The Current, Rotunda Shops (Fountain Level), Nassau, Bahamas, Friday, March 3rd, 2023
Contemporary Art Bahamas, Nassau, Bahamas, February 24 – March 18, 2022
Nassau, Bahamas – CAB Gallery & Studio is pleased to announce the opening of Aquabotanica, an exhibition of new works by Bahamian Artists Lynn Parotti and Imogene Walkine. The exhibition will open on Thursday, February 24th from 12pm to 8pm.
Aquabotanica is a merging of two worlds, on land and under the sea: soft sea beds, spiky coral edges, blooming flowers and whirling leaves – it is a celebration of different environments and the way in which they live harmoniously on this planet.
It also exposes the coming together of two Artists who traditionally work in different mediums, but with a similar language. In this exhibition, Lynn Parotti and Imogene Walkine swap between painting and ceramics, and play with what happens when they overlap.
Aquabotanica honours unions: of spaces, of people, of artistic mediums – and reminds us of the beauty of our natural world.
CAB Gallery & Studio is a commercial art gallery in Nassau which provides a platform for Bahamian Artists to exhibit and sell their work.
National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, Nassau, Bahamas, April 15 – October 17, 2021
“Our task is to make trouble, to stir up potent response to devastating events, as well as to settle troubled waters and rebuild quiet places.”
― Donna J. Haraway, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene
We are inheriting the untenable environment that our forebears created. With decades of work around the increasingly precarious and troubled ecologies we live in, Parotti shows us our inheritance under colonizer-capitalist greed, exhaustion, and exploitation – concepts that we are no stranger to in The Bahamas. The vibrant seascapes that make up the imaginings of the iconic Caribbean picturesque are depicted in brutal honesty with the uncomfortable realities we face in the present and the future. We are but children inheriting the Anthropocene, the geological epoch of human impact on the earth.
Bleached coral, forest fires, soil leaching, melting glaciers, catastrophic hurricanes…
All serve as harbingers heralding hard times in our contemporary, but also of brooding, bleak futures with biblical scale repercussions. Parotti’s oeuvre gives an aesthetic resisting time: at once primordial, with the natural world as old as time itself, but they also depict our present struggles and further still the crises to come. They are simultaneously a warning, an illustration, and an imagining of an increasingly frightening reality. This is made all the more poignant in the context of a post-Dorian Bahamas, and the ongoing threats of sea level rise in small island developing states such as ours. For those in the global north who inhabit spaces that see the growing climate crisis on the horizon, perhaps not as their lived reality, feeling untouched by the devastations proliferating below the equator, Parotti urges us to consider that the money, greed, and access that have made some complacent, cannot save you indefinitely.
Even in apocalyptic fires and floodwaters, we are all of us water, fluid, and indefinitely interconnected to each other. We are also, in a post-human sense, irrevocably to the spaces we inhabit and abuse. Our humanity and mortality are as inescapable as they are fickle and fragile things, we all must return to ashes to ashes, but the glistening, insidious beacon of melting ice in Parotti’s “Memento Mori” (2019) begs of us, “not like this”. The landscapes we see burning as a result of human avarice and interference will continue to go on whether or not we are present to pay witness to their desolation.
In dark irony, Parotti’s investigations into the anthropocene give us the eerie absence of human life. The empathy we feel for the habitats under undue stress and duress are perhaps projections of our own frets and distresses over uncertain futures. As Haraway in “Staying With the Trouble” invites us to reconsider relationships of all kinds in the anthropocene – our relationship to kin, to landscape, to seascape, environment. Parotti’s palpable and purposeful omission of human life is an appeal to reinsert ourselves to the landscape, to consider in deepest empathy our generations to come, with utmost care and concern for those picking up this heavy mantle after us.
The clarion call of the planet will not be ignored. This is our inheritance.
Natalie Willis, Associate Curator
The Current: Baha Mar Gallery and Art Center, Scope Art Show, Miami Beach, Miami, Florida
December 3 – 8, 2019
Lynn Parotti is preoccupied with the environment in all its multifaceted connotations. She has a consuming passion for the natural landscape of the Bahamas where she was born, particularly the intoxicating world of the ocean. But she is equally concerned with the social geography of place; the human experience and relationship to these locations, the historical traces, the economic and environmental impact and consequences. Her sensuous revelling in the beauty of nature is increasingly counter-balanced by a politicised awareness of its imperilled state due to climate change and the attendant crises of rising sea levels, the depletion of natural resources, the consequences of coral bleaching, the availability of clean water. She also references the human toll through allusions to migration, coastal communities, subsistence fishing and poverty.
