pablo Suarez
artists: Akilah Watts, Alanis Forde, Anna Gibson in collaboration with Kia Redman and Kraig Yearwood
With thanks to: Harclyde Walcott, Joseph Spagnuolo, Kerri Cox, Mary Boyer, Rashmin Gunasekera, Thibaut Humbert, UWI EBCCI

Photo by Dondré Trotman

This project, conceived by Janot Mendler de Suarez and Pablo Suarez and created by Barbadian artists Akilah Watts, Alanis Forde and Anna Gibson with Kia Redman and Kraig Yearwood, saw the depiction of natural disasters which have taken place in 33 countries across the Caribbean in the form of a large data sculpture.

This piece showcases a timeline of these events spanning from 1990-2019, and communicates the breadth and impact of these catastrophes on the region. The artwork creates a visually intuitive juxtaposition of natural hazard data – on hurricanes from category 1 to 5, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, and floods – with impact data on the number of people affected, the number of lives lost, economic losses and the amount of money invested in response and recovery efforts.

‘Risky Timelines’ was installed at the EBCCI between May 27th – June 3rd, 2019.

The Making

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The Installation

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The Finished Work

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Sargassum and Coral Reef Benches

Concept by Janot Mendler de Suarez & Pablo Suarez, Photography By Nadia Huggins & Data Story Layout by KAtherine Kennedy
A collaboration with Adopt A Stop Barbados
With thanks t:o Shelly-Ann Cox and Hazel Oxenford of CERMES, UWI Cave Hill Campus

Photo by Dondré Trotman

As an extension of our Fresh Stops public art project in collaboration with Adopt A Stop Barbados, the design and production of two benches to be permanent fixtures at the EBCCI were commissioned by the World Bank for the UR Caribbean Conference through Janot Mendler de Suarez.

Telling the stories of ‘Risk and Resilience’ within the Caribbean’s oceans, the backs of these two benches feature data stories about the properties and importance of coral reefs and Sargassum seaweed. These graphics were designed by Barbadian artist and Fresh Milk’s Communications & Operations Manager, Katherine Kennedy, using information largely provided by the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES), UWI Cave Hill Campus.

The fronts of each bench showcase photographs by Vincentian artist and photographer Nadia Huggins, depicting modified versions of photos related to her Transformations series, which she describes as “[exploring] the relationship between my identity and the marine ecosystem.”

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(Bush) Tea Plots – A Decolonial Patch

A Work by Annalee Davis in collaboration with Ras Ils and Kevin Talma

Photo by Dondré Trotman

This artwork by Barbadian artist and Founding Director of Fresh Milk Annalee Davis in collaboration with Ras Ils and Kevin Talma, also commissioned by the World Bank for the UR Caribbean Conference through Janot Mendler de Suarez., sits within Davis’ larger artistic practice and confronts the historical imposition on this island of the monocrop–Saccharum officinarum–while recognizing nature as a radical maneuver against the singular model of the plantation. Observing how the natural world is threatened and degraded, (Bush) Tea Plots acknowledges the resilience of our regenerative biosphere and its inherent capacity for healing at the agricultural, botanical and psycho-spiritual levels.

The work creates visibility of near extinct (Bush) tea practices, appreciating biodiversity through dormant wild botanicals now resurfacing in abandoned sugarcane fields. This live restorative plot–an apothecary of resistance–is permanently installed at the EBCCI for the UR Caribbean Conference 2019, includes mobile accessibility via a QR code linked to the project’s web platform.

The Installation

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The Finished Work

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UR Caribbean is organized by the World Bank’s Caribbean Disaster Risk Management team, in partnership with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and the European Union (EU), and will be hosted by the Government of Barbados. This conference is co-financed by the European Union-funded Africa, Caribbean, Pacific – European Union (ACP-EU) and the Natural Disaster Risk Reduction (NDRR) Program and managed by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR).