Tag Archives: Timeless Remnants

“An Evening of Visual Awakening” – Special Event Photos at Morton Fine Art

22 Oct

“An Evening of Visual Awakening” hosted by Naleli Askew, Audrey Johnson, Sheryl Scruggs, Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at Morton Fine Art Gallery, Washington, DC. Photo credits: DeJohn Davis Photography

A collaboration of creativity and design by three luxepreneurs was an experience curated for a select group of clients, associates and friends. Guest viewed the contemporary artwork exhibit featuring Artists Choichun Leung, Ga Gardner, and Maya Freelon Asante; and networked with art enthusiasts and collectors.

Hosts: Naleli Askew, Jewel Mine by Naleli, Audrey Johnson, AudreyLynnJo; and Sheryl Scruggs, Bronze Interiors

Gallery Owner: Amy Morton

Photographer: DeJohn Davis Photography

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GA GARDNER interviewed on cultural identity in ART: Jamaica

21 Oct

art jamaica logo

What does Cultural Identity have to do with Abstraction?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

 

GA Gardner, So You, 65"x42", mixed media on mylar

GA Gardner, So You, 65″x42″, mixed media on mylar

 

GA Gardner has recently returned to more regular artistic practice in Trinidad after years living and working in the U.S and launched a public project on Facebook called GetThru.org which functions as an artists think tank. He has also recently opened a show in Washington D.C. His work rests on the thin line between abstraction and reality or abstracted realities and has been described as a ‘cacophony of messages’ and information derived from mass media. He speaks with us about this work and its link to culture identity.

Art:Jamaica: The last time we spoke about your work you were making these collages which cut up source images and reformed them into figures in spaces. How have you made this transition to this newer work? 

GA: This has not been a huge transition in the work; the mission and objective are the same. The pieces you are referring to were simply a more surreal approach to the same discussion and this body of work is more of an abstract approach. I have always looked at cultural identity in my work and it continues, but I wanted to speak to a larger audience – not be so specific – and I believe that abstract work has been the answer to this. I am able to discuss colors, lines, culture and contemporary materials without the limitations of figure and form. I can now approach my art in a more conceptual manner.  The result is now an explosion of information that is woven together by cultural lines and tells a story about how a group of people are identified, ignored, or celebrated in the media.  I continue to recycle what I and others can’t make use of in our daily lives. I often take the opportunity to use this material as the foundation for my exploration of color and texture. I love to see how random images can come together and tell a story of a particular time in history and how I can manipulate them to tell my story.  I am trying to find myself in the colors and content to re-purpose the materials and to find a way to discuss topics as passionately as the media publishers’ materials are intent on doing. 

Art:Jamaica: Your work draws these boundaries between abstraction and representation. What is your take on straddling this line? Can they both exist in the same space? 

GA: Yes, they can and they often do.  I went through a period where I was doing more representational work; I have not always been doing abstract.  Now I am focusing on abstracts, but that does not mean that I won’t do some more representational work in the future.  I don’t go with my feelings, I go with the message, then I decide on the medium and approach. I am passionate about color and the deconstruction of color–about lines and the complexity of patterns – and about the randomness of it all.  I can accomplish this best with an abstract approach.  Most of want I do is made real to viewers as it takes on familiar forms.  When you see a piece like “so you” for an example, you see things that are familiar, like the weave patterns that are the basis of most woven craft, or the colors that remind you of the Caribbean. If you see this in the work, it then becomes real to you and less abstract.  The randomness of the underlying media material plays second fiddle to the bold colors and geometric woven like patterns.  This is when I am able to blur the lines between representation and abstraction.

GA GARDNER, "Happy Black", 55"x42", mixed media on mylar

GA GARDNER, “Happy Black”, 55″x42″, mixed media on mylar

Art:Jamaica: Much of the contemporary art in the Caribbean is very representation-based due to many of these artists seeking to question and investigate histories and realities. How does your work navigate these issues and this art scene?

GA: You can only appreciate a sharp image if you have seen a blurry one. If you have too many blurry images in your stories, it is no good and if you have too many sharp images, that’s no good either; they complement each other.  Often the sharp image will draw you closer to it but the blurry image will make you think more and open a larger dialog, even if the dialog is about whether your eyes are working well.  The sharp images to me are representational art, and the blurry images are abstract art. It takes all kinds and all angles to tell our story. My work is about this investigation of culture and how some cultures are left out and struggle to be included in the mainstream media’s relevant discussion.  It has several components that are related directly to our Caribbean culture and our history as a people.  The weaving of materials, for example, is simply a contemporary approach on what our ancestors did to make a living from what was afforded to them.  We are a culture that knows how to deal with the things no one wants and make them into something that most can make use of.  We did it in all areas of life, from food – using organs and other discarded animal parts for our meal – to clothing, music and many others.  I am simply doing this in the arts, I take what is abundant and useless such as discarded media information and discuss a history of a people that then once again becomes appealing to an audience.

