Tiffany Paynter: Pride, Poetry and the Power of the Spoken Word

tiffany

The Bermuda National Gallery features artist and writer Tiffany Paynter. To read full article and interview with the artist, and to listen to her reading of “God Gap” in the 2018 Bermuda Biennial, visit the BNG blog.

Tiffany Paynter describes herself, in the words of feminist writer and Civil Rights activist Audre Lorde, as ‘a black lesbian woman poet warrior.’ The artist, who teaches poetry and creative writing, exhibited God Gap in the 2018 Bermuda Biennial What We Share.

The spoken word poem, which Tiffany performed at the BNG every week throughout the duration of the exhibition, was a response to the repeal of the gay marriage act that took place in Bermuda the previous year. In the poem Tiffany uses the emotions that it conjured to examine “the Why where science ends and God begins.” She describes the performance as a medium through which she was able “to weld my joy to my pain and my love to my anger in such a way that made clear that I am a whole and hallowed human.”

In the same year, Tiffany presented the BBC documentary Bermuda’s Change Of Heart  for the BBC World Service, which investigates the dichotomies between our Christian and LGBTQ+ communities that led to Bermuda becoming the first country to repeal gay marriage.

Ahead of what should have been the second Bermuda Pride parade this weekend (cancelled to help contain the spread of Covid-19), we caught up with Tiffany to discuss her experience as a gay woman in Bermuda, how the writing of Audre Lorde shaped her and how “when you sprinkle in craft with insight something powerful emerges.”

Click HERE to read the interview on Stories, the BNG blog.

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