The co-directors of Alice Yard are pleased to announce that the winner of the inaugural Alice Yard Prize for Art Writing is Stephen Narain, born in the Bahamas and now living in the United States.
From the shortlist of five writers, two more have been selected for honourable mention: Katherine Kennedy of Barbados and Nicole Smythe-Johnson of Jamaica.
The other shortlisted writers are Brandon O’Brien of Trinidad and Tobago and Aiko Maya Roudette of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The winner was selected by Alice Yard’s co-directors after consulting with the judges and reviewing their notes and comments. Narain’s essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Virtual Reproduction” stood out for its unconventional angle of approach, its range of inquiry, and its attempt to consider the visual in a broader context that includes the literary. The essay grapples with the implications of ubiquitous digital media for the way we now experience and circulate visual culture.
Narain will receive a cash award of US$1,000, and his essay, along with Kennedy’s and Smythe-Johnson’s, will be published in The Caribbean Review of Books.
Launched by Alice Yard in 2014, the prize is an annual award for an original piece of critical writing on contemporary Caribbean art by a Caribbean writer aged 35 or under. It aims to encourage new writing on Caribbean art and artists, and to identify emerging voices in contemporary Caribbean art criticism. Originally it was expected that the winner of the inaugural prize would be announced in late 2014. Despite the delay in the timetable, the prize will continue to be awarded annually, and the 2015 Alice Yard Prize for Art Writing will open for entries in September.
The co-directors of Alice Yard wish to thank the 2014 prize judges — Krista Thompson, Charles Campbell, and Courtney J. Martin — for their time and critical engagement.