Read further about Gardner’s recent exhibition below:

The Washington Post

Timeless Remnants -Social Alerts.com

Morton Fine Art

To read this article in full, please visit the following link: http://artjamaica.blogspot.com/2014/10/what-does-cultural-identity-have-to-do.html

PLEASE CONTACT MORTON FINE ART FOR AVAILABLE WORK BY GA GARDNER.

1781 Florida Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20009 USA

(202) 628-2787

mortonfineart@gmail.com

http://www.mortonfineart.com

Opening Reception Shots from “Timeless Remnants”

9 Oct

Thanks to photographer and MFA guest Ruby Hardy Black for documenting our opening reception for the group exhibition, “Timeless Remnants” featuring artwork by MAYA FREELON ASANTE, GA GARDNER & CHOICHUN LEUNG.

Thank you to all our collectors and art enthusiasts who came out for this wonderful exhibition!

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Washington Post features “Timeless Remnants” – MAYA FREELON ASANTE, GA GARDNER & CHOICHUN LEUNG

7 Oct

The Washington Post, “In the Galleries” section, Sunday, October 5, 2014

by Mark Jenkins

Timeless Remnants Review WaPo Crop more

ARC Magazine interviews GA GARDNER on his show “Timeless Remnants”

2 Oct

arc logo

 

Audible fragments amid the noise: An interview with GA Gardner

By Marsha Pearce Thursday, September 25th, 2014 Categories: Exhibitions, Features, Updates

Gardner’s contemporary art practice homes in on the colossal machine of mass media and the messages it churns out. He extracts bits of information, dislodging them from specific moments in time to create new narratives; new points of identification and fresh collages of meaning that have personal and collective resonance. In the lead up to the show at MFA, Gardner shares insights into his art, revealing the influence of his life in and travels between the Caribbean and the U.S., his navigation of the terrain of randomness, and his engagement with the territory of patterns. The artist also speaks about the significance of timelessness in his work and his commitment to making Caribbean and African identities audible amid a din of Western communications.

Marsha Pearce: The exhibition Timeless Remnants seems to draw on discourses of psychology, including the work of such thinkers as Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. Freud posited the idea of “archaic remnants” or an “archaic heritage which a child brings with him [or her] into the world” (1940, p167). Jung also proposed his ideas. In addition to what he saw as a personal unconscious, which serves as a repository of experiences that are unique to each person, Jung asserted the notion of a second psychic system. He called this second system the collective unconscious and described it as that which is inherited. Does your work engage with a universal inheritance that you are deliberately making conscious with your art? If so, what do you see as that inheritance and how do you attend to it in your creative practice?

GA Gardner: I believe that I, like all human beings, am influenced by what has come before me. That might mean the personal structure of my familial ties, as well as the influences of artists before me. I don’t believe that any human being or artist for that matter, can create in a vacuum. I see my inheritance, if you want to call it that, as one that is traced back to my African roots at the primal level and to my Caribbean heritage, most recently. That is overlaid with my experience in the United States, where I have spent most of my adult years. So, I call on all of these influences, this inheritance – this collective unconscious – in my work. I use the rhythms and colours of Africa and the Caribbean to filter the “sounds” and “expressions” of America’s global communication machine.

'So You'. GA Gardner. 65" x 42". Mixed media on mylar Photo credit: GA Gardner

MP: You seem to be foregrounding a specific collective unconscious; or pinpointing specific groups – African and Caribbean people. I am thinking though, about your attention to a global proliferation of media and messages in your art. Are we perhaps more and more the inheritors of a cacophony of media messages? Do you see that as an inheritance that is largely unconscious and one that goes beyond African and Caribbean “boundaries”?

GAG: Yes, that particularly applies in the 21st century, with the global reach and access of media messages.

'Indulge'. GA Gardner.  66" x42". Mixed media on mylar. Photo credit: GA Gardner

MP: I want to return to Jung as a reference point. According to Jung, the collective unconscious is said to be expressed through archetypes or patterns. Can you talk about the role of patterns in your work?

GAG: Patterns are a fundamental component of my work. They often emerge from randomness as information is literally sliced out of context to form a montage of images that carries random conversations. These overall patterns and shapes are replicated from ancient African and modern Caribbean design. Like the Kuba people of central Africa I am interested in the construct of pattern and design. In addition, I find and use contemporary materials and I add a Caribbean colour palette to create art that best symbolizes our current state of being. Though I allow the process to lead, I commit to cultural forms and lines – for example, the geometric foms and lines that are inherent to cultures like that of the Kuba people – as guides for the direction of a piece. This does allow patterns to emerge uninhibited from my work. This is the magic of the creative process – a life, seemingly of its own, that the artistic endeavour engenders.

Happy_medium-small

MP: Your visual amalgams of material remnants seem time consuming. How does the passage of time factor into your work? How might the concept of timelessness enter your visual statements?

