National Gallery launches second Cayman Islands Biennial

[Many thanks to Veerle Poupeye for bringing this item to our attention in Critical.Caribbean.Art.] Cayman Compass announced that the National Gallery launched its second Cayman Islands Biennial on April 23, 2021, with artworks displayed in multiple venues over Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman. It runs through August 27.

The project is running through 27 Aug., and is organised under the title ‘Reimagined Futures’. The curatorial team invited artists to respond to the monumental upheavals that have taken place in 2020, such as the worldwide impact of the coronavirus pandemic; ongoing concerns relating to climate change and environmental stewardship; social equity and justice movements; and questions of identity and belonging in the wake of rapid changes.

The guiding theme for this Biennial is intended to recast the long months of lockdown as an extended interlude – an opportunity for everyone to pause and reflect on their collective future.

An open call for submissions was announced in November 2020, and the gallery subsequently received applications from 75 artists. The final selection, shortlisted through a rigorous juried process, includes work by 42 local artists in a wide variety of media: from painting, photography and video, to collage, textiles, drawing and sculpture, as well as installation and video art. The names of many of the participants should be already well-familiar to anyone living in Cayman.

In keeping with the concept of a Biennial – which is a large-scale multi-site exhibition project featuring numerous artists that recurs every two years – artworks are being displayed simultaneously at five different locations across the Cayman Islands. Project hosts include the National Gallery as the Biennial’s primary organiser, along with Owen Roberts International Airport, the National Trust’s Mission House, the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, and the Little Cayman Museum, along with special programming in Cayman Brac. Each site has a unique element of the project, with some functioning as a venue for multiple artists, and others – as in the case of Mission House and Botanic Park – as sites for single art intervention.

[Image above: ‘The Forgotten House’ – Carlos V. Garcia (2021)]

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