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.

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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).

Announcing Caribbean Linked IV

We are pleased to announce that the regional residency Caribbean Linked IV will be taking place at Ateliers ’89 in Oranjestad, Aruba from August 1 through 23, 2016. Thanks to generous support from the Mondriaan Fund, Stichting DOEN and the Prince Claus Fund, eleven creatives from around the French, Spanish, English and Dutch Caribbean will convene to produce work and mount an exhibition during this three week period.

CL IV Image

This annual residency will again allow the participants to be exposed to the practices of other emerging Caribbean artists, providing an opportunity to strengthen regional connections and cultural understanding. 

Artists this year include Frances Gallardo (Puerto Rico), Travis Geertruida (Curacao), Charlie Godet Thomas (Bermuda), Nowé Harris-Smith (The Bahamas), Dominique Hunter (Guyana), Tessa Mars (Haïti), Oneika Russell (Jamaica), Simon Tatum (The Cayman Islands), Laura de Vogel (Aruba) and visiting master artist Humberto Diaz (Cuba).

The writer in residence will be David Knight Jr. (US Virgin Islands), co-founder of Moko Magazine. Visiting artists who will be lending support to Ateliers ’89 during the residency will be Robin de Vogel (Aruba) and Katherine Kennedy (Barbados). This year’s specially invited curators will be María Elena Ortiz, associate curator at the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) and Pablo León de la Barra, curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum for the Latin American phase of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative.

Stay tuned for more information!

Caribbean Linked is an initiative by ARC Magazine, The Fresh Milk Art Platform and Ateliers ’89.

Immanuel Hunte shares his experience with Ask Kæreby’s experimental sound workshops

During the month of November, Fresh Milk resident artist Ask Kæreby held a series of three workshops looking at experimental ways of working with sound. One of the participants, Immanuel Hunte, wrote about his experience with the workshops, as well as sharing two of the pieces he created based on what was discussed in the sessions. Read more below:

I attended a 3 day workshop, which was held by Fresh Milk via their Artist Residency Programme. Ask Kæreby, a Danish composer and sound designer was the chief facilitator of this particular project, being that it was about sound and sound design. I have to say that in my opinion, even though only a few people attended the workshop, it was AWESOME. Ask helped me to open my eyes to how sound can be used in unconventional ways to express one’s self creatively.

Over the course of 3 days we looked at the technical aspects of sound and talked about the the artistic and philosophical aspects of it as well. During that time, I gained an understanding about sound and sound design; ie. that sound does not only come from musical instruments, or an orchestra, or notes and pitches. Sound is present in our everyday surroundings and in our everyday lives, whether it is natural ( eg. wind, water, trees, animals) or generated/man-made (eg. engines, machines, traffic, interaction of objects). To sum it all up, I was informally introduced to the world of sound art: Sound art is a contemporary art form in which sound (natural or artificial) is utilised as a medium or a form of expression. Sound art comprises of different elements that are often intertwined eg. audio media, electronic synthesizers, noise music, acoustic or psychoacoustic art, to name a few. Sound art tends to be experimental in that it gives the artist a chance to stretch his/her imagination. I got to learn about the people who were pioneers in this sound art movement, such as Luigi Russolo, who composed for noise machines (which he created) and had members of a London-based orchestra play them, …….which did NOT go down too well with the traditional audience! Russolo at that time wanted to escape the confines of what his generation called traditional music.

There was also Pierre Schaeffer, who was into experimental sound in the 1940s and developed musique concrète. We listened to one of his manipulated recordings of trains. My favourite part was learning about Delia Derbyshire, a woman who was instrumental in the early days of the BBC in London in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. She has been revered for being a pioneer in electronic music. This unique workshop consisted only of oscillators and various analogue machines. Music for radio and television was scored using only these machines, including sound effects. One famous example is her electronic rendition of Ron Grainer’s theme to Doctor Who, one of the first television themes to be created and produced by entirely electronic means.

