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Jamaican Art Pulses in Bristol

Ebony G Patterson & Gerard Hanson in Jamaican Pulse exhibition in Bristol

Bristol, the city of Banksy, Massive Attack, Portishead and Tricky is getting its feel of the steady yet exhilarating pulse beat of Jamaican art. In what is being celebrated as the first major exhibition of art from Jamaica and its Diaspora outside of the island, the Royal West of England Academy (RWA) Bristol opened Jamaican Pulse on Friday, 24 June 2016. 

Co-curated by Kat Anderson and Graeme Mortimer Evelyn, Jamaican Pulse includes works by Ebony G Patterson, Laura Facey, Oneika Russell, Leasho Johnson, Gerard Hanson, Hurvin Anderson as well as Mortimer Evelyn. Several of the exhibiting artists were featured in the critically acclaimed Jamaica Biennale. 

Preservation 1 by Oneika RussellJamaican Pulse explores the roots of modern Jamaican art and considers the impact of global attitudes about gender, the body, class, sexuality and religion have impacted the country. The exhibition also engages a conversation between the Jamaican Diasporas. 

“Bristol is a vibrant and richly diverse city, making it a great host for this exhibition,” said Marvin Rees the newly elected Mayor of Bristol. “I am very pleased that we’re the first place outside of Jamaica to host Jamaican Pulse. I hope it will attract interest, generate conversation and enrich our understanding of Jamaican art and culture, along with its relevance to many Bristol people.”

The exhibition takes place alongside several other major summer activities in the city including the International Balloon Fiesta and the annual Bristol Harbour Festival

Jamaican Pulse will be accompanied by several learning programmes and activities, several of which will take place at The Bluecoat, Liverpool. These activities include Kingston Calling: Jamaican Pulse Uncovered on 27 June 2016. Kingston Calling is a day of talks and artist discussions held in collaboration with the University of Bristol History of Art Department.

Other related activities include Lawrence Graham-Brown’s performance art/ experimental piece, ?!. (For the Love of Man), which uses the body in an exploration of race, society, politics and religion on 26 June 2016. On 6 August 2016, there will be ‘Moving Words’ a walking tour of Jamaican Pulse which will feature a tour of the exhibition followed by a tour of St. Pauls.

Jamaican Pulse closes on 11 September 2016. It is supported by the Arts Council England, ArtFund, the Bluecoat, the Institute of Jamaica, the National Gallery of Jamaica and the Jamaican High Commission in the UK.