CREATIVE SPACE #24 OF 2022 (Uploaded November 29th 2022)
CREATIVE SPACE is an award-winning series spotlighting local (Antiguan and Barbudan/Caribbean) art and culture. As a brand, it dates back to 2009, published exclusively in LIAT’s inflight magazine. It was revamped in 2018 as a blog series and syndicated as of 2019 on Antiguanice.com. Its publishing partner, as of 2020, is the Daily Observer newspaper. It has its first print run in the paper every other Wednesday, with the online extended edition with EXTRAS running here on the blog and full interviews and extras on AntiguanWriter on YouTube. In 2021, the two–part CREATIVE SPACE mini-series on marine culture placed third in the OECS clean oceans journalists challenge. CREATIVE SPACE is created, owned, and written by Joanne C. Hillhouse – Antiguan-Barbudan/Caribbean author, journalist, producer, and freelance writer, editor, and trainer.
Here’s a link to the issue as it appeared in the Daily Observer newspaper on November 30th 2022:
Below is the extended online edition (not a duplicate of the edition with publishing partner Observer Media) with EXTRAS.
CREATIVE SPACE #24 OF 2022: ARTING AROUND
Try to do some of that this season. Even if you can’t afford to contribute to the creation of or purchase art which is the reality for many, being in an art space feeds the cultural ecosystem and – bonus – can lift your spirits.
The Spilling Ink – spotlighted in CREATIVE SPACE in 2020 – has returned to live sessions of its popular Poetry in the Park series, with a number of young poets speaking their hearts in to the open mic at the 90s Lounge on High Street. I was especially happy at the November session to catch featured singer Laikan, whose EP, The Lore, was included October 2022 in my CREATIVE SPACE spotify playlist of Antiguan and Barbudan female artistes.
She performed all of my favourites – “Who Then?”, “Jus Kool”, “Haunted”, and “New Kinda Sun”, and in her assured set even gave me a new appreciation for her personal favourite, “Red Light Special”. The teacher and student by day in the in-between banter tickled and impressed the audience with reflections on the challenges of being an artiste existing in Antigua and the rapid fire creation of her songs. The songs are a whole vibe but sometimes live performances fail to deliver; not the case here. Laikan is not a belter but her smoky range was perfect for the intimate setting, her voice sounded much like it does on the recording, but with the personality you can only truly get from a live set; and what a set of catchy songs (shout out to Island Trap). The Lore should be streaming and selling high numbers.
Shout out, too, to the various artists – Mark Brown, Candi Coates, Guava de Artist, Emile Hill, Bert Kirchner, and Dylan Philips – featured, also this November, in the Art in Antigua Exhibition staged at Catherine’s Café at Pigeon Point. I enjoyed this event because it was my first visual arts outing in a while – second of the pandemic era after Heather Doram’s show last December – with another one scheduled for December 18th 2022. I enjoyed the Art in Antigua show for the discoveries, as I was not familiar with Dylan’s darkly fantastical imagery nor Candi’s meditations on enslavement and freedom for Afro-Antiguans, and had not seen Bert’s work live.
I enjoyed it for the opportunity to visit with the work of artists whose work I have previously appreciated (Hill, Guava, Mark) and to catch up with the artists: With Emile about the inspiration (the art of costume designer Kevon Moitt), intricate detail (various sea elements) and ferocious impact (she is a goddess) of “Protector”;
with Guava, who said, “I like to mess around with sci-fi and futurism”, as seen in eco-art “Ocean Sewage” in which a turtle, from whom much symbolism can be extracted, literally carries man’s waste on his back and in afro-futurist “Being” which integrates traditional African aesthetic with future ideas and visuals – in his cartoon-esque style.
I enjoyed it for the way art haunts you – literally. “That picture by Mark Brown is still haunting me,” my friend said days after we had attended the show. That picture was “Blunted”, a striking portrait, created in just three days, that, as Mark explained, blended hard and soft. The artist just back from a showing in France said, “I am evolving as the work demands it.”
If I’ve teased your interest for some local art, Emile informed me of a student and teacher art exhibition on at the Multipurpose Centre to December 2nd and if you’re online, follow the social media of the various artists and Art in Antigua & Barbuda, organizers of the event – which has another show scheduled for December 11th at Lucky Eddi’s, also in English Harbour.
Finally, I stopped briefly by Genre Day, a creative initiative by the English department, at Novelle Richards Academy – observing the students and teachers engaged in character cosplay, and presentations of song and dance of different genres, before sharing briefly from my Caribbean faerie tale With Grace.
Such excitement; I wish I had (better) pictures to share.
The headline of this issue is a call back to a column I had in the glossy magazine Essential, produced by Homegrown Publications in the 2000s – only my second attempt to become a media mogul (after independent web news site of the late 90s and early 00s sourceab.com).
If you would like to be featured in a future CREATIVE SPACE or to pay for a (web only) advertisement or sponsored post (on jhohadli.wordpress.com exclusively), BOOSTing your BRAND while boosting Antigua-Barbuda Art and Culture, contact Joanne. Contact me also to explore advertising options.
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