Thursday, December 13, 2007

Working on 200 Drawings

200 drawings nikolai & jaime 2

200 drawings brushes

200 drawings nikolai & jaime 4

Jaime Lee Loy and Nikolai Noel working on 200 Drawings.

Monday, December 10, 2007

4: 200 Drawings, by Jaime Lee Loy and Nikolai Noel

14 December, 2007, at 9.00 pm, in the Alice Yard Space

Since late 2006, the young artists Marlon Griffith, Jaime Lee Loy, and Nikolai Noel have been engaged in open-ended collaboration and conversation with each other. In 2008, the trio will present several collaborative projects. During Griffith's absence from Trinidad (on a residency in Jamaica), Lee Loy and Noel will co-operate on a performative project at Alice Yard, called 200 Drawings.

"The project is a kind of exercise in looking, with 'gender' underpinnings--a level of engagement and observation without direct interaction. This is apart from the obvious exercise in concentration, imagination, and execution involved in the production of the drawings. J and I sit across the room from each other and make drawings, and we hope to amass 200 at the end. We give ourselves limitations with regard to size of paper, and that the drawings be executed in the presence of the other person involved. We work in the space where the drawings will be displayed."

--Nikolai Noel

From Monday 10 December, Lee Loy and Noel will spend several hours each day drawing each other in the gallery space at Alice Yard. On the night of Friday 14, the finished drawings will be displayed in the Alice Yard Space even as the two artists continue to draw under the gaze of their audience.


Jaime Lee Loy has been experimenting with video for the past five years. Her paintings have also appeared in over a dozen exhibitions. She has been artist in residence in Trinidad (CCA) and the USA (Vermont Studio Centre). Her writing and art explore the nuances of the female psyche and interrogate the social frameworks that negatively impact that psyche. A young single mother, she produced the documentary Protest based on young mothers in Trinidad, as well as the videos Madam and Unease. She is currently producing a film based on Bury Your Mother, a short story she wrote for the forthcoming Trinidad Noir anthology. She is an honours graduate in literature and visual arts of the University of the West Indies, St Augustine.

Nikolai Noel grew up in the east Port of Spain district of Belmont and attended the John Donaldson Technical Institute before entering the world of commercial video production as an animator. He began to exhibit in 2000, and has shown work every year since, participating in a number of group shows and with solo shows in 2002 and 2007. He says: "The purpose of my work is to question the way we structure our civilisation. Why are the institutions that govern the world we know, the institutions that govern the world we know? Could we have evolved an alternative, more equitable form of organising ourselves? Is it too late to do it? Do we have the will or desire for that kind of thing? I am interested in the millions of years of occurrences that brought us to this point."


The trematode--a six-legged frog--has been adopted as a badge or logo for their collective by Marlon Griffith, Jaime Lee Loy, and Nikolai Noel.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


dave williams waiting 2

Dave Williams performing Waiting, 23 November, 2007.

dave williams waiting 1

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

3: Waiting, by Dave Williams

23 November, 2007, at 9.30 pm, in the Alice Yard Space

"The size and shape of the space around us figures the shape of what we feel we need to get out of and how far away from it we think we need to run. The shape of the space around us, therefore, prescribes not only what we move like but what we form ourselves into in order to reside in, or escape it."

-- Dave Williams

Bio: Dave Williams is a Trinidad-based performance artist and choreographer who uses elements of dance to re-present archetypes and stereotypes of our circumstance. In an attempt to manipulate the way we perceive, reference, and interpret our responses and actions, he is now exploring media beyond the stage.

Monday, October 22, 2007

At the Proverb opening

Alice Yard Space

At the opening of Proverb, a video work by Mario Lewis; photo by Georgia Popplewell. More photos from the 19 October event here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

2: Proverb, by Mario Lewis

19 October to 9 November, 2007, in the Alice Yard Space

mario lewis proverb

Still from Proverb (2005), a video work

In Proverb ... Mario Lewis presents an installation meditating on the diasporan experience, commenting on "migration, history and belonging", and what he calls a "hybrid film" explores "the passing of time, estrangement, [and] alienation as a poetic construct"....

