New exhibition of contemporary Jamaican art to open at the University of Liverpool’s Victoria Gallery & Museum

A report from the Liverpool Express.

Anew exhibition showcasing the vibrancy and variety of contemporary Jamaican art since the country’s Independence in 1962 will open at the University of Liverpool’s Victoria Gallery & Museum on Saturday, 19 February.

The `Jamaica Making: The Theresa Roberts Art Collection’ exhibition will feature more than thirty artworks from the extensive private collection of Jamaican-born entrepreneur and philanthropist Theresa Roberts.

It is the first exhibition entirely of Jamaican art to take place in the north-west of England and offers a comprehensive presentation of the best of Jamaican art since the 1960s.

The exhibition features a mix of established names and emerging talent, expressing their world through a blend of painting, sculpture, photography and mixed-media.#

Represented in the exhibition are the Watson dynasty of artists beginning with Barrington Watson, described as ‘the defining Jamaican artist of the post-Independence period’, his sons Basil and Raymond plus grandson Kai Watson.

Woman artists are strongly represented, including important figures like Laura Facey Cooper, Ebony Patterson and Kristina Rowe.

Dr Amanda Draper, Curator of Art & Exhibition at the Victoria Gallery & Museum, said: “We are excited to be able to present this unique collection of Jamaican contemporary art to audiences in Liverpool and beyond. It reveals Jamaica’s vibrant culture and also gives the rare opportunity to see the private art collection of Theresa Roberts, an inspiring patron and philanthropist.”

Dr Emma Roberts, Associate Dean for Global Engagement and Programme Leader of BA History of Art & Museum Studies, Liverpool John Moores University said: “I am honoured to be the Curator of the Jamaica Making exhibition- a selection of works from the collection of Jamaican-born businesswoman, Theresa Roberts. This is the first exhibition entirely of Jamaican art in the North-West region of the UK, and it occurs at a timely point: the 60th anniversary of Jamaican Independence in 2022. The exhibition provides a comprehensive overview of the key artists in Jamaican art history since Independence in 1962 and celebrates their important contributions.”

`Jamaica Making: The Theresa Roberts Art Collection’ opens to the public on Saturday, 19 February and runs until Saturday, 9 July 2022.

Admission to the exhibition is free and the VG&M is open Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm. For further information visit the VG&M website: http://vgm.liverpool.ac.uk/

Complementing the exhibition at the Victoria Gallery & Museum is `Retention of a Colonial Past’, a major contemporary textile installation by Jamaican artist Desanna Watson.

`Retention of a Colonial Past’ will be on display on the Ground Floor of LJMU’s Art & Design Building. The installation uses stitch, appliqué and quilting to replicate the contours of Jamaica’s capital, Kingston, and show how historical periods and power regimes have imposed themselves on the city. Desanna Watson will be in Liverpool as artist-in-residence 6 February – 9 March 2022.

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