The Fresh Milk ArtBoard 2017 featuring work by David Gumbs

Fresh Milk is thrilled to announce that, after reviewing a number of fantastic submissions to our open call for this year’s Fresh Milk ArtBoard and having input from an advisory group of creative professionals around the region, our team has selected an image by Saint-Martin born, Martinique based artist David Gumbs to be displayed. Congratulations, David!

David Gumbs, Offscreen (still image from interactive video piece) on the Fresh Milk ArtBoard

Artist statement:

David Gumbs is a multimedia artist from the island of Saint-Martin. His research investigates the spectator’s perception and mental landscape.

David Gumbs’ artistic approach is based on a famous quotation from XVIIth century French philosopher and chemist Antoine Lavoisier: « Mass is neither gained nor lost, merely transformed ». Thus, life’s cycle, infinite scale, memory, and the Sacred, are themes that emerge from larger topics of interest such as inner/outer landscape, and offscreen. These immersed spaces reveal personal inner projections from the unconscious, thus emerging this « Mental Archeology » through spectator’s perception. His research focuses on the different feelings, emotions, and stimulations that build memory.

Discovering the Martinican and Cuban flora triggered a vivid passion for mythical forest Gods in island cultures. This was the beginning of an identity quest through the exploration of topics dealing with the offscreen of perception, and rhizome graphical macroscopic universes.

His polymorphic art reveals the interbreeding and hybridization process in the collective and individual unconsciousness in Caribbean imagination.

The presented works are from the Offscreen and the Blossoms realtime interactive and generative video series. These images are created in realtime by using fractal data and user intervention that creates and transforms the patterns on the fly. The Blossoms series was created during David’s Davidoff Art Initiative Beijing residency in 2016, where tropical flora was used as a metaphor of air purification while the random animated patterns were growing and expanding on the city walls.

About the artist:

The Blossoms interactive installation was invited to be shown as part of the Special Projects of the Jamaica Biennial 2017. The « Water & Dreams » video was selected for the Relational Undercurrents exhibition at MOLAA, and was also shown at the Digital exhibition at the National Gallery of Jamaica.

In 2016, David Gumbs was selected as the Davidoff Art Initiative artist in residence in Beijing China, where he exhibited at the World Art Museum / China Millenium Monument, and Aotu Studio independent art space.

His « Offscreen of Perception » videos have been shown at Video Islands in New York, the opening exhibition of the Memorial Acte Museum (Macte) in Guadeloupe and Transoceanic Visual Exchange (TVE) in Barbados in 2015; at the trinidad + tobago film festival – New Media, Transforming Spaces – Bahamas and the Beep Bop Boop New Media Festival – Florida in 2014; at the BIAC Biennal – Martinique and Art Bémao New media selection – Guadeloupe in 2013; at Happy Island Project Biennal – Aruba in 2012; and at the prestigious Latitudes, Paris City Hall in 2009.

He has taking part in numerous new media festivals in Europe and in France, for example the Aborescence Festival in Aix-en-Provence. David’s work is regularly shown all over the world and in the Caribbean.

(L-R) Shanice Smith & Dominique Hunter, For your Viewing Pleasure, 2017; Leasho Johnson, How to kill a soundboy, 2017; Oneika Russell, A bit of what you fancy, Detail of a still from the video, 2017

Fresh Milk would also like to announce that three pieces were selected as runners-up for this edition: For your Viewing Pleasure by Shanice Smith (Trinidad) and Dominique Hunter (Guyana); How to kill a soundboy by Leasho Johnson (Jamaica); and A bit of what you fancy by Oneika Russell (Jamaica). These pieces are featured in our small exhibition Resonance, which continues from August 28-31, 2017 in the Fresh Milk studio.

Finally, to take a look at all of the other submissions we received, check out our online exhibition of the work, celebrating the positive response we received to this call. We are so pleased to be able to share work from around the Caribbean, especially as Barbados is the host of this year’s CARIFESTA XIII festival, and encourage you to come see all of the works in person!

