Social commentary and culture in art

Social commentary and culture in art

Written by Editor

Topics: Art & Photography

Members of the Jamaica Guild of Artists (JGA) recently displayed their works at an exhibition entitled “The Healing Power of Art” at Eden Gardens in St. Andrew. The venue proved to be the ideal location to explore the therapeutic value of art, as well as its role as a vehicle for social commentary and cultural expression. Among the artists whose works were on show were Edward Channer, president of the JGA, Sharon Fox-Mould, immediate past president of the JGA, Viv Logan, Myrth Hall Butler, Howard Moo Young and Betty Glanville.

Edward Channer (left), president of the Jamaica Guild of Artists (JGA), discusses his work with Sharon Fox-Mould (right), immediate past president of the JGA.

Sharon Fox-Mould, immediate past president of the Jamaica Guild of Artists (JGA) examines one of her colourful pieces.

“Eden Gardens shared their space with us and invited their clients and the people connected to them to view our exhibition. It is called “The Healing Power of Art” because art that is uplifting and stimulates the person also creates a place of upliftment, and all the artists here are presenting the things that they find uplifting,” stated Fox-Mould.

She added that many of the works on display highlighted important aspects of Jamaican culture and patrimony, from Viv Logan’s evocative dancers to Betty Glanville’s colourful representation of the island’s endangered species. She also noted that as part of the effort to uplift the nation through art, the work of artists such as Edward Channer contains social commentary that serve to spark much needed discussion on important issues.

"It's a comment on our lifestyle...what we have done to our youth." - Edward Channer, president of the Jamaica Guild of Artists (JGA)

One particular piece by Channer depicts a young, innocent-faced girl with a straw hat in the incongruous setting of a bar. Her fingers form the shape of a gun as she partially clutches a popular Jamaican beer.

“It’s appealing visually, but it’s really talking to some of our social issues in Jamaica in a subtly way. It’s a comment on our lifestyle…what we have done to our youth,” said Channer.

The exhibition comes at the tail-end of what Fox-Mould described as a tough year for artists, who continue to occupy the lower region of the cultural and creative industries salary scale.

“Art is not being fully embraced as culture…we have a lot of young people we would like to bring into the profession, but we have to create a strong industry for them with an income stream,” stated Fox-Mould.

Myrth Hall Butler discusses her piece on revivalism in Jamaica.

Betty Glanville casts the spotlight on Jamaica's Giant Swallowtail Butterflly, an endangered species.

Betty Glanville's original watercolour on paper captures the Jamaican Giant Swallowtail Butterfly, which is the second largest butterfly in the world and largest in the hemisphere.

Artist Viv Logan's evocative dancer.

1 Comment For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Zhanae Brissett says:

    I am a big fan of Viv Logan and her work an this is one of my favourite piece….I hope that someday I will be as good as she is. :)

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