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Thank you for your continued support of Fresh Milk.

We recognise that the creative landscape across Barbados and the Caribbean has transformed in recent years, bringing with it new opportunities, challenges and developments.

We have decided to take 2019 to review our programming to consider how best we can serve the local, regional and international contemporary arts community in the future. We wish to remain as relevant and as constructive as we have been over the past seven years.

Fresh Milk remains open to potential partnerships while maintaining its commitment to
Caribbean Linked, Tilting Axis and Transoceanic Visual Exchange. We are considering a reduced number of residencies per year, with a dedicated concentration on the Colleen Lewis Reading Room as a critical resource for the residency programme.

For now, we invite you to reflect on 2018 with us
in our annual year in review newsletter

Class 4 students at Workmans Primary School and Barbadian artist Ronald Williams. Photo courtesy of Katherine Kennedy

 
Residencies & Workshops

In March 2018, Fresh Milk hosted Bajan actor & director Levi King as part of our collaboration with the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) in the second edition of the Emerging Directors Residency Programme.

This project is funded by the NCF, and allows a local emerging director the chance to research, experiment, work with actors and connect with a theatre arts mentor during the course of the residency. Levi was mentored by Barbadian performance artist, theatre director, writer and educator in theatre arts Sonia Williams.

Levi worked on select scenes from the play Pretty Daughta, written by Matthew Kupakwashe Murrell, and at the close of the residency presented a small showcase to a group of invited theatre practitioners to receive feedback on the piece in a safe, experimental environment rather than a public audience.

Huge thanks to the actors Kim Weekes, Dy Browne, Melissa Hunte and Asha Elcock, and to Sonia Williams for her stellar mentorship and navigating any challenges with Levi along the way.
We were very pleased to announce Barbadian artist Ronald Williams as the Fresh Milk ‘My Time’ Local Resident Artist for 2018. Ronald’s one-month residency ranfrom Monday April 30th to Friday May 25th, and focused on issues currently affecting Barbadian society, exploring how the glamour associated with materialism, drugs and violence breeds a certain vanity, with a particular focus on the poorer “ghetto” class.  Inspired by the Vanitas paintings of the 17th century, he worked on contextualizing similar themes in today’s society, looking at decadence, insecurity, swagger & pretension, and their connection to religion/spirituality.
For the community outreach component of his residency, Ronald led the Class 4 students at Workmans Primary School in a portraiture and collage workshop. The aim was, through collage, to teach the children to see the beauty in ordinary things and grow their resourcefulness, which could result in less wastefulness, more recycling and a desire to maintain their surroundings, whether natural or man-made. Ronald described the experience as one of his personal highlights of the residency.
During  the same time frame, Fresh Milk  welcomed US-based visual artist Daisy Diamond to the platform.  In addition to broadening her knowledge of contemporary arts in Barbados and the Caribbean, Daisy investigated the history of Jews in Barbados since their arrival in the mid-1600s. An Ashkenazi Jew herself, she explored themes from reconstructionist Judaism during her residency, engaging with contemporary socio-political environments and forming new progressive outlooks on traditional ideas.
Daisy's community outreach saw her facilitating a Sacred Practices Reading Group, two sessions which applied traditional spiritual reading practices to non-religious, contemporary or critical material focused on arts, culture and Caribbean thought collaboratively selected from Fresh Milk’s Colleen Lewis Reading Room.

These collective ways of reading were used to analyze and have meaningful, open ended conversations about the texts and how they related to lived experiences.
Irivin Aguilar, La Linea en la Memoria, Public mural, 2018. Photo courtesy of Sharelly Emanuelson


 
Projects & Partnerships

 

From April 11th - 27th one of our partner institutions, Deakin University, Melbourne hosted another iteration of our Transoceanic Visual Exchange (TVE) 2017 programme in The Project Space, the contemporary & experimental exhibition space at Deakin’s Geelong Waterfront Campus. On April 26th, there was a special viewing and floor talk led by Dr. Torika Bolatagici, Lecturer (Art and Performance) at Deakin University.
TVE is a collection of recent films and videos from artists practicing in the Caribbean, Oceania and their diasporas. The project aims to negotiate the in-between space of our cultural communities outside of traditional geo-political zones of encounter and trade, intending to build relations and open up greater pathways of visibility, discourse and knowledge production between regional art spaces and their networks.

The Fresh Milk Team was saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Alanna Lockward, gifted Dominican/German writer, journalist and filmmaker, on January 7th, 2019. We were honoured to have featured her enlightening and culturally rich documentary ALLEN REPORT: Retracing Transnational African Methodism in the 2017-2018 edition of our Transoceanic Visual Exchange (TVE) exhibition, sharing her work in Barbados and Australia. Our thoughts are with her loved ones.