Fresh Milk presents ‘Resonance’

The Fresh Milk Art Platform is pleased to present Resonance, a showcase of works by some of the artists who have participated in residencies or projects with the organization over the last six years. Resonance opens on Saturday, August 19th, 2017 from 2-4pm with a presentation about Fresh Milk’s programming and a chance to speak with some of the exhibiting artists, and will also be open to the public on August 21st – 23rd and 28th – 31st from 10am – 4pm each day. Come and see what Fresh Milk has on display during the regional celebrations of CARIFESTA XIII, and commemorate our 6th anniversary with us!

About Resonance:

res·o·nance
noun

1.
the quality in a sound of being deep, full, and reverberating.

2.
the reinforcement or prolongation of sound by reflection from a surface or by the synchronous vibration of a neighbouring object.

When Fresh Milk began in August 2011, it was an experiment based on the hypothesis that there was a need for spaces in Barbados where contemporary artists, writers, thinkers and makers could come to conduct their own creative investigations. Six years later, the experiment continues to grow organically locally and throughout the Caribbean, constantly being fed by the artists that we engage with.

Resonance plays on the phonetically similar word ‘residence’, taking this opportunity to celebrate our local artist in residence programme among other innovative projects, as well as regional residency initiatives. There is also synergy with the definition of the word; each of the creatives that have been involved with Fresh Milk have enriched the platform, their presence and contribution continuing to impact every new endeavor we undertake and reinforcing our desire to foster prolonged relationships with artists. This showcase is less about following a theme, and more about recognizing the dynamic trajectories of the participants’ varying practices.

It’s our pleasure to feature works by Barbadian artists Simone Asia, Evan Avery, Cherise Harris, Versia Harris, Raquel Marshall, Ronald Williams, Anisah Wood and Kraig Yearwood. Additionally, we are excited that this show coincides with CARIFESTA XIII in Barbados, and are pleased to be able to include works by regional artists Dominique Hunter (Guyana), Leasho Johnson (Jamaica), Oneika Russell (Jamaica) and Shanice Smith (Trinidad) – each of whom have also been part of the Caribbean Linked residency programme coordinated by Ateliers ’89 in Aruba, Fresh Milk and ARC Magazine. We look forward to maintaining our connections with each of these artists, the many others that we have worked with in the past, and those still to come in the future.

Directions to the Fresh Milk studio can be found on the About Page of our website, and for more information email freshmilkbarbados@gmail.com.

Fresh Milk featured in Chronicle on WCVB Channel 5 segment on Barbados

Thanks so much to Chronicle on WCVB Channel 5, Boston, for including Fresh Milk in their programme focusing on Barbados, which aired on Monday, February 8, 2016. Take a look at Fresh Milk’s founder Annalee Davis and Barbadian artists  Simone Asia and Versia Harris speaking about their work and experiences with the platform.

In this short segment, we share the clip with Lennox Honychurch who speaks about the Morgan Lewis Windmill.

This video is courtesy of Chronicle on WCVB Channel 5. View the original clip on their website here.

Open Call: Fresh Milk International Residency 2015 or 2016

FM International Residency Poster_Aug 2015

FRESH MILK is seeking proposals from artists working outside of Barbados to apply for our international residency programme in late 2015 or Spring 2016. Available dates for the residencies to take place are between November 2 – 30, 2015 and February 29 – March 25, 2016.

This residency aims to support visual artists, writers and curators by offering a peaceful working space for a minimum of 4 weeks for creative production, the opportunity to interface with contemporary practitioners living and working in Barbados, access to the on-site Colleen Lewis Reading Room, the chance to broaden understanding of the work being produced locally and regionally in the Caribbean, and to strengthen international networks and relationships. For more information on the residency, application process and associated costs, please visit our International Residency Opportunity page.

The deadline for applications is October 2, 2015.

To see the blogs kept by our past International resident artists, click here.

Open Call: ‘White Creole Conversations’ – New ways of thinking about whiteness in a Caribbean context

Barbadian visual artist & founding director of Fresh Milk Annalee Davis shares an open call for participation in ‘White Creole Conversations’: New ways of thinking about whiteness in a Caribbean context, a forum for honest communication that begins to unpack issues and stereotypes while facilitating understanding about whiteness in the region. These sessions with the artist will take place from August 4 through September, 2015 in Barbados. For those not in the island, Skype meetings can be arranged to discuss participation. Learn more below:

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Where you are understood you are at home.”
– John O’Donahue [1]

The white Creole Caribbean voice has largely been silent or mis/understood in ways that suggest that the white community is monolithic, timeless, and homogenous. The context for this project is the small island of Barbados, where despite its diverse population, social life and kinship are predominantly lived in subtly separate racial spheres.

