Saturday, March 31, 2012

In Honour of Trayvon Martin

Yesterday Sinead O'connor's voice rang
loud angry courageous
pleading to the world
to shake ourselves from hatred and ignorance
to be not stupid
to wake up to the scientific facts
to wake up to the one mother gene we all possess
the one mother gene called Mother Afrika

Yesterday Sinead O'connor's voice shook
me to my white skinned self
to my priveleged core
i imagined my self shot on an isolated city corner
knowing the person who shot me
could never plead self-defence
with a skin colour darker then mine

Yesterday Sinead O'connor's voice quaked
and i was rocked into a deeper understanding
of the killing of a 17 year old black boy
and i felt O'connor's lyrics of the past
and i heard the poetry of Alice Walker,
Audre Lorde and other great civil right poets
still bearing witness to the murder of their own,
still bearing witness to
racist attitudes and murderous actions
that would arrest and charge my murderer
but not that of their son, Trayvon Martin.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Caribbean Womyn's Art Exhibit

Yesterday, Maya and I travelled to St. George’s to drop off paintings for the up- coming Caribbean Women's Art Exhibition. I am honoured and humbled to be part of this powerful exhibit whose theme "Home and Away" depicts womyn’s stories of home, of distance, of immigrant life, of the womyn in the diaspora, of identity and place. Questions were posed such as, what does it mean to be a female artist in the Caribbean? What does it mean to live or grow up in another place; to build a new life; to return to another home? Questions that guided our visual stories and are presently being gathered in preparation for the Opening March 31st, 2012! Below you will find the poster and write up of the show. If you are in Grenada I hope to see you there! And if not stay tuned for a visual blog on the event!

I also want to give a big Thanks and Praise to Tracey Chan and Stacey Byer, two soul spirit Caribbean artists, whose energy and creativeness have inspired this show and other womyn inspired shows!
Much love, gratitude and respect!

Caribbean Art project and 4Hr Nap Collective will host Women Make Art (WOMA) 2012, “Home & Away”, an art exhibition featuring over 30 women artists from the Caribbean and the diaspora. The show includes emerging and professional Grenadian artists as well as artists from Trinidad, Jamaica, Haiti, Aruba, and the Bahamas and working in Canada, the US, the UK and Germany.

This diverse group of women will share works that have interpreted the theme “Home & Away” in unique ways. Through their use of diverse media: painting, illustration, photography, and mixed media these artists seek to deal with many aspects of the identity and place - of distance, of the working woman, and of life in the diaspora.

Chan says “This year we decided to expand our reach and invite artists from the region to join us. We are not disappointed – we are showing works by some of the region’s top contemporary artists like Olivia McGilchrist (Jamaica) and Florine Demosthene (Haiti/NY).” On the Grenadian art selection, Byer is excited, “We have full range of work – painting, digital art, photography, weaving and metal work, with artists like Malaika Brooks-Smith-Lowe, Cecilia Younger, GĂ©raldine Le Leannec and Kato Charles.” The show will also feature a guest street artist installation outside the Gallery building from Trinidad-based team Pinky and Emigrante.

Caribbean Art project (CAp) has previously hosted exhibitions with prolific Grenadian and international artists. Their mission involves informing, educating, documenting and exhibiting Caribbean artists, building a database, and allowing individual development and sales opportunities, as well as facilitating development in artist and collector communities. Erik Johnson and Meg Conlon direct the organization, and have partnered with 4Hr Nap once more for this show.

4Hr Nap is an art collective that visual artists Stacey Byer and Tracey Chan have created as a framework for creativity, inspiration, exhibition and education. Their vision is to contribute to local and international art communities; create opportunities for Caribbean artists through exhibitions and events; and collaborate with other professional artists and groups. Their talents form a fluid team with dynamic energy that offers fresh, innovative ideas. They have been working together since March 2011, curating Grenada’s first all women art exhibition, Women Make Art (WOMA) and November 2011’s “Paradise”.

The exhibition’s opening reception on Saturday, March 31st is at 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm at the Gallery, Paddock, St. George’s (Springs-Belmont Junction - below Europa). Weekday openings are Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm, Thursday 6-8pm, and weekends, 11am - 5pm or by appointment. The show runs until Saturday 14th April, 2012.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

In Honour of International Women's Day

In Sisters we praise
the long pauses of togetherness,
the merging of our deep rooted selves,
the gathering of our most difficult and joyous days,
the celebrations unfolding,
between the chaos and courage of our lives.

In Sisters we praise
shared glances of remembering,
soups of certainty,
teas brewed and sipped slowly,
endless spiraling conversations,
full of our glorious wondrous selves.

In Sisters we praise
the children we share,
those who find shelter
under our collective web of wings,
our nurturing caresses,
our natural abilities to open ourselves up
and gather the small ones to our sides,
releasing them into a world
we tend to ceaselessly.

In Sisters we praise
the deep long breaths we take for one another,
brief telephone calls,
a passing hug while driving by,
an unexpected openness of time
carved for the sharing,
for the conclusions we make about life
in all its grandness,
in all its smallness,
in all its in between ness.

In Sisters we praise
the turning of tides,
the strengthening of seasons,
the acceptance of moods full blown,
measuring the chaos between the celebrations.

In Sisters we praise
the comfortableness of silence,
feelings expressed and feelings hidden,
exploration of days gone mad
and then days ripe
for blooming.

In Sisters we praise
the gentleness of love,
the heroic spaces of forgiveness,
the warriorship of empathy,
the sweet melodious conversations,
the creativity of love,
simple enduring love,
and then not so simple fleeting love
with memories intact.

In Sisters we praise
the aging of life,
the pauses for reflection,
solitudes awakened,
red tents sprouting all around us.

In Sisters we praise
our natural ability to celebrate the struggles
while nurturing wide fields of possibility,
brief glimpses into aging lives,
of warrior women
calling all sisters
to throw open wide
and sing
In Sisters We Praise!

maureen st.clair