Repeating Islands

Art Exhibition: “Portraits of a Head-Tie” in Barbados Museum

“Portraits of a Head-Tie—A Celebration of Caribbean Women” is a group exhibition organized by artist and playwright Ali Sandiford. His goal was “to capture the essence of woman” in an art exhibition which is on view at the Barbados Museum until May 21, 2011.  The exhibition was inspired by an anthology of poems which he wrote over in recognition of women’s contribution to the development of Caribbean life. Sandiford takes his “Portraits of a Head-Tie” a step further with his stage production bearing the same name, which premiered at the Barbados Museum on April 6, 2011.

Sandiford has mounted the work of seven artists, some little known, others well known, all talented [. . .] to portray The Struggle and The Triumph, of women, the  names of the two sections into which the exhibition is divided. It features the work of Oshun Blackett, Hartley Alleyne, Adrii Holder, Richard Alleyne, Ras-Akyem-I Ramsay, Coral Bernadine, and Ali Sandiford.  

“Caribean woman is strong, strong, woman,” says Sandiford. Her strength is portrayed in Coral Bernadine’s “Roots,” with mother and child sitting at the foot of a tree, encircled by its strong roots. Hartley Alleyne captures the triumph in her “Birth of a Nation,” while the eyes of the woman in Adrii’s “Wisdom” speak that word definitely.

[. . .] “I had to take a good look at our history and translate parts of it into the visual expression in celebrating the struggle and triumphs of the Caribbean woman who has contributed so much to our being” wrote artist Richard Alleyne.

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Shown here: detail from Coral Bernardine’s emancipation mural.