Animation: Sheena Rose’s Town

This week, Art Jamaica interviewed Sheena Rose, a young artist from Barbados, about her career and her uncommon animated film Town (2009). Town was first shown in the Black Diaspora Symposium Visual Arts in early 2009. She later showed it at Alice Yard, in Trinidad [see Free &Three: Alice Yard’s 3rd Anniversary] and most recently, at Real Art Ways, in Hartford, Connecticut. The artist is presently working on a solo exhibition at the Barbados Community College Gallery for 2010.

Her is an excerpt of the interview:

What is Town about and how did it get its name?  “Town” is an animation that is about a female figure depicted by myself who decides to go to Bridgetown. She is surrounded by some silhouettes and in them are words, outlining personal problems, thoughts and issues we face in our daily lives. The more I look into the culture of Bridgetown and the behaviour of some Barbadians it could also be said that the words could even represent some forms of gossip. In the end of the animation, I turn into a silhouette to show that I am just like anyone else.  The animation gets its name from when we Barbadians shorten the original name of “Bridgetown”. In Barbados, when we are asking a question pertaining to Bridgetown for example “Where are you going?” to a friend or any person, they would usually answer “I am going to Town.” So I thought it was interesting to just call the animation “Town.”

How did you decide on animation as a medium?  It all started when I was at Barbados Community College. I was studying Contemporary African Art and I studied William Kentridge. I loved his charcoal and the erasing technique. So I wanted to try out animation. I had this idea of treating each frame of the animation as an art piece; each frame is hand drawn and painted. I added newspaper clippings, comic strips, transfers; anything that would make the composition more interesting. I taught myself animation and I am still learning the media.

You spoke about treating the drawings that you use in the animation as independent art works. Tell us some more about that works in terms of exhibiting and selling.  I want persons to see the animations as an art piece; just the same way you look at a painting but in this instance it is moving. In terms of selling the animation that’s a Yes. I would create it as DVDs and I am planning to sell the frame or stills of the animation. Again as I mentioned before each frame is hand drawn and, therefore, they are drawings.

See full interview at

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