Raquel Marshall’s Residency – Week 3 Blog Post

Barbadian visual artist Raquel Marshall blogs about the third week of her Fresh Milk residency, describing it as her best week yet. Studio visits from ceramicist Juliana Inniss, art historian and curator Dr. Allison Thompson and visual artist Ewan Atkinson provided Raquel with valuable feedback, and the realization of one of her concepts has also been a source of  excitement and encouragement as she enters her final week. This residency is generously supported by the Central Bank of Barbados. Read more here:

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This week was the most fulfilling week thus far.

Moving forward in building and developing the concepts I’ve been working with, I continue to enjoy creating, molding and shaping the clay vessels for the installation. I am reconsidering the amount to produce and how they will actually hang; whether above my head like a ceiling or at different heights where the viewer becomes more of a participant in the piece, walking in, through and around the work. I am leaning towards the latter.

Dr. Allison Thompson having a studio visit with Raquel Marshall

Dr. Allison Thompson having a studio visit with Raquel Marshall

After having a studio visit with Art historian, Author and Head of the Division of Fine Arts at The Barbados Community College, Dr. Allison Thompson, I was challenged to explore the fragility of the work more, which is an aspect we both find intriguing. Since then, I have been more daring and have started pressing the clay between my fingers to create paper thin sides. The vessels are very brittle now, and I am holding them like I would a premature baby as I do the finishing touches. And yet even with the desire to be gentle, I have thrown caution to the wind as I expect some may crack and some may even break and may need repairing after firing. Now, I am excited to see the results and I actually WANT some to break!

Raquel Marshall in conversation with Juliana Inniss

Raquel Marshall in conversation with Juliana Inniss

I am very grateful to Julianna Innis, an amazing ceramicist, who also came to visit me this week as I requested. I wanted to show her the ceramics and get her feedback. I had recently done a Raku Firing workshop with her and Joanne Johnson at The Barn Art Centre, and I wanted to incorporate what I learned into my ceramic installation. She has agreed to assist me.

I also made some progress on another concept. It consists of two large 3-Dimensional pieces using bean bags. One of these bean bags once sat in my living room, where the idea was first conceived. This bean bag provided a comfortable place to relax and read, watch TV e.t.c. It got me thinking that when a person is in such a comfortable spot, it becomes hard to move out. I want to reflect the Caribbean’s relaxed way of life (which is one of the reasons I love it here), but from a different perspective – one which challenges the “no worries, man” attitude which can lead to the neglect of some very important issues – like our complacency towards alcohol consumption. I think of the traditional travel posters which promote the Caribbean with a collection of images such as a beach chair, umbrella, beach and a potent drink, for example. Very inviting not only to tourists but also to locals. Nothing is wrong with this in itself, but my concern about our culture is that at most events, whether be it a dinner, a beach picnic, painting class, a sport or even a child’s birthday party, alcohol is not only available but it is expected.

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The bean bag I decided to work on first is large, fluffy, wine coloured, and subliminally calls you to curl in. Extending from beneath are eight octopus-like tentacles adorned with hooks and weights and whatever else I can think to put on them. Should you stay there too long, a tentacle may just grab you, making it even more difficult to get out. Statistics have shown that people who are more susceptible to alcohol abuse as they age are those who start at young ages, those who grow up watching their parents drink or have alcoholism in their family history. I have only just attached these tentacles, and I am loving everything about the work so far; have you ever had a vision in your head, and when it comes to fruition and fulfils everything you expected it to be, you just want to dance? Well, I had to pelt a little waist in excitement.

One of the most challenging aspects of the residency for me has been writing this blog. Writing about my work in terms of context and process is something I have not done in a very long time. I have found the exercise has helped to bring focus and better prepares me to talk about the work. I realised this when I met with Dr. Thompson and Ewan Atkinson; I had requested Atkinson for a studio visit with me as I trust his aesthetic critique, and I know he isn’t going to sugar coat any of his responses.  I found myself more sure of my ideas and more clear in my explanation of the works’ development. I may just start my own blog before the end of the month.

I also discovered Theaster Gates this week. I was amazed that he had done a whole series with fire hoses. It reminded me very much of the seat belts that I have been using.

Leann and I are currently trying to decide what our community involvement will be. This is a welcomed requirement of the residency. We have decided that we would do something together at a local school close by, but when and what is still to be determined.

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CBB Logo White & Black TextThis residency is sponsored by the Central Bank of Barbados

Raquel Marshall’s Residency – Week 1 Blog Post

Barbadian visual artist Raquel Marshall writes about the first week of her Fresh Milk residency. Eager to get started, Raquel has been using her time to explore new ideas, take in the creative environment with her fellow resident artists and utilize the material in the Colleen Lewis Reading Room for research, as she considers the context of her work in this space. This residency is generously supported by the Central Bank of Barbados. Read more here:

The first week of my residency at Fresh Milk went by in a swoosh.  I quickly felt at home here, and was able to settle and take advantage of “my time.” Coming into the residency, I already had some concepts in mind and was eager to develop them. I decided to start working on an installation using clay. While creating this, I’ve been pondering denial and the human survival instinct of hiding truths, either from each other or from ourselves. I managed 6 small pieces so far and am feeling accomplished.

