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Astro: The Morning Star Exhibition Launched
Astro Saulter had his shining moment on Saturday afternoon with the opening of his first exhibition Astro: The Morning Star at Studio 174, in downtown Kingston. Saulter, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as an infant began his artistic foray in 2012 and according to his artistic statement, his digital images to become his chief mode of expression.
For the occasion, he borrowed the voice of his brother, Storm, to speak to the audience. Storm read Atro’s artist’s statement, an eloquent explanation of his foray into art and what it means to him.
"I have no voice but I am not silent,” the statement says. “I use tools beyond my physical body to communicate. Across the years my voice ha ls been expressed mostly by through the written word via a computer and now in recent years it has become my artwork more than words that has satisfied my deep need to connect with people in an authentic way."
The artist statement also speaks to Astro’s belief in the value of art as well as the process and the challenges therein. His wish to inspire and his sense of community with other artists. Indeed, part proceeds from the exhibition will be used in the Astro Foundation which will pursue helping the physically challenged express themselves through art.
The unveiling wasn't only for the burgeoning audience but also for Astro who up to that moment had not seen the exhibition and so the full fruits of the painstaking labour. 34 year-old Astro Saulter, is one of eight children. His brothers Storm and Nile Saulter have already begun to stamp their mark on the Caribbean artistic landscape through their films.
Studio 174, located almost a stone's throw away from the NGJ in downtown Kingston, engages in art and art therapy with residents from the nearby inner-city communities. The studio’s founder and director Rosie Chung pointed explained the genesis of the studio.
"Originally I wanted to use the space for myself,” she explained. “but saw it fit and better to use it for the community." She also pointed out that students from Studio 174 created the striking mural now residing on Knutsford Blvd. Creation of the boulevard was sponsored by the Digicel Foundation.
"Astro I am so touched to actually be the first person to showcase your work in Jamaica," Chung said.
The evening also included a performance by Nomaddz, who delivered the energetic set of songs ‘Heaven on Earth’, ‘Rise Above Profanity’ and ‘Take You to a Place’. During the performance, Sheldon Shepherd spoke of the first time he met Astro. He noted, that he too had fallen into the trap of stereotype and assumed that Astro could not understand him.
Indeed, that is the most important element of the exhibition which showcases inspiring possibilities. Through these 35 digital impressions which touch on the Caribbean landscapes, makes comments about impressions of physical beauty and even touches on Barack Obama, Astro: The Morning Star, shines with possibility.