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Arts & Culture Last Updated: Feb 13, 2017 - 1:45:37 AM


Four Grand Bahama artists to exhibit in "Finding Joy"
By Boryana Korcheva
May 7, 2015 - 8:39:55 PM

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Finding Joy art selections... Left: Laurie Tuchel; Top: Chantal Bethel; Middle: Claudette Dean; and Bottom: Paual Boyd-Farrington.

Finding Joy - A Journey of Self Discovery

In Finding Joy, an art exhibition which opens in Freeport’s Grand Gallery on May 8th, 2015, four artists - two established and two emerging ones, invite the public to a celebration of life and creativity.

For Claudette Dean the joy of art occurs in the space where art and viewer connect. She uses color, form and word to create a poetic world of love and harmony. In Dean’s works universal human values such as love and procreation, family, friendship and spiritual awakening are connected in the circle of life expressed through the sun and the moon – the celestial bodies which symbolize the eternal cycle of day and night. The circle as a symbol and graphic device is omnipresent in Dean’s oeuvre. Circles proliferate in her paintings – sometimes directly visible, sometimes woven into intricate compositions or repeated details.

The road to joy for Chantal Bethel is one of philosophic introspection. In her own words it is in uncovering her passion, realizing her purpose, and knowing why it matters so very much for her to just be herself, where she finds the quiet joy which flows from her paintings. In her piece ‘Finding Joy’ we encounter the liberated self in the form of a female figure, suspended in the ether in an exalted dance. A similar mood is conveyed in ‘Awakening’ through the shape of a bird – one of the recurring symbols in Bethel’s paintings. In ‘Good Morning Sunshine’ we see again the female protagonist – this time a close profile consisting of a multitude of tiny fragments – atoms, interspersed with the particles of light emanating from the sun and penetrating the figure. The female form appears again in ‘Tenderness’, this time reminiscent of a Madonna with child – the eternal symbol of motherhood.

Finding Joy is Paula Boyd Farrington’s debut as a painter. Oscillating between abstraction and figuration, her paintings are bold and rich in color. In contrast with the quiet spirituality of Dean and Bethel, her work is shaped with an openly enthusiastic exploration into color, pattern, line and texture. Boyd Farrington finds fresh possibilities unfolding with each brush stroke or mark on the canvas – and that shows clearly in her dynamic, multilayered works. For her, painting is a process that continues to surprise and excite her – a journey of discovery and ultimately – a source of joy.

For Laurie Tuchel, also an emerging artist, joy is in the simple things in life. A heron perched on a pole, a clattering old Bahamian Chevrolet, marked by the traces of many coats of paint throughout the years, or the concert of chirping birds – her works lovingly depict glimpses of her surroundings. Drawing on the impressionist tradition, Tuchel’s paintings are executed in loose brush strokes and vibrant colors, which give them a sense of freshness and immediacy.

In a time when we are bombarded with images of disaster, violence and unrest by the media, Finding Joy comes as an uplifting dose of positivism and a reminder that beauty, love and harmony is what keeps us human.

Exhibition opens on May 8th and will continue until June 8th, 2015.


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