Category Archives: work

Slave House

Holly Bynoe, chief curator of the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas references this series in the Nassau Guardian in Dec 2016 as “….collaged images that eerily echo to the former grandeur of those few who benefitted from the colonial era and the ruins that remain…..” . Colonial slavery has shaped our world and we are living with this legacy. Photographs from Slave House, Williamstown, Little Exuma, the Bahamas and Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamphire, England have been blended to contrast the grotesque imbalance that existed then and the shocking inequality which is still prevalent now; Only, the form is different. These ‘houses’ resonate with themes of economic dislocation, migration, slavery and movement of peoples.

Merged photographs from these two dwellings, blend the boundaries, contrast the grandeur with the decrepitude, the luxuriant with the scant, the boundless with the chained to highlight these journeys.

In the settlement called Williamstown, Little Exuma, Bahamas, “Slave House” is locally referred to as ‘Nigga House’ owned by the Bowe’s. It was the subject of the pivotal land tenure Bahamian case of 1961-62 under the 1959 Quieting of Titles Act which set the precedent of generation property land titles in the Bahamas.

Waddesdon Manor was built between 1874-1889 in the style of a lavish French Chateau for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild to house his extensive collection of art treasures and to entertain his aristocratic and royal friends in the English countryside such as Queen Victoria. It is now owned by The National Trust who has upheld its original grandeur.

Nathan Meyer Rothschild was praised for his role in the abolition of the slave trade through his part-financing of the 20 million pound British government buyout of the plantation industry’s slaves. However, in 2009 it was claimed that as part of banking dealings with a slave owner, Rothschild used slaves as collateral. The Rothschild bank denied the claims and said that Nathan Mayer Rothschild had been a prominent civil liberties campaigner with many like-minded associates and “against this background, these allegations appear inconsistent and misrepresent the ethos of the man and his business”. Reported by the Financial Times June 26th 2009

Slave House, Exuma is now a dilapidated wreck of a shameful past occupying disused land in the most beautiful of settings surrounded by emerald green seas and crystalline beaches where there is little opportunity for young people due to underdeveloped infrastructure, deprivation and the typical exodus of young people to the city, in this case, Nassau.

The phrase “To Cross this Sea was not in My Plan,” was uttered by a distraught Libyan refugee on the BBC news after having been rescued from a failing, inadequate boat off the coast of Greece.

Read more on NAGB

Image of a painting by Lynn Parotti

Green Fuse

Drawing upon the Dylan Thomas poem from which the exhibition borrows its name, Parotti’s oil paintings comment on the flow of energy which drives not only life, but simultaneously destruction. Her colour-saturated views of river cityscapes at night are described by rushes of electric light abstracted in oils. “I have always used water to describe concepts,” she says. “Water is a metaphor for the moral energy of people, time and place.” For her, the Thames is a powerful way of exploring ongoing themes of the temporality of life and her new works allude to the energy crisis and the fragility of our surroundings. These concerns bring Dylan Thomas’s poem to life in a new way, and highlight the contemporary relevance of his “green fuse”: that which fuels and delights us will also be our fall.

Image of installation by Lynn Parotti

Tar Baby

‘Tar Baby’ is derived from “The Wonderful Tar Baby Story”, the second of the Uncle Remus Plantation stories where Br’er Fox uses Tar-Baby (a doll made of tar and turpentine) to cunningly entrap Br’er Rabbit through trickery for his personal gain.

Thermal Expansion, Melting Glaciers and Polar Ice Caps, including Ice Loss from Greenland and West Antarctica are causing sea level rise.

Previously in 2010, the Mean Prediction of water level rise as 4.9 feet (1.5 metres) and was taken from reports & articles by; the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), Dr. Orrin Pilkey (Professor Emeritus of Earth Sciences, Director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) at Duke University), the Department of Water Engineering, UNESCO-IHE Delft, The Netherlands, The United Nations Climate Change Conference Copenhagen 2009, Martin Vermeer of the Helsinki University of Technology, Finland and Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. At this time skepticism about global warming and the subsequent sea level rise was rife and fuelled by personal economic interests.

According to National Geographic in 2016, “most predictions say the warming of the planet will continue and likely will accelerate. Oceans will likely continue to rise as well, but predicting the amount is an inexact science. A recent study says we can expect the oceans to rise between 2.5 and 6.5 feet (0.8 and 2 meters) by 2100, enough to swamp many of the cities along the U.S. East Coast. More dire estimates, including a complete meltdown of the Greenland ice sheet, push sea level rise to 23 feet (7 meters), enough to submerge London”. Nearly a quarter of the world’s 7+billion population live with 100 km of the shoreline and within 100 m of sea level elevation.

Image of a painting by Lynn Parotti

The space between want

City States was a series of international exhibitions exploring the cultural dynamics between cities and states as a part of the Liverpool Biennial 2010 exhibited in the Contemporary Urban Centre. The Caribbean Pavilion featured: Three Moments and was derived from Stuart Hall’s essay ‘Modernity and Its Others: Three “Moments”. Symbolized by three Caribbean islands; The Bahamas, Martinique and Barbados – ten artists were selected on their ability to make work that responds to contemporary and historical global themes. Three Moments was selected and curated by Dominique Brebion (Martinique), Alissandra Cummins (Barbados), David A. Bailey (London), and Allison Thompson (Barbados) in collaboration with the ICF (International Curators’ Forum).

Parotti’s The Space Between Want was an installation signifying layers or interpretations of history from differing perspectives with an inconsistency of representation. Three aspects of perceived Bahamian attitude towards life were painted in oils on canvas: Caribbean sweet sex (Roadside Valentine), worship (Abandoned Anglican Church) and the desire for wealth (Haitian Migrant). Upside-down reflections of dock quays of colonial industry, shipping and finance were painted on glass and suspended in the centre of the space using shackles and chain (Seaforth Docks, Tate & Lyle, West India Docks, Canary Wharf).

Image of a commission by Lynn Parotti

Commissions

Ten large scale canvases for ESPA at Baha Mar Nassau, Bahamas focusing on light, water currents, historical links to sea, and underwater caves (The Luces Series).

Yellow Elder commissioned by private collector of Ocean Club Residences, Paradise Island, The Bahamas. Tacoma stans being the national flower of the Bahamas.