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The Beach House Residency Open Day in Montego Bay

O'neil Lawrence, photographer & curator at NGJ is on the resident artists

For most of the year, The Beach House Jamaica, Montego Bay, is an idyllic villa beckoning those who want to get away from it all. However, for three weeks, four artists from Jamaica, Ireland and England, working in disparate fields have been exploring the work of the once notorious couturier Trevor Owen, the house’s owner, in the inaugural Beach House Residency series.

The residency will be staging an Open Day on August 10, which will provide the public with an opportunity to explore the work being created.

Though now relatively unknown, Owen had been a reputed fashion designer during the 1950s, 60s and 70s and was one of the founding members of the Jamaica Fashion Guilld, created to spur an incursion of Jamaican designers and manufacturers on the New York fashion scene. Owen’s work is being explored by photographer and National Gallery of Jamaica curator Oneil Lawrence, visual artist Marianne Keating, video and performance artist Olivia McGilchrist, and design historian and writer Davinia Gregory.

The exhibition opens at 4:00 pm and the day will also feel artist talks from the participants as well as projections at sundown.

The four artists were gathered by Joy Gregory who created the residency and will also be exhibiting her work at the Open Day.

“He’s sort of like a figure that has been overlooked,” explained Gregory. “He’s sort of interesting to me because he was the only man in the guild,” she noted. She explained that when Owen left the house, he left behind blocks and a suitcase filled with folio and letters which have served to inform the artists’ research into his work and impact into the wider Montego Bay community.

The residency hopes to simultaneously return Owen to the forefront of the arts landscape as well as produce a lasting contribution to the Montego Bay arts scene.

The Beach House residency series will continue annually. The Beach House is locate on Bogue Road, Montego Bay, Jamaica.