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Arts & Culture Last Updated: Mar 22, 2019 - 9:48:53 AM

Doongalik Studios prepares for Transforming Spaces
By Pamela Burnside
Mar 22, 2019 - 9:37:03 AM

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Nassau, Bahamas - Doongalik Studios is eagerly preparing for the 15th anniversary of the annual Transforming Spaces art tour taking place on Saturday and Sunday, April 6 & 7. Doongalik’s response to this year’s “SUSTAIN” theme is encapsulated in the African adinkra symbol of  the sankofa bird that adorns its entry wall. Entitled “Embracing the Past to sustain the Future,” Doongalik’s exhibition will focus on Bahamian Straw, and atrons will be treated to a journey that will take them back to the past and forward into the future via the present utilizing a variety of art mediums from multiple creatives who will proudly expose this extremely important part of Bahamian heritage.

Owner of the gallery, Pam Burnside, stated: “This year’s theme has so much significance for us, as it is advancing the story which my late husband, Jackson, and I envisioned for the Bahamian creative community all those years ago in the 1970s when we formed Doongalik Studios.  Jackson predicted that by the year 2020 more visitors will come to The Bahamas for our art, culture and heritage, rather than merely for our sun, sand and sea, and we have been working for decades to ensure that this is indeed the case. Not only has it been our pivotal focus, but it has also been our driving force - it has been our vision and our purpose, a goal and a process, a road and a destination that is fast approaching. All roads have been leading to this point, and we are elated because we have successfully laid down a path that is bringing us there, with invaluable help from our family, our colleagues, our friends, and even strangers!

“My husband was first and foremost, a ‘true true” Bahamian who loved his country with a passion.  He was a visionary, like his father before him, and recognized the untapped wealth that lay hidden within the rich potential of The Bahamas’ art, culture and heritage. His untimely death in May 2011 provided even greater impetus to expose this treasure.

“In 2008 Jackson and I founded Creative Nassau along with a small group of passionate creatives to ‘celebrate and promote Bahamian art, culture and heritage from the inside out.’ Creative Nassau, without any government assistance, was successful in obtaining a prestigious UNESCO designation for the city of Nassau to become a UNESCO Creative City of Crafts and Folk Art in 2014, one of the first for this region, with an emphasis on the Bahamian Straw industry. This registered non-profit entity, which now consists of a mere handful of persons who work assiduously towards its goals, is a shining example of the potential of Bahamian creativity.

“Community, commitment, and collaboration are key traits for success, and these resonated in The Bahamas in days gone by, as epitomized by this once vibrant Bahamian industry. We hope that Doongalik’s Exhibition will re-ignite this fervor for the benefit of us all.”

In addition, Doongalik will be hosting the exciting ‘HEAT’ evening event with Chef Horatio Alexander on Saturday, April 6. Billed as ‘a nostalgic evening of classic Bahamian cuisine and culture’, HEAT will bring together a fusion of Bahamian food, live music, rake and scrape, and fun, with ticketed Transforming Spaces patrons being offered a discount on their HEAT ticket.

Transforming Spaces tickets are available at Doongalik, The Place for Art, and the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. For more information on the Transforming Spaces 15th anniversary art tour, please visit the website at www.tsbahamas.com.

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