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Dub from Israel to Jamrock - Alon Braier Winner of the International Reggae Poster Competition 2012
Kingston, Jamaica: When judging ended on the first International Reggae Poster Competition, Israeli freelance illustrator Alon Braier had copped the top prize with his Roots of Dub poster. Braier’s work had been selected from from a field of 1142 entries coming from 80 countries, as graphic artists from around the world internalized the moods and message of reggae and presented a visual representation.
“It is my tribute to my personal favourite style in Reggae. It is just my humble tribute to this great music,” Braier told Susumba.com. He revealed that he had not expected to win. He explains that design can be a very solitary thing as you often create in a room by yourself and so you’re never sure how it will be received.
“You just send it out there and hope,” he said. “Like a message in a bottle.” His message clearly resonated with the judges.
Earlier in his short address to the audience Braier had explained that he was both honoured and humbled to be a part of the process.”I have to admit I’m not a man of words,” he told the audience, “but these words come from the bottom of my heart.”
“It’s really amazing what one poster can do,” he said, pointing to the potential of the graphic art form to incite social change. “They don’t teach you that in art school.”
Alon grew up with some Reggae exposure through the his father’s record collection which included Reggae-pop albums. Additionally, he discovered Roots Reggae when he encountered albums by Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and artists on the Trojan label, while he w, he list his first real Reggae experience as occurring seven years ago.
“Seven years ago I went to a Reggae festival in Israel and this is where I experienced the vibe of the music, not just as a song on the radio,” he said. It was at this festival that he developed a greater appreciation for the music.
It was however while he was in his third year at the Bezabel Academy of Art and Design (Jerusalem) that he discovered and fell in love with dub music. Braier explains that it is dub in its truest and earliest expressions that he admires. The poster declares this. At centre is of the image is King Tubby, the man hailed as the originator of dub, wearing his trademark merino and a crown. Lee Scratch Perry another of the great dub-originators also makes an appearance in the poster.
Braier is also a musician playing saxophone and bass guitar, and has played with local Reggae bands in Israel. The illustrator has also begun experimenting with dub creations through his small in-home studio.
Braier’s visit to Jamaica to participate in the opening of the exhibition was facilitated by the Israeli Government as a cultural exchange between Jamaica and Israel. His visit therefore also includes participation in a seminar of art and social change at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, and a workshop on poster design at the Alpha Boys School.
The International Reggae Poster competition is the brainchild of Jamaican designer Michael Thompson and was organized by Thompson and Grecian graphic artist Maria Papaefstathiou. The top 100 entries are currently being exhibited at the National Gallery of Jamaica, downtown Kingston under the title ‘World-a-Reggae': The 100 Best Entries from the First International Poster Contest. At the close of the exhibition, November 2012, the posters will be auctioned with all proceeds going to the Alpha Boys School.