By JEFFARAH GIBSON
Tribune Features Writer
IN HER latest body of work Bahamian fine artist Nadine Seymour-Munroe travelled back in time to the yesteryears of Bahamian life.
The art exhibit “Feel the Rhythm” opened yesterday at Hillside House Art Gallery and is Nadine’s reflection of the “good ole days”. The artist seeks to bring alive people from the past so that the current generation can see what the Bahamas was like.
Anotinus Roberts, veteran artist and owner of Hillside House, has a long history with Nadine, as he once served as her mentor. He said it is an honour to host Nadine’s show at the gallery.
“The body of work is technically excellent. When you look beyond the technical attributes and the fact that she is a good painter, draftsman, graphic artist, it is the content, the story and the understanding that she connects to her heritage and her sense of place. Her work is very much inspired by her surroundings,” said Mr Roberts.
Nadine reveals the Bahamian past in paintings such as “Miss Audrey”, “Mr Cleare” and “The Honeymooners”. The use of repetition in colour and line also demonstrates the Bahamas’ African textile influences.
“My inspiration for ‘Feel the Rhythm’ is my absolute love for the Bahamas and what it offers: colour and culture. I am a Bahamian who loves switcha, potato bread, roast corn, flour cake, dilly, boil crab, three-rock outside cooking and colonial style houses with a porch in front. I lived with my grandmother for a few years in Cat Island and those were some of the best years of my childhood,” she said.
Nadine said the show was her attempt to keep the Bahamian past alive, a past the she loves and wants to share with all.
“Despite our divergences as a people, I feel that art is what we all have in common. I think art is a matter of life. It is about being a creator. Every world culture celebrates its uniqueness in artistic expressions and it has been my intent to express my personal experiences about our culture in my work.
“I see a new and more vibrant culture ascending through the arts – in aesthetics, folklore and music. In Bahamian culture, art is evolving in a new and expressive way, defining what we create from the spirit,” said Nadine.
“In my work, I create an atmosphere that hopefully reflects the fundamental essence of Bahamian Africanism which rests within a world view. This view is founded not in the colour of one’s skin, but an inner colour permeated by shapes and thoughts that enables people of all races to congregate and appreciate each other despite varying historical and personal circumstances,” she said. Nadine is free-spirited when it comes to art. The strokes of her paint brush are not dictated by specific themes, but by what she feels in her spirit. She finds most pleasure in creating artwork in this manner.
“I often say my work is about everything and nothing. My work is from the spirit. So whatever I feel that day, and whatever moves me that day, that is what I will create. Most of time I am very pleased with the results of what I have done. I am not tied. I am very free spirited when it comes to my art work.
“I love the idea of experimenting with new things. I can be unpredictable and exciting, free and sometimes conservative. I explore new and different ideas that I think will stir my artistic intellect to expand and at the same time enhance my creativity,” she said.
Nadine received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting/Printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 1997.
She is a recipient of scholarships and awards from the Lyford Cay Foundation, businessman and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, the Rhode Island School of Design and the Central Bank of The Bahamas. In 1999, she was also selected to represent the Bahamas in Paris at the Latin American and Caribbean Artist International Exhibition. She was also chosen to represent the Bahamas in a group exhibition in 2000 in Washington DC.
Nadine’s work can be found in private and corporate collections throughout the Bahamas including the D’Aguilar Art Foundation, the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) and the Dawn Davies Collection. Her most recent exhibitions were “Single Sex” at the NAGB and “40 Years of Bahamian Art” at the NAGB, both in 2013.
Nadine is the owner and founder of 3P Studios (Prolific Paints & Prints) and Gallery located in Sandyport, Nassau which displays her artwork daily.