Immanuel Hunte’s Soundscape

Also, during this time, the group was given assignments to record our environments, and to manipulate them in an artistic manner. The sounds I used were recordings of my toilet flushing, the washing machine, doors, a spray-can and my voice. Using what I learned in the workshop, plus my experience in making music on computers, I got some satisfyingly interesting results. I edited parts of the audio from my raw recordings and I applied some delay and reverb effects, as well as vocoder effects. The recordings were made using my phone, and the finishing touches were done in digital audio workstations called Propellerhead Reason and FL studio.

Immanuel Hunte’s Desert  Scape

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Thanks to all of those who participated in the sessions, including Annalee Davis, Adrian Green, Immanuel Hunte, Katherine Kennedy, Jesse Phillips, Melanie Springer and Andre Woodvine.

Transoceanic Visual Exchange and the Fresh Milk Team featured in Barbados Today

In her arts column ‘About Town, Across Country’ for the Barbados Today e-newspaper, Katrina Marshall recently shared two articles: one on the Transoceanic Visual Exchange (TVE) programme, and one focusing on what it means to be an artist-in-residence, speaking with Fresh Milk’s Katherine Kennedy about her work and residency experiences to explore the topic.

Thanks very much, Katrina, for taking an interest in the arts!

Barbados today TVE

To read the article on TVE, which appeared on pages 12-13 of the October 22 edition of Barbados Today, click here.

Barbados today Katherine article

To read the article about Katherine Kennedy and her thoughts on artist residencies, which appeared on pages 12-13 of the October 30 edition of Barbados Today, click here.

Transoceanic Visual Exchange Caribbean

TVE flyer McGilchrist

A survey of film and video works in the Caribbean, Africa and Aotearoa, Transoceanic Visual Exchange (TVE) aims to negotiate the in-between space of our cultural communities outside of traditional geo-political zones of encounter and trade. The three spaces involved – Fresh Milk (Barbados), Video Art Network Lagos (Nigeria) and RM (New Zealand) – first met as participants of International Artist Initiated (IAI), a programme organized and facilitated by David Dale Gallery, Glasgow, in July 2014. TVE intends to build upon these relations and open up greater pathways of visibility, discourse and knowledge production between the artist run initiatives and their regional communities through this laterally curated exhibition project, taking place in Barbados, New Zealand, Nigeria and online.

TVE Caribbean will launch at 7pm on October 14, 2015 at Bagnall Point, BIDC Conference Room, Pelican Village in Bridgetown, Barbados as part of the Barbados Visual Media Festival (BVMF). The exhibition will also be open to the public at that location on October 17, 28 & 30 and features works by:

Versia Harris (Barbados), Katherine Kennedy (Barbados), Michèle Pearson Clarke (Trinidad & Tobago / Canada), Romel Jean Pierre (Haiti), Nick Whittle / Alberta Whittle (Barbados), Rebecca Ann Hobbs (Aotearoa), Ngahuia Raima (Aotearoa), Louisa Afoa (Aotearoa), Nkechi Ebubedike (Nigeria) and Lambert Mousseka (Democratic Republic of the Congo).

There will be additional special screenings taking place at Fresh Milk, The Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination (EBCCI) as part of their Film Club Screenings and Barbados Community College (BCC):

October 16, 6pm – Fresh Milk, St. George
Rebecca Ann Hobbs – Mangere bridge 246 / Otara at Night (Aotearoa)

October 22, 7pm – Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination
Darcell Apelu – Slap (Aotearoa)
Akwaeke Emezi – Ududeagu (Nigeria)
Carlo Reyes – Viernes Santo (Dominican Republic)

October 29-30, 10am-4pm – Morningside Gallery, Barbados Community College
Olivia McGilchrist – Riva Mumma (Jamaica)
David Gumbs – Offscreen (St. Martin)

RSVP to the event on Facebook here.

For more information please visit www.transoceanicvisualexchange.com, or email Natalie McGuire at tveproject.caribbean@gmail.com.

Special thanks to the Barbados Film and Video Association (BFVA), EBCCI, BCC and Stansfeld Scott Inc. for making these screenings possible, and to Versia Harris and Katherine Kennedy for designing the logo, digital space and flyers.