People who live between two homes often possess a heightened awareness of the intricacies of those spaces they leave and return to. While based in London, Parotti is particularly attuned to the vulnerability of small island developing states. Her restless landscapes speak to the sublime beauty and eroding forces of nature but also their precarious condition. The push and pull of oil paint, its malleable and viscous potential and heightened colour, conveys an energy which is both sensuous and unsettling, a duality which references the uncertain condition of our contemporary existence in this world, but also the potential for renewal.
Coral reefs, an important focus in much of Parotti’s recent paintings, are home to the highest biodiversity of any ecosystem on the planet. This is turn sustains a sea life upon which more than 500 million people depend for survival, most of these in poor countries. With global warming and climate change, reefs have suffered coral bleaching and are at risk of extinction. The title of this exhibition, 2 Degrees C refers to the imperative to limit global average temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels if the coral reefs are to survive.
The Island House, Nassau, Bahamas, October 9 – 11, 2019
An adaptation of a line from the Bahamian national anthem, To The Rising Sun, Bahamaland, focuses on the state of reef health and the role of the mangrove as protector of coastline and nursery to breeding marine species. Or does it cynically bear witness to our risen temperatures and the current climate crisis in our manmade Anthropocene?
The historical objectification of coral and the wonderment of under the sea is replaced by a full embrace of the reality with which the island nation is faced as the tension in these canvases relay a fracturing beauty: the northern islands having just experienced the devastation of a category 5 hurricane called Dorian. And all this is taking place in the here and now; albeit sooner than speculated.
Time sensitive imagery of aerial views of reefs dancing under the sun’s rhythm relate a tale of disrespect, conquest and shame. We have done this. Our momento will become that of a former observation of the vibrancy, differentiation and spectacle of nature from which we disassociated ourselves and pillaged.
In truth, we are as much of an accessory of the coral reef as the once teeming fish were; for on it and on them, we depend. According to the World Wildlife Fund, “Approximately three billion people in the world rely on both wild-caught and farmed seafood as their primary source of protein.” Further, ten percent of the world’s population depends on fisheries for their livelihoods.
In the paintings amorphous entities float freely within a disguised pool resembling Frutti di Mare: whilst, we wait, and scramble for solutions as our natural indemnity fails.
The D’Aguilar Art Foundation, Nassau, The Bahamas, February 7 – March 1, 2019
A phrase used during fitness training, ‘Time Under Tension’ refers to how long a muscle is under strain during a set – referencing the stress through the mounting pain that the muscles endure to strengthen and lengthen. Lynn Parotti’s exhibition of the same name uses this phrase to bring to light the constant pressure that coral reefs endure as a result of the compounding impact of our human footprint and subsequent effects of global warming. The metaphor continues as ‘time’ is of paramount importance to the warming seas’ effect on coral.
This new series of paintings titled ‘Bahama Land’ depicts Bahamian reefs in full, exuberant color: images of a landscape that will almost certainly be lost. Created during a time when news headlines read “Major Climate Report Describes A Strong Risk Of Crisis As Early As 2040” (7th October 2018, New York Times)*, Parotti’s paintings give reason to take action and protect the environment around us. Coral bleaching results in no habitat for fish and sealife, leading to no food for sustenance living in poorer communities and the eventual destruction of the food chain.
Looking to The Bahamas as her primary inspiration for this work, Parotti is particularly attuned to the vulnerability of small island states, and paints hauntingly vivid views of our seascapes that act as both love letters and epitaphs. Art Historian and curator Allison Thompson Ph.D., describes Parotti’s work as “restless landscapes”, stating that “The push and pull of oil paint, its malleable and viscous potential and heightened colour, conveys an energy which is both sensuous and unsettling, a duality which references the uncertain condition of our contemporary existence in this world, but also the potential for renewal.”
Parotti’s thick and descriptive application of oil paint depicts how it might feel to be in the ocean witnessing the distortion of the reef’s form through a series of expressive and compelling brush-marks. These alluring paintings offer spaces that envelop the viewer, affronting us with the pain of losing the crucial importance of our reefs first hand.
Lynn Parotti’s TIME UNDER TENSION is an ode to the Bahamian seascape and stresses the need for environmental conservation and action on carbon emissions. Like her former series Tar Baby, Territory, Slick and Green Fuse, this new work, Bahama Land is heavy with warnings of a disappearing part of our home, ultimately encouraging reverence for a space filled with nostalgia, beauty and erosion.
A follow up exhibition, 2 DEGREES C, is scheduled for Volta NY, The Current: Baha Mar Gallery and Art Center, Booth B12, Pier 90 – Berths 3& 4 in New York (March 6-10, 2019).
Parotti’s work is currently included in two touring group exhibitions: Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago curated by Tatiana Flores and exhibited at the Museum of Latin American Art in California, and subsequently at the Wallach Art Gallery in New York and the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum in Miami (2017-18); and in Arrivants: Art and Migration in the Anglophone Caribbean World, curated by Veerle Poupeye and Allison Thompson at the Barbados Museum 2018-19).