The final TVE event of 2018 took place Monday, November 12th. Third Horizon Media, Miami, collaborated with Fresh Milk to curate a small screening of a selection of video/film work by Caribbean artists as part of their contribution to the 2018 Miami Book Fair. This mini edition of TVE featured work by Adam Patterson (Barbados), Rhea Storr (The Bahamas/UK), Sandra Vivas (Venezuela), Alberta Whittle (Barbados/UK), Nick Whittle (Barbados/UK) and Anisah Wood (Barbados).

On April 30th, Fresh Milk hosted an exhibition & panel discussion on A True & Exact History – an erasure poem by Bahamian writer & artist Sonia Farmer, using Richard Ligon’s publication A True & Exact History of the Island of Barbadoes (1657) as its source material.
 
Sonia was in conversation about her work with Ayesha Gibson-Gill, Cultural Officer for Literary Arts at the National Cultural Foundation, and Tara Inniss, Lecturer in the Department of History and Philosophy at The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus.
Tilting Axis 4 – Caribbean Cultural Ecologies: Connecting Pasts, Presents and Futures was hosted from May 31st – June 2nd by Centro León and Centro Cultural de España in Santo Domingo, in collaboration with Curando Caribe, Santiago and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Tilting Axis is a roving conference focused on Caribbean contemporary arts, co-founded by Fresh Milk.
The fourth convening of Tilting Axis shifted its location and context to the Hispanophone Caribbean. Artists, curators, stakeholders, instigators and activists gathered to debate ideas about the Caribbean’s interdependent future in relation to culture, the nature, technology and the role of institutions while sharing creative ways which reimagine our collective futures in relation to our particular environment and with each other.

For the second year, Tilting Axis has also facilitated its Curatorial Fellowship for Caribbean-based curators. In a strong partnership with the University of Texas at Austin Art Galleries at Black Studies, we were happy to announce at Tilting Axis 4 that this fellowship has been awarded to Natalie Willis, Assistant Curator at the National Gallery of The Bahamas.
The regional residency Caribbean Linked V, co-organized by Ateliers '89, ARC Magazine and Fresh Milk, took place at Ateliers ’89 in Oranjestad, Aruba from August 6th - 28th.

Huge thanks for the generous support from the core sponsors BankGiro Loterij Fonds, Mondriaan Fonds, Vertegenwoordiging van Nederland in Oranjestad (VNO), The Tourism Product Enhancement Fund (TPEF), The Aruba Tourism Authority (ATA), UNOCA, SETAR, Garage Centraal and Aruba Bank, as well as number of local sponsors in Aruba.
Caribbean Linked unites creatives from around the French, Spanish, English and Dutch Caribbean, who convene to produce work and present a closing showcase.

Artists included Irvin Aguilar (Mexico/Aruba), Franz Caba (Dominican Republic), Kriston Chen (Trinidad & Tobago), Sharelly Emanuelson (Curaçao), Gwladys Gambie (Martinique), Adam Patterson (Barbados), Velvet Zoe Ramos (Aruba), Averia Wright (The Bahamas) and Raily Stiven Yance (Venezuela).
The writer in residence was art historian and independent curator Marina Reyes Franco (Puerto Rico). Visiting artists who lent support to Ateliers ’89 during the residency were Laura de Vogel (Aruba) and Katherine Kennedy (Barbados). The invited curators were Alex Martínez Suárez, independent curator and general coordinator and museographer at the Museo Fernando Peña Defilló, a private museum in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and Miguel A. Lopez, co-director and chief curator of TEOR/éTica in San José, Costa Rica.
The opening of the public exhibition for Caribbean Linked V took place Saturday, August 25th, 2018 across two spaces: Caya Grandi (Main Street) and Ateliers ’89, both in Oranjestad, Aruba.

The programme sought to take the concept of connectivity locally and regionally a step further by adding a focus on public art and community engagement. Artists were invited to engage with Caya Grandi as a communal space, inserting pieces and performance art throughout the street while creating a platform for contemporary art and everyday life to seamlessly intersect.
Creating the space for cultural exchanges and encounters to take place both in and outside of a gallery setting helps to dispel the myth that contemporary art is inaccessible, bridging the perceived gap between art and society. We hope this approach will generate greater interest in the artists’ practices and invite rich dialogue with the general public.

Visit the Caribbean Linked website to see more about the participants, a gallery of images from the exhibition and blogs and essays by the artists and invited curators.

Thank you again for your support during this transitory time, and we look forward to continuing our creative journey together in 2019
 
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Copyright © 2019 The FRESH MILK Art Platform Inc., All rights reserved.


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