US-based interdisciplinary artist Nyugen Smith shares a second blog post about his time at Fresh Milk. Continuing to respond to the environment, a trip to the beach and an encounter with the power of the ocean inspired awe and reflection from Nyugen. He has also begun to make work around the history of the plantation, paying respect to the enslaved Africans that once lived and suffered on these grounds. Read more below:
Thinking about the trip to the sea on Sunday and what it taught me. The water was warm and the sun was out but it wasn’t incredibly hot. I learned more Barbados history, learned about the plant life that is beginning to emerge in former cane fields and learned that “The sea has no back door.”
The wave was on on its way. I was alerted with a calm, “watch out.” I saw it coming and did what I could to prepare. It wasn’t enough. With little effort, the element enveloped my waist and shared with me a taste of its power and might. I can swim, but at that time was glad I was close to the shore. “You will respect me,” I think I heard it say. I am carrying that with me for the rest of my days.
POWER and MIGHT.
from the sound of the wind
to the vibes in the ground
what’s that sound
heard over my heart pound?
Ficus call I
and I say,
Hey, Natty Natty
No play play
leh we reason,
and broad day
Last night I worked, making images on the area of the property where the AIR flat is situated. The series is a reflection on the enslaved Africans and their descendants who once lived, labored, and died on this land. As I worked under moonlight, many magical moments happened, most of which occurred when I incorporated the light I carried with me. The way the light spread across my performance garments and covered a small area surrounding my body added unexpected layers of meaning to the work of which I am still unpacking. Here is one image from the series.
A larger selection can be found here…
This residency is supported by the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund for the Performing and Visual Arts