*In reference to the comprehensive assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released in Incheon, South Korea, 7th Oct. 2018.
Eu-Lac Museums, Barbados Museum & Historical Society, November 7, 2018 – February 3, 2019 For Inaugural Exhibition In Barbados, Touring Schedule TBA (2019 – 2021)
Taking its title and its focus on “the journey” from Kamau Brathwaite’s The Arrivants Trilogy, this exhibition explores the diasporic nature of Caribbean society as documented and interrogated through its artistic production. Particular focus is given to the Anglophone Caribbean at different points in time from the early 20th century to the present day and to the cultural impact of migration from and to the United Kingdom, North America and Europe, as well as movement within the Caribbean and Central American region. Many artists are themselves migrants and have reflected on this experience in their work; and the broader effects of diaspora, displacement and migration are key themes in the work of many artists in the Caribbean and its diaspora alike. Given the recent migration crises throughout the world, and particularly the questions about the immigration status of members of the Windrush generation in the UK, the subject has strong currency and is on the minds of many cultural practitioners.
A secondary but important objective of this exhibition pertains to the representation of Caribbean art in survey and thematic exhibitions, most of which have been initiated, funded and toured by major institutions in the metropolitan centres and most of which have never even been shown in the Caribbean—a major imbalance in the representation of Caribbean art that needs to be corrected. This exhibition is curated from within the Caribbean and will also premiere there, and it emphatically casts its gaze on the issues represented from within the Caribbean itself. And while Caribbean diaspora artists are of course included, special care is taken to have a strong and diverse representation of artists and art works that originate within the Caribbean, as this is often also a deficiency in externally curated exhibitions.
The exhibition is organized along two broad, overlapping themes: Place/Displacement; and Negotiating Diasporic Identities, with sub-themes for each section:
A key issue in diasporic experiences is the connection to place, both in terms of the imaginaries that surround the original homeland, and the sense of connection, or lack thereof, to the place of arrival and settlement, as is the at times perilous and alienating process of moving from place to place, whether by force or by choice. These are common preoccupations in the work of artists who are themselves migrants, whose subjectivities are shaped by various diasporas, and who are part of the cosmopolitan societies of the Caribbean, as frequent travellers. Such a sense of displacement also occurs in the context of Caribbean tourism, which can be seen as the flipside of migration, which generates a largely fictional sense of place that is rooted in nostalgia, stereotype and exploitation.
Subthemes: Legacies of Empire; Babylon and Zion; Memories of Home; Journeys; (Un-)Belonging; Global Lives; Tourism and the Ethnographic Gaze
Between the diasporic origins of the Caribbean and the continued transnational movements of Caribbean people, identities are constantly renegotiated, with regards to notions of “home” and responses to life in the diaspora, where cultures collide as much as they do in the Caribbean itself. This shapes the experiences and definitions of self, community, family, race, social status, and gender and sexuality, in both positive and negative ways. This section explores how artists have participated in and responded to these dynamics.
Subthemes: Renegotiating Identities; De-Colonial Strategies; Modern Blackness; Gender and Sexuality in Diaspora; (In)Visibility; Diasporic Families
The exhibition will be accompanied by a film programme, performances at the opening functions, and an online illustrated catalogue with essays by key voices related to the subject.
Principal Investigator: Alissandra Cummins
Consultant Curators: Dr Allison Thompson, Dr Veerle Poupeye
St Andrew University Team: Dr Karen Brown, Dr Catherine Spencer, Kate Keohane
Exhibition Logistics: Jessica Taylor
Launch Date: November 7, 2018 (EU-LAC/MAC conference, Barbados)
Exhibition Schedule: November 7, 2018 to February 3, 2019 for inaugural exhibition in Barbados, touring schedule TBA (2019-2021)
Exhibition Venues for Inaugural Exhibition: Barbados Museum and Historical Society and other exhibition venues in Barbados TBA
Funding Sources: The main funder of this phase of the project is the EU-LAC Museums and Migration project; other funding sources help to support the implementation of the exhibition.
The Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, June 1 – September 23, 2018
Relational Undercurrents presents work by more than 70 artists covering a range of media. Despite the various colonial histories of the islands represented, this exhibition highlights thematic continuities within contemporary art of the Caribbean.
