About Kraig Yearwood:
Kraig Yearwood is a Barbadian artist and designer. Yearwood studied graphic design at Barbados Community College. He has worked as a freelance graphic designer, and has also worked as lead designer for his self owned clothing label where he has showcased at some of the region’s biggest fashion weeks. His mainly uses mixed media in his visual art practice and to date he has exhibited in numerous local and international group shows, as well as having 5 solo exhibitions.
Yearwood says his approach to his work is partially intuitive while often informed by minimalist sensibilities, and lists eclectic influences such as introspection, relationships, nature and local and global current affairs for much of his production. Many compositions certainly feature a sense of structure and order that we often associate with graphic design, yet these elements are often broken and interrupted by marks that suggest another layer of idiosyncratic reasoning.
And so, the journey begins….
As soon as I learned I’d been awarded this residency, I was engulfed by two emotions: excitement and nervousness. I was excited that I’d perhaps have an opportunity to explore new directions and materials; but also nervous because I haven’t been working on these types of projects for many months, and now I actually have to kick into gear and get to work.
This 1st week, I stuck to my plan of doing as much reading and research as possible on the themes and concepts that I was thinking of exploring, as well as on the materials I wish to delve into. I usually prefer solitude when I’m working – however, during this week, I don’t think that I’ve ever felt more alone with my thoughts or more aware of time. Never a bad thing, right?
It’s now the conclusion of my 2nd week at the Fresh Milk residency, and I’m a bit more focused and much more clear on the direction of the work. Usually my mixed media production relies on the use and incorporation of items and found objects that I find some aesthetic quality in, but during this residency my main focus will be exploring the inclusion of garbage and objects mainly acquired during my walks and runs across the length and breath of Barbados, as well as trash generated during my stay.
In the week ahead, it’s my hope continue to work on a few of the themes I’ve been developing and to introduce the use of resin.
During my 1st week and most of my 2nd, I’ve had neither the time nor the head-space to enjoy and appreciate just how beautiful the grounds that are home to Fresh Milk are. It was while waiting for cement to dry on Friday that I decided to explore the outside of my studio a bit take in the amazing flora and fauna in every corner. Yes, while it’s true the Fresh Milk platform is located a working dairy farm, there’s no shortage of all manner of critters as well as an impressive array of plants and flowers and of course beautiful Caribbean light.
Week number 3 at Fresh Milk has been a mixed bag; and if I’m being totally honest, a bit disjointed.
Happily, I’ve really started to get a handle on how the concrete reacts, and as such a better understanding of its characteristics, possibilities and limitations. While I’m loving all its various textural nuances and the ability to embed various materials, getting accustomed to the materials’ prep and drying times has been a challenge since I am not used to using mediums with long drying times. Perhaps this stems from primarily utilizing a hairdryer for most of my acrylic works. This is my preferred method of hurrying the drying process, out of a little impatience and eagerness to allow additions to be made to artwork. However, I am getting used to the wait.
In addition, I’m gaining more clarity conceptually, relative to overall directions I wish to take, on individual pieces I’m working to resolve, and those I have yet to get started on. On Saturday, I was privileged to have a studio visit with Natalie McGuire, Gallery Manager at Gallery NuEdge, where we discussed the themes that I’m currently working on. I’m interested in using a broader theme of “the shifting philosophies of the traditional Caribbean landscape to one which is littered not only physically but figuratively as well.” The land is becoming a mirror for the mindsets of our people. This main theme of interest is accompanied by satellite themes of consumption, mass manufacturing and materialism.
It’s amazing how time flies. At the onset, a month seemed a long time, but with one week left I’ve constantly been feeling like I need to do more. This week I’ve found it hard to balance my output and expectations with all the other projects and commitments outside of the residency. It was only after a chat with an art colleague, that I was reminded that we are artists and not machines, that sometimes things happen in their own time.
So…it’s with that timely reminder that I go into my final week with renewed energy and a plan to focus on things that can realistically be completed by week’s end; with the knowledge that as the residency comes to a close, that the exploration has only just begun.