Marlon Griffith, a young Trinidadian artist, had his first solo show in Jamaica towards the end of 2007. He mounted the show at The CAG[e] Gallery, Edna Manley College, in completion of his residency programme with Caraibes en Creation through the French Embassy. The artists previous work documented online reveals a concern with social activism, notably his P-O-L-I-T-E performance done in Cape Town,
This work however, while retaining social concerns, seems more concerned with aesthetics and craft. This work is significant within contemporary shows in Jamaica as it seeks to creates an experience of the work than focusing on the work. Installation, as is true internationally, is becoming an increasingly popular medium/method among artists. Symbiosis departed slightly from much of the installation work we have seen in Jamaica.
There were two materials used to convey the metamorphosis/re-shaping of symbols such as the hummingbird: paper and light. Producing an effect like a frail paper garden. In our installations where we expect 'serious' content to be delivered in a manner that is overwhelming, Symbiosis differed. Airiness & whimsy were as much a part of a sculptural work intended to speak about issues as 'serious' as territorialism.
As the show was mostly an installation piece, another issue arises, how do we relate to it as Jamaican art consumers. The show offered nothing for sale, so how does the notorious Jamaican collector relate to this work. In Jamaica, can we deal with the idea of art which is not for sale? How do we regard an artist deliberately not participating in the collector's/commodity game? With more local artists using paper for sculpture and installation how important is the permanece of material to your regard for the importance of the work.
If you saw this show or wish to give feedback please leave your comment.