Artists on view at the Wallach: Elia Alba, Allora & Calzadilla, Ewan Atkinson, Nicole Awai, David Bade, René Emil Bergsma, Samir Bernárdez, Jorge Luis, Bradshaw, Ernest Breleur, Charles Campbell, María Magdalena, Campos-Pons, Tony Capellán, Fermín Ceballos, Vladimir Cybil Charlier, Camille Chedda, Nayda Collazo-Llorens, Natusha Croes, Tony Cruz, Blue Curry, Maksaens Denis, Jean-Ulrick Désert, Humberto Díaz, Edouard Duval-Carrié, Jeannette Ehlers, Edgar Endress with incarcerated Haitians, Sofía Gallisá Muriente, Lilian Garcia Roig, Maria Elena González, Andil Gosine, Marlon Griffith, David Gumbs, Quisqueya Henríquez, Sasha Huber, Charles Juhasz-Alvarado, Jean-Luc de Laguarigue, Marc Latamie, Glenda León, Sofia Maldonado, Carlos Martiel, María Martínez-Cañas and Kim Brown, Jason Mena, Ibrahim Miranda, Kishan Munroe, Angel Otero, Raquel Paiewonsky, Lynn Parotti, Manuel Piña, Jorge Pineda, Barbara Prézeau, Jimmy Robert, Glenda Salazar Leyva, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Nyugen Smith, Lisa C Soto, Ellen Spijkstra, Sandra Stephens and David Sansone, Didier William
Artists on view at the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum: Firelei Báez, Christopher Cozier, Ricardo de Armas, Humberto Díaz, Jeannette Ehlers, Frances Gallardo, Scherezade Garcia, Marlon Griffith, Adler Guerrier, Quisqueya Henríquez, Nadia Huggins, Karlo Andrei Ibarra, Deborah Jack, Miguel Luciano, Jason Mena, Manuel Piña, Marianela Orozco, Charo Oquet, Fausto Ortiz, Ebony G. Patterson, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Roberto Stephenson, Juana Valdes, Limber Vilorio
Artist on view at Miller Theatre:
Joiri Minaya, “Tropical Surfaces” series, site-specific installation
Image: David Gumbs, Water and Dreams, 2014. Detail, Digital video still. Courtesy of the artist.
Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago, Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA), Long Beach, California, USA. September 16, 2017 – March 28, 2018
MOLAA will join other arts institutions across Southern California in participation with Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA 2017, an exploration of Latin American and Latino art in a series of related exhibitions opening in September 2017 and running through January 2018.
Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago will call attention to a region of the Americas that is difficult to categorize and often overlooked: the island nations of the Caribbean. The exhibition proposes an “archipelagic model”— defining the Caribbean from the perspective of its archipelago of islands, as distinct from the continental experience—to study issues around race, history, the legacy of colonialism, and the environment.
Relational Undercurrents will emphasize the thematic continuities of art made throughout the archipelago and its diasporas, challenging conventional geographic and conceptual boundaries of Latin America. This approach draws particular attention to issues arising from the colonial legacy that are relevant to Latin America as a whole, but which emerge as central to the work of 21st-century Caribbean artists.
The exhibition is divided into four thematic sections: Conceptual Mappings, Perpetual Horizons, Landscape Ecologies and Representational Acts and features artists whose works have informed and shaped those themes. With over eighty artists and occupying the entire museum space, Relational Undercurrents includes painting, installation art, sculpture, photography, video, and performance. It is accompanied by a lavishly illustrated catalogue with commissioned essays by scholars and curators. Curated by Dr. Tatiana Flores.
The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas
December 15, 2016 – April 16, 2017
Lynn exhibited works from her Enslaved House series.
The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas opened the Eighth National Exhibition (NE8) on December 15, 2016 at 6:30 pm. NAGB Participating artists included: April Bey, Dede Brown, Anina Major, Charlotte Henay, Claudette Dean, Dwan Deveaux, Edrin Symonette, Jodi Minnis, Giovanna Swaby, Ivanna Gaitor, Ian Bethell- Bennett, John Beadle, Joann Behagg, Jackie Pinder, Attila Feszt, Jeffrey Meris, Jon Murray, Sonia Farmer, Jordanna Kelly, Navarro Newton, Ken Heslop, Leanne Russell, Lynn Parotti, Margot Bethel, Max Taylor, Paula Boyd-Farrington, Susan Katz-Lightbourn, Tamika Galanis, Averia Wright, Holly Parotti, Dereck Paul, Steven Schmid, Steffon Grant, Richardo Barrett, Caroline Anderson, Angelika Wallace Whitfield, Christina Wong and Dave Smith.
Hillside House Participating Artists included: Dionne Benjamin-Smith, Del Foxton, Virginia Cafferata, Kay Hardy, Ken Heslop, Andre Sturrup, Clarence Green, Jo Morasco, Susan Jensen-Sweeting, Alicia Wallace, Keisha Oliver, Lowree Tynes, Angelique V. Nixon, Cynthia Rahming and Natalie Willis. Introduced by the National Exhibition 8 Researcher and Artist in Residence: Hilary Booker
Writers and Poets: Trameco Gibson, Yasmin Glinton, Letitia Pratt, Nikera Cartwright and Keisha Lynne Ellis.