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I am blessed to be sharing this creative space with Matthew ‘Kupakwashe’ Murrell and Leann Edghill. Mathew and I engaged in a long, interesting conversation about Caribbean music, Barbadian music, calypso, soca and bashment soca on a long drive to drop him home one day. Consider me now more “edumacated.” He is passionate about cultural studies. Leann’s work intrigues me, as I find common threads between our practices, and yet our work is so different. I can’t wait to see what comes out of HER residency!

In between the interaction, the creating and the trying to source a variety of things, the Colleen Lewis reading room occupied the rest of my attention. Contemporary artists,  Richard Bellingham and Rehema Chachage, caught my attention this week and I am currently watching the ART21 DVD series about art in the 21 st century.

Onward and upward.

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CBB Logo White & Black TextThis residency is sponsored by the Central Bank of Barbados

Fresh Milk welcomes Leann Edghill and Raquel Marshall to the platform

Leann and Raquel Flyer

Fresh Milk is excited to welcome our next two local residents for 2016, Barbadian artists Leann Edghill and Raquel Marshall, who will be on the platform between September 5 – 30, 2016. Their residency is generously supported by the Central Bank of Barbados.

During the one-month residency, Leann will continue her series of work  which explores the naivety of ‘Barbie and her friends’, whose perfect fantasy world she has previously collided with historical, real-world events, this time using a more local Barbadian context. Raquel’s work will be exploring the effects of alcoholism and addictive behaviours, particularly the denial that is often encountered in relation to these issues, which are sometimes accepted or even celebrated.

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About Leann:

Leann Edghill is a twenty-three year old Barbadian artist working predominantly with painting. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Barbados Community College in 2015. Edghill is currently a member of two art communities in Barbados: ‘Strokes’, a group of artists that hosts annual art exhibitions, and the Barbados Arts Council. Edghill’s artwork uses monochromatic colour schemes, minimal pop art structures, simplistic shapes and symmetry, breaking down images to minimalist forms.

Her current body of work uses imagery of Barbie dolls, making reference to her childhood, which she inserts into visual representations of major events that have occurred over the years from 1959 (the year Barbie was first introduced) to present day . Although a number of significant historical events have taken place, whether positive or negative, the character of ‘Barbie’ remained unaffected, living her own fantasy with no regard for the world around her or her impact on young girls.

Edghill also has a love for makeup artistry, and has combined this with her skills as a painter to create designs through body-painting, which is another aspect of her artistic practice.

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About Raquel:

Barbadian born Raquel Marshall is an artist who is slowly returning to the national arena. For the past decade or so she has dedicated her time to her family while also working as an office administrator and private art tutor. Marshall is a mother of two boys and shares her love of art with her husband, Nicky Marshall.

Marshall prefers to use images rather than words to express her experiences and feelings, and much of her work is an overflow of situations, thoughts, and concerns, both past and present. Her pet themes deal with racial issues, women’s issues, spirituality, alcoholism and escapism.  Although serious topics, she portrays them in playful ways.

Since graduating from the Barbados Community College in 1998 with a Bachelors in Fine Arts (First Class Honours), she has had the privilege of exhibiting locally and internationally, including in London, France, Cuba and Belgium, mainly working in assemblages and printmaking. In college she discovered the work of Robert Rauschenberg and Joseph Cornell, who inspired her and set the foundation for her work at an early stage. Marshall also paints, and is currently experimenting with video, sound and photography. She draws on any technique that will help her achieve her vision and is not afraid to adapt, learn something new or collaborate.

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CBB Logo White & Black Text

This residency is sponsored by the Central Bank of Barbados

Anisah Wood’s Residency – Week 4 Blog Post

Barbadian artist Anisah Wood, recipient of the 2016 ‘My Time’ Local Residency at Fresh Milk, shares her final blog post. The last week was hectic, including public presentations, the conclusion of her Quid Pro Quo skills-exchange programme and interactions with fellow creatives on the platform, but the experience and the material sourced in the Colleen Lewis Reading Room during her residency is sure to have left a significant and ongoing impression on Anisah’s practice moving forward. Read more below:

Monday – the FRESH MILK XIX public event.
Tuesday – the final Quid Pro Quo session hosted by Torika.
Wednesday – the presentation for participants in a UNESCO Workshop.
Thursday – positioned myself in front of Torika’s camera as part of her project in response to her time in Barbados

Yup, clearly the final week of this residency was eventful, hectic, yet enjoyable. These events allowed for an expansion in my network, an interchange of thoughts and ideas, and collaborations with a fellow artist.