Leading on from what seems to have begun as an exploration of the UK which was perhaps also a search for his own place within the scheme of things, Lewis has created a new context that selectively combines the fruits of his research, thoughts and encounters from two different times and places in his life.... The video is a visceral representation of alienation, at the same time playing with the medium of the moving image.

-- Asako Yokoya

(Proverb was first shown at the 198 Gallery in London from 21 January to 4 March, 2005.)

Bio: Mario Lewis studied at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana and Goldsmiths College in London. He has participated in numerous international exhibitions, including the Santo Domingo and Dakar Biennials (2003 and 2002), and Latitudes (Paris, 2004). His solo shows include Blind Spot (2002), How Yuh Like Meh Now (2003), and Proverb (2005). He returned to Trinidad in 2005 with the aim of establishing a foundation for research and development of visual arts in the Caribbean. He spearheaded the Galvanize programme that ran in September and October 2006.

Proverb opens on Friday 19 October, 2007, at 7.30 pm, in the Alice Yard Space. Mario Lewis will engage in a conversation about contemporary art in Trinidad and the legacy of Galvanize 2006 with artist Adam Williams and architect Sean Leonard. All are invited.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

At the Rack opening

mark looking at rack

Architect Mark Franco looking at Rack, a drawing installation by Adam Williams. More photos from the 14 September opening here and here.

Friday, September 7, 2007

1: Rack, by Adam Williams

14 September to 5 October, 2007, in the Alice Yard Space


Detail of Rack, an installation of drawings on paper suspended from clothes hangers on a makeshift clotheshorse

Conceived from an accident, the "rack" is both the presentation of my artwork and the artwork itself. First and foremost, this piece is about the unexpected excitement that came out of it being assembled. It also brings many of the qualities that work has in a studio space, which are lost when on display. This means I can share with my audience the experience I have with the art.

In straddling the line between work in progress and final display, I want to see how people will respond to the work; whether they view it at a comfortable distance, or actively move the hangers around and view each piece.

-- Adam Williams

Bio: Adam Williams was born in Trinidad in 1982 and grew up here and in Barbados. He attended the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) in Toronto from 2000 to 2004, studying both figurative painting and drawing and ceramic art, but did not graduate. He is currently enrolled at the Creative Arts Centre at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, completing his BA in visual art.

He also studied piano with Nancy Jackman and music theory with Graham Newling. He attended the Hartwick College Summer Music Festival and Institute (HCSMF&I) during the summers of 1998 to 2000. At HCSMF&I he participated as a student and as a councillor.

He currently works out of his home, where he has a ceramic and painting studio. He also teaches ceramics and piano.

Physical plan of Alice Yard

Conceptualised by Sean Leonard.

alice yard plan

Last updated 28 August, 2009. To download a larger version of this plan, click here.

What is the space?

sean leonard alice yard sketch

Conceptual sketch of the Alice Yard Space, by Sean Leonard

Alice Yard Space is a small gallery in the backyard of 80 Roberts Street--a nine-by-seven-by-ten-foot concrete and glass box designed by architect Sean Leonard, which opens in September 2007. It is just large enough to fit an artist's installation, a video work, a few drawings or paintings.

Since September 2006, Alice Yard has been home to a series of weekly Friday-night "Conversations", bringing musicians, artists, writers, and audiences together for informal performances and interactions. The gallery now creates the possibility for another kind of conversation, by offering contemporary artists a space to show a carefully selected piece of recent work, or even work in progress.

The concept evolved from a conversation between Sean Leonard and artist Christopher Cozier, and through a series of drawings in a sketchbook they shared over a period of six months. They conceived of a modest space where artists can experiment with ideas and works not normally feasible in a commercial gallery. They are inviting other artists to join in their sketchbook conversation, as it were, and also inviting viewers into the process. Alice Yard Space asks questions about the relationship between artists and their community, outside the conventional bounds of the art market (but not oblivious to commercial concerns).

