Ancel Daniel, Gentrification of Sugar Land, acrylic painting/mixed media on canvas, 16″x 16″ 2017
Glue, was a fitting title for the first collaborative group exhibition hosted off campus by MAFA Chelsea College of Arts students class of 2018. On the 14th December 2017, artist Kate Mieczkowska spear headed the exhibition in a cozy studio space on the corner of 312 Lillie Road SW6, London.
Six artists shared their ideas by showcasing works of various mediums, concepts and dimensions. Born in South America, Guyana my conceptual reference to my heritage were displayed in sculptural paintings titled, “Gentrification of Sugar Lands” and “I was born Under the Union Jack.” These pieces were displayed among the works of Australian artist Lora Nikolova‘s installation “Ode to Kathryn Joyner”, British artist Ross Mc Cormick’s installation “Till Death Do Us Part”, Monika Tobel’s sculpture “The Amicable Spirit House” and painting “Stranded (the in-between).” Artist Kate Mieczkowska displayed dexterity in skills through her film, paintings, drawings and installation.
Glue exhibition was well attended and supported by friends, family and fellow MAFA students of Chelsea College of Arts.
Inspired by the collaborative effort, I used every opportunity to push the boundary beyond time and sleep to created work framed around my present studio practice. Experimenting with acrylic paints on canvas while adding a 3D element, I used found objects such as cardboard, wood and glue, to sculpt miniature shacks, mimicking those found in Guyana and chattel houses in Barbados. The British architectural influenced chattel houses in Barbados are remnants of colonialism, preserved by the inhabitants for shelter or by government as part of the Caribbean exotic tourist attraction. In Guyana, old wooden houses built during colonial era are present today on estate lands facing sugar cane fields or juxtaposed by modern architecture. These houses are inhabited by low income public servants, including field workers whose past and present generation lived in the same home or geographic location.
Sugar Land Gentrification and I born under the Union Jack, lends to the idea of modern architectural transformation in the decolonized Caribbean region. This transformation has altered historical landscapes and somewhat pacified cultural sensitivity to antiquity and meaning.
The Glue exhibition has shaped and strengthened relationships among promising contemporary artists on the MAFA Chelsea College of Arts 2018 program.