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'New Roots': Young Artists Take 'Root' at the National Gallery of Jamaica

Walls of NGJ transformed being by 'new roots' - art by Matthew McCarthy

The writing is on the wall, and not just the Facebook Wall, it is actually being plastered all over the walls of the National Gallery of Jamaica: there is a new breed of artists coming up and they are taking root. To showcase these young talents, The NGJ will be opening the New Roots exhibition presenting works from 10 artists, all under 40 years and working in traditional and new media.

New Roots: 10 Emerging Artists will feature the works of Deborah Anzinger, Varun Baker, Camille Chedda, Gisele Gardner, The Girl and the Magpie, Matthew McCarthy, Olivia McGhilchrist, Astro Saulter, Nile Saulter and Ikem Smith.

According to a release put forward by the NGJ, New Roots aims to identity and encourage new directions in Jamaican art world and promises to “surprise, challenge and hearten the arts community and broader society”. The exhibition will feature painting, digital photography, video and animation.

“There are no deliberate common themes in the exhibition,” the release said, “but the title New Roots was chosen, with some ironic intent, to signal how the work reflects the current cultural moment - a moment of undeniable crisis, globally and locally, in which the older, postcolonial search for cultural affirmation (and “roots”) has been replaced by a new willingness to acknowledge and embrace uncertainty and instability, at the personal and the collective level.”

The exhibition has been curated by Dr. Veerle Poupeye (Executive Director of the NGJ), Nicole Smythe Johnson, O’neil Lawrence and the NGJ’s curatorial department.

New Roots will open on Sunday, July 28, 2013 and has been twinned with the gallery’s Last Sundays programme. The opening will therefore feature a performance by Jamaican rocker Kat CHR. Petrona Morrison, Director, School of the Visual Arts at the Edna Manley College will provide opening comments.

Doors open at 11:00 pm and the programme is slated to begin at 1:00pm