In their September/October issue, Caribbean Beat interviews Vincentian artist and ARC magazine editor Holly Bynoe. Here are excerpts:
Launched in early 2011, ARC magazine has quickly won an enthusiastic audience for its coverage of contemporary Caribbean art, with a focus on younger artists close to the cutting edge. Based in Bequia, editor-in-chief Holly Bynoe—also an artist and curator—spends much of her time travelling to fulfill a busy programme of launches, exhibitions, and other art-world events.
What’s the place you’ve travelled to that surprised you the most, and why? I visited London for the first time in 2011, to produce the exhibition Forever Forged, Forever Becoming in collaboration with the African and African Caribbean Design Diaspora. I was very much drawn to the familiarity of the streets, the façades, and the general aura of the flow of the city. There was a certain colonial staging to the order and the circuitry that I inherently recognised, and felt combative with. I don’t often travel alone, and I did for this particular trip, so I took my time and didn’t have to manage anyone else’s expectations. In many ways, I was able to wander and gaze at a pace that didn’t feel too metropolitan—meaning I wasn’t rushed, and I allowed things to progress organically during my hectic work schedule.
You’ve visited galleries and other art spaces across the region. Do you have a favourite one, and what makes it special? Popopstudios International Centre for Visual Art in the Bahamas has been the unique Caribbean creative community experience for me. There is a diffusion of hierarchies and the formation of one solid community that works like a well-oiled machine. At Popopstudios they allow for experimentation and have an increasing regionalised view of Caribbean art. There is something special in the Bahamian creative community, and Popopstudios is an anomaly in the Caribbean, where networks and niches are pervasive.
[. . .] If you could have an all-expenses-paid vacation anywhere in the Caribbean, where would you choose? Guyana or Belize. I haven’t been to these countries yet, and could profit from a fully immersive experience and some alone-time exploring their cuisines, capitals, historic sites, rivers, and interiors.