GAG: Since my work reinvents and reinterprets material, timelessness is at the center of my creative expression. Once I have disassociated material from its former use and place in time, I allow it to flow free; to be unfettered from the moment it was created, or from any limitations of space or time. The repurposing of these fragments of communication produces an ageless, timeless new identity, which frees my work from temporal boundaries.

'Curious'. GA Gardner. Mixed media. Photo credit: GA Gardner

MP: You live and work in the Caribbean and the USA. What is it that remains with you as you move between those spaces and how do those remnants of experience in both spaces inform your work?

GAG: My work is conceptual; it represents the struggle for identity that we all face in the midst of globalization – chiefly, the dominance of Western influences and the struggle to be heard amongst all the noise of media. This is apparent in my travels; therefore I am compelled to represent this conflict in my art.  I am not one who watches TV nor am I a news junky; I try my best to tune these elements out of my life. The very nature of going between these two countries reinforces the need for the messages in my art.  It is born of the fact that we in the Caribbean consume so much foreign media that we are often at a loss for our personal and cultural identity.

I bring the printed content of North America’s vast media machine to the Caribbean and recycle it, extracting its artificial hues, and often add a rich colour palette found naturally in my Caribbean surroundings. This is the synergy I want in my art. I am making a statement that despite the dominance of Western media, Africa and the Caribbean will be heard – at least through the colour palette and patterns in my mixed media art.

The exhibition Timeless Remnants runs from September 26 to October 17, 2014 at Morton Fine Art, Washington, DC, USA.

– See more at: http://arcthemagazine.com/arc/2014/09/audible-fragments-amid-the-noise-an-interview-with-ga-gardner/#sthash.d5zYGO5i.dpuf

 

Marsha Pearce
Marsha Pearce

Marsha Pearce is ARC’s Senior Arts Writer and Editor. She holds a PhD in Cultural Studies from the University of the West Indies (UWI) St Augustine Campus, Trinidad. She lectures in the Department of Creative and Festival Arts at UWI and is also a freelance arts writer for the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian newspaper. Pearce is the 2006 Rhodes Trust Rex Nettleford Cultural Studies Fellow.

– See more at: http://arcthemagazine.com/arc/2014/09/audible-fragments-amid-the-noise-an-interview-with-ga-gardner/#sthash.d5zYGO5i.dpuf

“Timeless Remnants” – Washington Post’s Gallery Opening of the Week

30 Sep

 

Wash Post Timeless Remnants Opening of the Week 2014 web

 

We are pleased to announce a wonderful turn out to Friday night’s opening of “Timeless Remnants” featuring abstract artworks by MAYA FREELON ASANTE, GA GARDNER & CHOICHUN LEUNG.   Many thanks to Michael O’Sullivan and the Washington Post for highlighting the exhibition at “Gallery Opening of the Week” in their Friday, September 26, 2014 edition!

Get to know MFA artist GA GARDNER

20 Sep
GA Gardner, So You, 65"x42", mixed media on mylar

GA Gardner, So You, 65″x42″, mixed media on mylar

MFA is excited to introduce new mixed media on mylar artworks by GA GARDNER. In his work, the artist  integrates media content to explore intercultural experience through the lens of his Caribbean heritage.

About GA GARDNER’s Artwork:

We are often exposed to dazzling amounts of print media in our daily lives. Many of us are engulfed by this information, from which it is almost impossible to unplug or tune out. This continuous stream of media is alluring, powerful, and even seductive to most but often not inclusive of diverse cultures; placing popular news over more important issues.

Through the lens of his Caribbean heritage, GA Gardner’s work uses the media content to create an intimate viewpoint of his intercultural experience. He dissects, covers up, reveals, layers, and re-contextualizes the material in the print publications he uses, to construct pieces that specifically discuss issues of politics, race, culture, and identity.

The publications are a natural fit for Gardner, as they offer random vibrant color pallets, much like that of a typical Caribbean environment, and a great mixture of text and professionally photographed images. However the colors are universal and allow a conceptual approach to finding the common ground among all cultures. The artist combines these media depictions and information with natural paper and synthetic materials to aid in his message.  By deconstructing the images into strips, or bits of torn paper, and assigning new overlays of unifying colors to the materials, Gardner erodes the original content at various levels often reducing them to shades with traces of random colors. He also incorporates urban western grit, geometric African lines, contemporary images, and borrowed African and indigenous weaving techniques to create unified montage of textures.

The image that was once a bold headline new banner, or the newest eye catching product now struggles to be seen; muted, it now plays a secondary role to layers of paint and other mediums. The resulting serendipitous visual construction is an unsystematic reconfiguration and repurposing to discuss culture, heritage and the symbolism of color.

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Please contact Morton Fine Art for available artwork by this wonderful artist.

http://www.mortonfineart.com

mortonfineart@gmail.com

(202) 628-2787