The Legend of John Canoe (2013)
Exhibited in Salt+Powell’s inaugural ‘Click+Spill‘ exhibition at Artemis Project Space, York.
I feel this piece is the start of a series of works to do with the Bahamian tradition of Junkanoo, its nebulous origins, and the colonial history involved with our beloved, ‘traditional’ street parade.
The older I get, the more I feel like there is a tension with this tradition, as if we are holding all our hopes of sustaining and creating a sense of grounded, cultural identity on this festival – and it has changed so drastically into this glitzy show of sculptural costumes from its humble newspaper and sponge origins. The feeling of clutching at straws.
I attempt to reconnect with this tradition by displaying the imagery more associated with its inception as an expression of freedom than the current, polished competition we know today.
I have embedded a clearer view of the two videos below – exhibition clip soon to come.