Friday, August 28, 2009

Alice Yard's third anniversary programme

Alice Yard Space

Photo by Georgia Popplewell

In September 2009, Alice Yard marks its third anniversary as a space for creative experiment. We celebrate this small milestone with a modest programme of three events that explore in different ways the free conversation, collaboration, and improvisation that characterise Alice Yard.

= Monday 7 September, 2009: The idea of “free”

Alice Yard is part of a growing network of creative projects and initiatives supported by ideas, enthusiasm, and cooperation, rather than institutional structure. Sean Leonard, Alice Yard’s chief instigator, joins in a public conversation about “free” as a model for creative collaboration with the makers and doers of some of these allied projects: Richard Rawlins, Marlon Darbeau, Dave Williams, and Terry Smith, representing the Draconian Switch e-magazine, Trinidad and Tobago Erotic Art Week, and INDIgroove.
8.00 pm

= Wednesday 9 September, 2009: “Free yourself, be yourself”

Since September 2006, Alice Yard has been home to 12 the band, led by Sheldon Holder, and a centre for musical creativity and exchange. In a pre-celebration of the launch of their first album, Streets and Avenues, 12 will play an acoustic set reflecting on their first performance in the Alice Yard space three years ago. Before the performance, Christopher Cozier will join in a conversation with Sheldon Holder; Martin “Mice” Raymond, producer of Streets and Avenues; artist Wendell McShine, co-director of the video for 12’s song “Prosper”; and Marlon Darbeau, designer of the album’s innovative packaging.
8.00 pm

= Monday 14 September, 2009: 24HRS with Marlon Griffith

Artist Marlon Griffith’s practice is situated at the intersection of the visual and public performance. He has shown his work internationally in New York, Johannesburg, Kingston, Gwangju, Cape Town, and Toronto, among other locations, and has worked as a mas designer for many years in both Port of Spain and London. Griffith also conceived the idea for the 24HRS residency programme, in which an artist creates a site-specific work in the space of a day, influenced by interactions with anyone who passes through Alice Yard during that period. On 14 September he will take up temporary residence at Alice Yard and the resulting work will be presented to the public that evening. Artist Jaime Lee Loy — who has worked collaboratively with Griffith, and who was the first artist to present her work at Alice Yard — will give a short introductory talk.
7.30 pm

All are invited.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Gerard Gaskin: Trinidad Artists

Tuesday 18 August, 2009, at 7.30 pm

Portraits from Gerard Gaskin's Trinidad Artists series. Clockwise from top left: film director and editor Walt Lovelace; artist Sabrina Charran; photographer Marlon Rouse; artist Jaime Lee Loy; musician Roger Roberts; photographer Abigail Hadeed

Photographer Gerard H. Gaskin's Trinidad Artists series is a work in progress, a survey of Trinidad's creative topography via portraits of three generations of visual artists, musicians, writers, performers, and others. Shot in a standard format--close up, in natural light and with a shallow depth of field--each portrait is an intimate encounter. "The impact of the world around the subject can be logically inferred only from the light, the expression, or from what is reflected in the eyes," writes Christopher Cozier.

Gaskin is currently in Trinidad shooting new portraits for the series, using Alice Yard's exterior spaces as his studio. On Tuesday 18 August he will give a talk about Trinidad Artists and his other recent projects, moderated by Cozier. Images from the Trinidad Artists series will be projected in the Alice Yard Space. All are invited.

(Visit Gaskin's website to see a portfolio of his work, and read Cozier's essay on Trinidad Artists in the August 2008 issue of The Caribbean Review of Books.)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Play on: Alice Yard's music conversations


"Boom Up History" (2009), by 3Canal. Music video directed by Walt Lovelace and shot in the Alice Yard band room

The very first part of the Alice Yard space to become operational, in September 2006, was the small soundproof band room in the north-east corner of the yard. The room was designed by architect Sean Leonard, with advice on acoustics from sound engineer Yoichi Watanabe of Trinitone Ltd. Intended to be the headquarters for 12 the band, and managed by 12's leader Sheldon Holder, the band room is used by a range of musicians and bands for rehearsal sessions. Over the past three years, Alice Yard has come to be a crucial centre for musical creativity in Port of Spain, with activity by the following bands and individuals, among others (in alphabetical order):

= 12 the Band
= 3Canal
= Alison Hinds
= Blue Culture
= Cabezon
= Canboulay
= Chromatics
= Fuego Latino
= The Generals
= Gyazette
= jointpop
= Ken "Professor" Philmore
= The Nylon Pool
= The Orange Sky
= Palladin Project
= Rubadiri Victor
= The Sean Thomas Trio
= The Sky is Falling
= Stephanie Kalloo
= Theron Shaw
= Witch of the Bell Tower

The constant musical presence in the yard--the band room is occupied most nights of the week--has led to various fruitful creative encounters between musicians, artists and others. In early 2009, director Walt Lovelace shot a music video for 3Canal's song "Boom Up History" in the Alice Yard band room (see above), using clever camerawork and editing to compensate for the tight space. Not long after, artist Wendell McShine collaborated with 12 on an animated video for the band's song "Prosper":

Alice Yard has also hosted numerous live music performances. The conversation is ongoing.