Xaymaca: Nature and the Landscape in Jamaican Art, opened to the public on Friday, May 8. The exhibition featured work from our permanent collection, from the colonial period to the late 20th century, including a photographic selection.
The exhibition celebrates the spectacular natural beauty of Jamaica but also acknowledges how nature and the land carry the baggage of history and geo-politics, as is perhaps best illustrated by Colin Garland’s In the Beautiful Caribbean (1974), which takes centre stage in this exhibition. Some of the other artists in this exhibition are: George Robertson, J.B. Kidd, A. Duperly and Sons, Herbert Hood-Daniel, Edna Manley, Albert Huie, Michael Lester, Kapo and Everald Brown.
Taking the Taino name for the island of Jamaica, which translates as “land of wood and water,” as its point of departure, the Xaymaca exhibition celebrates the spectacular natural beauty of Jamaica, seen through the eyes of Jamaican and visiting artists from the colonial period to the present, but also acknowledges how nature and the land carry the baggage of history and contemporary politics. The exhibition features major works from the National Gallery of Jamaica collection and comprises four sections: plantation era art, with paintings and prints by George Robertson, J.B. Kidd, James Hakewill and John Eaves; early and twentieth photography by A. Duperly and Sons, Herbert Hood-Daniel and Robin Farquharson; paintings and one sculpture from the nationalist school of the mid-twentieth century by Edna Manley, Albert Huie and Ralph Campbell; and paintings and sculpture from the post-Independence generation, by Barrington Watson, Eugene Hyde, Colin Garland, Michael Lester, Mallica “Kapo” Reynolds, Everald Brown, Hope Brooks and Laura Facey. The exhibition was curated by Dr Veerle Poupeye, Executive Director of the National Gallery, and O’Neil Lawrence, Senior Curator, and is funded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund.