Spiritual Yards: New Exhibition At National Gallery

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A report from Jamaica’s Gleaner.

The National Gallery of Jamaica will open Spiritual Yards: Home Ground of Jamaica’s Intuitives, which features selections from the Wayne and Myrene Cox Collection, on Sunday. The formalities start at 1:30 p.m., with opening remarks by Wayne Cox, followed by a musical performance by the Nexus Performing Arts Company.

The theme of Spiritual Yards was proposed by Wayne Cox, who co-curated the exhibition, and explores how many of the artists who have been recognised as Intuitives are rooted in popular religious and spiritual practices, especially the Revival faith and also Rastafari. Several of them produced or contributed to so-called spiritual yards (also known as home ground), or sacred spaces that featured ritual and symbolic objects and images meant to engage or represent the spirits. This was either the start of their artistic practice or remained as its main focus.

As Wayne Cox has rightly argued, these spiritual yards are often their most outstanding works of art, and their cultural significance in the Jamaican context warrants further exploration.

Spiritual Yards features the work of ten such artists, namely Errol Lloyd ‘Powah’ Atherton, Vincent Atherton, Everald Brown, Pastor Winston Brown, Leonard Daley, Reginald English, Elijah (Geneva Mais Jarrett), William ‘Woody’ Joseph, Errol McKenzie and Sylvester Stephens. There will also be photographs and video material on their lives, works, and spiritual yards from the Wayne and Myrene Cox archives.

Spiritual Yards will be on view until January 29, 2017.

Wayne Cox and his wife, Myrene, have collected and documented the work of Jamaica’s Intuitives for 30 years.

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