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Separated by water and a forty minute flight (Arnaldo Week 1)

March 26, 2014

:: Reflections by Arnaldo James our visiting artist resident ::

Time in Grenada is one rapid immersion, my intention has been to gain a sense of Grenadian life apart from tourism endeavours. At its root this exploration is a visual exercise that’s grounded on observation, but as that began conversation has overwhelmingly enveloped the time here. The Grenadians I’m surrounded by have many informed perspectives and are open to sharing them. The politics of race, sexuality, privilege and exploitation have been what my conversations are governed by. This has been great for me as I’m constantly identifying and analysing each is of these in my life and creative works.

Part of the process for this creative journey involves limiting secondary information sources until on-site residency completion. I arrived with a nugget of information that  shaped my interactions with the space but by relying on my Trinidadianess as a frame of reference I intend to discern difference in cultural practices between these two multi-island nations. Interpretations and assumptions about European colonised and ex-enslave African English speaking Caribbean heritage spaces that inherited and negotiate ideas of commodification, service, faith, progress, acceptance, identity expression, mass  education, foreign aid, tourism and travel, constitutes the nugget of knowledge I arrived with. Now that I’ve written my points of reference I recognise the complex ways these notion integrate and a sensation of share dread comes over me fearing that the work produced will not be well articulated or make significant contribution to any dialogue about the space. Deep breath.

Other general observations I’ve made are subjective sentiments of personal encounters thus far and are not meant to be an unchanging definitive of the entire space. Both the commercial urban capitol and the suburban residential space I’m in are significantly quieter than Port of Spain, urgency in public spaces appears relegated to matters of vehicular transit. Polite interactions of protocol occur frequently on the streets, daily greetings involving a head nod and eye contact often in unison occur creating a sense of friendly community. The buildings surrounding the ruins of St George’s Anglican Church are of particular interest to me, it’s an area of rich visual texture with commercial purpose integrated, this visual interest of mine continues to The Carenage. Harbour towns are unfamiliar spaces to me, by comparison one can be in Port of Spain or many parts of Trinidad and get little to no visible reinforcement of our relationship with the sea, which in my opinion is a critical component to the notion of islandness. Refocusing on Grenada, in Springs, a number of homes have façades that distinguish the lower and upper levels, this design trend is pulling my creative attention somewhat, ideas of development and dichotomy come to mind.

Often it is quite difficult for me to internalise occurrences and identify factors for particular manifestations of behaviour as I’m observing or participating. On this residency I’ve given myself the added task of generating work influenced by this Grenadian journey which has me in a somewhat jarred state. In future anticipate another reflection about experiencing the unexpected, resources and wining men. Picture time.

Arnaldo James Groundation Grenada Artist Residency 3
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Arnaldo James Groundation Grenada Artist Residency
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Arnaldo James Groundation Grenada Artist Residency 9

 Come out Friday March 28th 6pm  ‘The Conversation with Arnaldo‘ at the National Museum


photo-9Arnaldo James
Groundation Grenada Artist Resident Mar. 2014  
Arnaldo a 26 year old from Trinidad & Tobago, is currently completing a postgraduate diploma in Arts and Cultural Enterprise Management at the University of the West Indies, where he received a BA in Visual Arts. An educator, freelance photographer, graphic designer & visual artist who works with youth from his community and beyond partnering with agencies to expand dialogue and access.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. krisstalina permalink
    March 27, 2014 6:46 am

    Yes, Church Street has many features, look for the sedan chair rests in one of the doorways opposite the school……. Lovely to see the City through the eyes of a different observer…… Kriss Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2014 01:20:28 +0000 To:

  2. La Tchipie permalink
    March 31, 2014 5:30 am

    Reblogged this on Envie de vibes positives ?.

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