The collective exhibition “Refuge” opened on December 19, 2019. The show is curated by Holly Bynoe will at The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. Bynoe describes this exhibition as a “momentous occasion celebrating the emotive, captivating and endearing works [. . .] while honouring the creative spirit of all of those whose lives have been impacted by hurricane Dorian.” She adds, “The show supports 42 artists, 17 of them from Grand Bahama and Abaco.”
Description: The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas acknowledges the dawning of a new chapter in our country’s history after the passage of Hurricane Dorian. Collectively we have made a decision to suspend our planned exhibition for the end of the year and chose to extend an open call to our creative community to start a larger conversation on the personal and collective impacts after the passage of the storm.
This new era has led us to explore the mission of the NAGB even further and what it means to be a socially responsible institution in the age of climate crisis. We are a population on ground zero of this transformation, and as we work to regroup, reconcile and rebuild–now and into the future–the NAGB commits to providing safe space for all who rise within the nation’s borders to heal, to be seen and heard through creating.
In this moment, how can we channel what we do and direct or focus our expertise to support our vulnerable creative communities at this time? How can we continue to keep art relevant and a purposeful conduit of emotion in the wake of this national tragedy? While we have not turned away from difficult conversations in our exhibitions programme, in this pivotal moment we are asking ourselves how best can we face, fight and articulate this level of loss and still find a space of hope.
We acknowledge that this moment is devastating to most––and for some, it might be too soon to think about creating, for others, not soon enough. In all of it, what we know is that the stories, visions and inspirations emerging in the aftermath and during recovery need to be recorded, seen and witnessed by each other, the nation and the world.
“Refuge” began as an Open Call to all artists of The Bahamas to think about this moment, this tragedy, and use it as therapy or an opportunity to reflect on how we pull ourselves and bring the pieces back together. Our hearts and nation have been splintered, but our spirit is now called to do the important work of healing, and be grounded even deeper in our communities and to our humanity.
See more information on the original Open Call here.
For more information, see https://nagb.org.bs/events-and-exhibitions/2019/12/19/refuge