‘White Creole Conversations’ initiates a new dialogue privileging open and honest communication. Rather than asking ‘who am I?’ the question posed might be ‘who are you?’ The focus of the conversations will pivot on issues to do with race and class in this small post-colonial island space and will take place between the artist and the participant.

This audio project attempts to remove the mask of the white Creole, unpack stereotypes around whiteness and reveal the individuality and diversity of this minority population. Also, this project hopes to facilitate exchanges that challenge singular authoritative ideas to reveal different understandings of the white Creole with a desire to generate self-reflection, self awareness and fresh understandings.

The medium in this artwork is ‘conversation’ which in and of itself becomes an aesthetic device in understanding and shaping civil society. The assumption is that there are generally few opportunities for meaningful dialogue about race in Barbados.White Creole Conversations’ imagines that a more integrated society on a small island is possible when enabled by candid speaking and empathic listening.

Patterned on Theodore Zeldin’s ‘Oxford Muse’, who reminds us that, “the most important networks are those of the imagination, which cross from the conventional to the unconventional, refusing to accept that what exists is the only thing that is possible”, Zeldin writes that we are all wearing our masks.[2] It is now time to unmask ourselves.

Engaging in meaningful discourse is one way of developing empathy and affinity. A menu of questions from which the participant may choose to respond to might include the following: what is the most difficult conversation you have ever had? What is your relationship to the colour of your skin? Have you ever crossed race or class boundaries in love? Have you felt pain because of your race? Where do you belong? Define home? Who are you?

Given that little has been studied about white Creoles and understandings often operate as myth, one goal for this discursive project is to develop more complex renderings that inspire us to think about this minority in ways we might not have considered before. The recorded exchanges will be accessible as portals allowing listeners to enter the world of the speakers with a view to destabilizing the often fixed, narrow definitions of this minority group while offering more subtle and ambiguous understandings.

As an artist, my intention is to use this audio project to invite participants to respond to questions about their experience as a white Creole and investigate how race is privately/publicly experienced. Phase II will open up the dialogue to all members of the island community.

It seems to me that life becomes even more interesting when we know each other more intimately.White Creole Conversations’ may allow us to do so.

[1] John O’Donahue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom, 1998
[2] Theodore Zeldin, An Intimate History of Humanity, 1995

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‘White Creole Conversations’: New ways of thinking about whiteness in a Caribbean context is an artistic project facilitated by the visual artist Annalee Davis who will coordinate and conduct the interviews at the Fresh Milk Art Platform Inc.

From August 4-21, 2015 individuals will be invited to participate in one on one conversation with the artist to speak about their ideas and experiences around the white Creole experience.

For those who are not in Barbados but want to participate remotely, an initial meeting via Skype to discuss the project can be arranged and responses to a menu of questions may be submitted in writing, audio or video files.

For more information and to participate in White Creole conversations’ from August 4 through September, 2015, contact the artist: Annalee Davis:

annaleedavis@gmail.com
T. 435 1952
M. 230 8897
Facebook – Annalee Davis

Director: Annalee Davis. Photo credit: Charles Phillips of Monochrome Media

Director: Annalee Davis. Photo credit: Charles Phillips of Monochrome Media

About the artist:

Annalee Davis is a Visual Artist based in Barbados. She received a B.F.A from the Maryland Institute, College of Art and an M.F.A. from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Her creative practice mines the plantation from the perspective of a white Creole woman. She is a part-time tutor in the BFA programme at the Barbados Community College and has been the founding director of the artist-led initiative and social practice project – The Fresh Milk Art Platform Inc. since 2011. An experiment and cultural lab, Fresh Milk supports excellence among emerging contemporary creatives locally, throughout the Caribbean, its diaspora and internationally. Located on a working dairy farm and a former sugar cane plantation, Fresh Milk is a nurturing entity; transforming a once exclusive space to become a freely accessible platform with programming supportive of new modes of thinking and interfacing through the arts. Through Fresh Milk she currently co-directs Transoceanic Visual ExchangeTilting Axis and Caribbean Linked, a regional residency programme.