Congratulations to Jamaican artists Katrina Coombs and Oneika Russell, and Haitian curator/art critic Giscard Bouchotte on their Fall 2018 Davidoff Art Initiative (DAI) residencies. Coombs and will be at Russell FLORA ars+natura (Bogotá, Colombia) and Residency Unlimited (Brooklyn, New York), respectively. Bouchotte was chosed for Atelier Mondial / Institut Kunst FHNW (Basel, Switzerland). Here are descriptions from Art & Education:
A seasoned textile and fiber artist, Katrina Coombs (b. 1986, Jamaica) explores the impact and intrusion of the “Other” on the Self, specifically what women face while navigating social constraints and personal expectation, both physical and psychological. A two-time participant in the Jamaica Biennial (in 2014 and 2017), Coombs has exhibited in notable shows throughout Jamaica as well as in the 2016 London Biennale Pollination art project, Synchronisation Syncopation, in the Philippines. For her residency at FLORA arts+natura, Coombs intends to create a body of work interrogating notions of belonging and nesting interests.
Oneika Russell (b. 1980, Jamaica) depicts “Paradise”—in all its complicated history and uncomfortable beauty—via an interdisciplinary practice that includes handwork, digital manipulation, and animation. She created Antilles for the Antilleans: Saltwater, a major, nine-panel textile work, for the 2018 DAK’ART Biennale, navigating Caribbean people’s fraught relationship with the sea and their historic connection with Africa. Her goals for Residency Unlimited include expanding her textile practice, noting New York’s deep-rooted garment and textile industry, while centering the series in how exotic places and people are an expression of Western desire.
An independent curator and critic, Giscard Bouchotte (b. 1977, Haiti) champions his homeland Haiti via social practice around the world. Notably, he curated Haiti’s first Pavilion at the 2011 Venice Biennale, with the exhibition Kingdom of This World. Bouchotte’s recent activities include Périféériques, a traveling project exploring new artistic and social practices in peri-urban spaces (Haiti, plus Senegal and Benin), and Nuits blanches (Port-au-Prince), which engages artists in urban initiatives. His goals in his residency at Atelier Mondial / Institut Kunst FHNW will take a similar collaborative and interdisciplinary approach, advancing his research into localized visual and noise “pollution” and the bridge between cacophony and new sounds.
“We are proud to support an independent curator from the Caribbean in this next sequence of residencies abroad,” comments Albertine Kopp, Davidoff Art Initiative. “While our residency program at Altos de Chavón in the Dominican Republic has welcomed several excellent curators from across the globe, it is essential that we promote this caliber of art world professionalism from the region as well. Giscard’s project for Haiti’s first National Pavilion in Venice, coupled with his numerous activities in Port-au-Prince and internationally, supports this decision. The two artists for the Fall 2018 season, Oneika and Katrina, both come from the same generation and homeland, however each centers her ‘Self’ in a way that will surely resonate with the communities of their respective programs. We are delighted for this trio of talented individuals.”
About the Davidoff Art Initiative
The Davidoff Art Initiative supports contemporary art and artists in the Caribbean, strengthens art organizations in the Dominican Republic, shares knowledge and expertise about contemporary art, and fosters cultural engagement between the Caribbean and the rest of the world. At the core of the Art Initiative, Davidoff aims to engage closely with the arts and culture of the Dominican Republic, where much of its production and many of its employees are based, bringing opportunity and visibility to the art and culture of the Caribbean region, and extending the company’s long-standing commitment to artistry, craftsmanship, community, and quality. The Davidoff Art Initiative’s four global program areas are Art Residency, Art Dialogues, Art Grants, and Art Editions.
[Above: Katrina Coombs’s “Void,” 2015.]