During the in-between moments I decided to peruse the text Caribbean: Art at the Crossroads of the World. Within this comprehensive book I stumbled across a work by Dominic Serres entitled The Capture of Havana, 1762. The English Battery Before Morro Castle, c. 1775. This painting pays homage to the epic battle between Spain and Britain towards the end of the Seven Years’ War. In fact this was the last major episode of the Seven Years’ War, which so happened to be meted out in Caribbean waters and involved the capture of Havana.

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The Islands as a battleground. The site of Euro-American conflicts and ambitions. Colonialism and territoriality.

Continually I am amazed at the fact that global contemporary issues involving borders, territory and migration are concerns that have affected the Caribbean for centuries, indelibly shaping the region’s identity. So then what are the effects of these events on the contemporary Caribbean? And how can this territorial history and the current manifestation of this history and concerns within the region add to the global debate regarding borders?

On a lighter note, I crocheted a small bag as a parting gift to the Bolatagici family. I also got a chance to observe Renelde take charge as she directed the actors for the play she had taken on board for her residency. It was actually quite riveting to observe the methods of production within another artistic field. I also commenced on a small project in response to the thoughts I have been reading, and enjoyed small eats with fellow Quid Pro Quo participants.

Now My Time at Fresh Milk as a resident is up. It is a bitter sweet moment knowing that those who were residents with me, along with those who willingly volunteered to be part of the Quid Pro Quo programme, will be parting ways. But how wonderful it was to have been able to make the acquaintance of such interesting and passionate people. And as I pack my Georgie bundle and contemplate on my time spent here, I feel satisfied and grateful for this experience. Now it’s time for my next step towards the deep end of the art world.

Thank you to the Fresh Milk team, Torika Bolatagici and her family, Sheena Weekes, Akhaji Zakiya, all those who came out and supported the FRESH MILK XIX public event, and all others who consistently demonstrated their support during my time at Fresh Milk.

Open Call: ‘My Time’ Local Residency 2016

Fresh Milk is pleased to share, for the third year in a row, an open call for the ‘My Time’ Local Residency 2016.

Fresh Milk local residency flyer

Having again received generous support to make this residency possible, one Barbadian artist will be selected from this call to undertake a one-month residency at Fresh Milk, and will receive a stipend of $1,000.00 BBD towards their production costs. Visual artists working in a variety of disciplines (sculpture, installation, painting, drawing, performance, photography, new media, interdisciplinary) are invited to apply.

We are particularly interested this year in artists whose work reflects on culture, identity and place in ways which fall outside of stereotypical narratives, challenging the notion that culture must be read or represented in a singular way.

Emphasis on a cross-disciplinary approach to research and production is also an area we are interested in supporting; the selected artist will share the studio with an artist, researcher and educator whose work centres around the creation, presentation, promotion and facilitation of critical discourse around contemporary Pacific arts practice. This could be an exciting opportunity for collaboration or cross-pollination of ideas during the shared time on the platform.

Duration of Residency:  4 weeks

FRESH MILK will provide:

– A $1,000.00 BBD stipend to the artist
– Wireless internet
– A 15.5 x 14 ft studio space
– A wide expanse of rural land
– Access to the Colleen Lewis Reading Room on site
– A varied network of creatives to connect with including an international resident artist with whom the successful candidate will share the platform
– The option to participate in a public event showcasing the outcome of the residency

Eligibility criteria:

–  Artist must be Barbadian
–  Artist must not have taken part in an on-site Fresh Milk Residency within the last 2 years

Expectations of the Artist:

–  Artist must come out to the studio a minimum of four days per week between Monday and Friday. Studio access is between 8 am and 6 pm
–  Artist must supply their own materials and equipment
–  Artist must complete some form of public outreach in relation to the work created during the residency (artist talk/presentation, workshop, exhibition, etc.)
–  Artist will be required to keep a weekly blog of their activities and processes, and submit a report to Fresh Milk at the conclusion of the residency
–  Artist will be required to donate a piece of work to the donor who made this residency possible

Application Process:

To be considered, please submit the following to freshmilkbarbados@gmail.com with the subject line ‘My Time Local Residency 2016 Proposal’:

–   The completed application form which can be downloaded here (includes applicant’s contact information, an artist statement, and full residency proposal)
–  An up to date Curriculum Vitae (CV)
–  A numbered portfolio of 5-10 images (or 2-3 short videos as the case may be) of recent work
–  An index of the portfolio pieces in numerical order, with the title, medium and date listed

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

The deadline for submission is March 28th, 2016. The residency must take place between June 6 – July 1, 2016.