Fresh Milk’s Artist Talk with Dermot Punnett and Habana SaxThursday, April 19th, 2012 Categories: ArtStew, Features, Updates
The informal pot-luck style gathering of creatives at Fresh Milk on April 1st showcased the casual charm of a vastly growing platform. The night consisted of viewing two art 21 episodes compliments Ewan Atkinson, an artist talk by Vincy-Bajan Dermot Punnett and some entertainment from the visiting Cuban Habana Sax band.
The viewing of two episodes of the informative series art 21 (http://www.pbs.org/art21/) emphasized Fresh Milk’s role as a space for illumination on all aspects of art, not just regionally specific. Most interesting was the segment on contemporary artist Ai Weiwei, whose thought evoking pieces could do well with injecting some critical thinking into Barbadian artists. Weiwei is best known for analyzing social issues across cultures. For example, his 2010 piece Sunflower Seeds, where one hundred million porcelain hand painted decorations in the shape of seeds were scattered throughout the main hall of the Tate Modern in London. Weiwei challenged the perception of exhibited art holding sacred value, layered over questions of western mass consumption of Chinese goods, by encouraging visitors to walk over the ‘seeds’.
In the artist talk, Dermot discussed the evolution of his artistic style from pre-university to his contemporary works, in a refreshing and engaging self-retrospective. His current pieces evoke a complex mix of familiarity and displacement, using geometric shapes and paint layer peeling techniques. Take for instance bridge (2011). A tropical scene is blurred and foreign shapes and industrial type objects are inserted, outside any known laws of physics. This creates a feeling of ‘other world’, and would slot in quite comfortably in a sci-fi environment. He refers to his works as “concerned with the dynamic interplay between appearance and material processes…trying to understand and internalize perception and experience”
The evening ended with the playful and electrifying melodies of the Habana Sax band. The ultimate culture chameleons, this Cuban quintet even inspired local poet Katherine Felix to produce a piece of work on the spot. That poem plus a glimpse of their performance can be found on the Fresh Milk facebook page (www.facebook.com/FreshMilkBarbados) filmed by Yasmine Espert.