The warmth of the Caribbean spilled out of the Grenada National Pavilion and on to the Fondamente Zattere in Dorsoduro for the opening of “The Bridge”, an exhibition of art. Joining 85 other countries, Grenada’s second appearance in Venice for the 57th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia was a significant achievement.
Milton Williams presented his collection of hundreds of sardine and seafood tins in a suspension of gravity and belief. HIs obsessive hoarding of objects from around the world is in actual fact a collection of relationships and exchanges with people. Memory is triggered by the object, and the space becomes a sacred treasury.
Asher Mains’ giant figures dominate the first room of the pavilion. “Sea Lungs” undulates freely, following the current of the crowd as they move through the room. The lungs are the shadows of the sea fans, representing respiration, the life and breath of the reef.
Jason DeCaires Taylor provides a window to the underwater world of sea life encouraged by his life size human figures that he installs in the sea. Photographs, video, and the sculpture “Coral Bleaching” document his eleven year art practise and voice his concern during this critical moment in the relationship between man and the environment. Jason created his first underwater sculpture park in Grenada in 2006 and continued with other is Cancun Mexico, The Bahamas, and most recently Lanzarote, Spain. His work in the pavilion has caused substantial ripple in the international press because the recent work of Damien Hirst, noted British artist, looks remarkably similar to Jason’s. (see link in Now Grenada)
This lovely footprint in Europe by Grenada is an example of the power of art to bring visitors to our islands to explore more than the beaches and friendly people. It gives insight to the soul of who we are—a very complex, interesting, engaging, friendly, eco-conscious people. Other Caribbean islands participating with Pavilions are the art stalwart island of Cuba, and first timer Antigua.