From 14 September, 2007, Alice Yard Space will host a regular series of artists' projects, instigated by Leonard, Cozier, and writer and editor Nicholas Laughlin, in conversation with a collaborative of three young artists, Marlon Griffith, Jaime Lee Loy, and Nikolai Noel.

Click here for a detailed physical plan of the space.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


Selected writings on contemporary art in Trinidad and the wider Caribbean
= Legal tender, by Nicholas Laughlin
On Cass’Mosha A. Centeno’s Hundred Dollar Bill; first published (translated into Spanish by David Puig) in ONTO #2: Arte y Capital, 2021
= The rightest place, by Andre Bagoo
A profile of Blue Curry; published in Caribbean Beat, March/April 2020
= Riddles of survival, by Shereen Ali
A profile of Kelly Sinnapah Mary; published in Caribbean Beat, September/October 2019
= Full free, by Shereen Ali
A profile of Tessa Mars; published in Caribbean Beat, May/June 2018

= Sea, Sun, and Oil in Trinidad, by Marina Reyes Franco
A journal of the author’s research trip to Trinidad, funded by the 2017 CPPC Travel Award; published on the Independent Curators International website

= “Artists, this space is available”
Alice Yard co-director Sean Leonard interviewed by Stephen Stuempfle; published in Caribbean Beat, September/October 2016

= A fine balance, by Nicholas Laughlin
An essay on the exhibition Into the Mix, which ran at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft in 2012; published in The Caribbean Review of Books, November 2013

= The Popop spirit, by Sonia Farmer
A profile of Nassau-based Popopstudios International Centre for the Visual Arts; published in Caribbean Beat, November/December 2013

= The art of presence, by Christopher Cozier
A profile of Marcel Pinas; published in Caribbean Beat, July/August 2013

= The shape of a name, by Nicholas Laughlin
A profile of Sandra Brewster and her Mohammeds project at Alice Yard; published in Caribbean Beat, May/June 2013

= Mas by other means, by Nicholas Laughlin
A profile of Marlon Griffith; published in Caribbean Beat, January/February 2013

= Caribbean: Crossroads of the World, by Andil Gosine
Review of the exhibition at El Museo del Barrio, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Queens Museum, June 2012–January 2011; published in Art in America, November 2012

= Changing the game, by Natalie McGuire
Short profiles of seven emerging Barbadian artists (Simone Padmore, Alicia Alleyne, Matthew Clarke, Versia Harris, Mark King, Katherine Kennedy, Sheena Rose); published in Caribbean Beat, November/December 2012

= All the right moves, by Nicholas Laughlin
A profile of Ebony G. Patterson; published in Caribbean Beat, September/October 2012

= No more than a backyard on a small island
An interview with Christopher Cozier about Alice Yard and its networks, by curator Claire Tancons; published in Fillip No. 16, Spring 2012

= The middle of the day, by Courtney J. Martin
A dialogue with Frank Bowling on his “poured paintings”; published in Frieze, May 2012

= Notes on Wrestling with the Image, by Christopher Cozier
= In defense of palm trees, by Tatiana Flores
Essays by the curators of Wrestling with the Image, an exhibition at the Art Museum of the Americas, Washington, DC, January–May 2011; from the e-catalogue [PDF download]

= Space is never inactive, by Christopher Cozier
On recent work by Karyn Olivier; published in the catalogue for Who Runs the Space Now?, an exhibition curated by Sandino Scheidegger and Sofia Mariscal, June–August 2011 [PDF download]

= Portrait of the artist, by Nicholas Laughlin
On recent work by Dhiradj Ramsamoedj; published in ARC, April 2011

= Turn of the tide, by Melanie Archer
On Holly Bynoe’s Compounds series, including an interview with the artist; published in The Caribbean Review of Books, March 2011

= Belonging to in-between, by Jerry Philogene
On Wrestling with the Image: Caribbean Interventions, an exhibition curated by Christopher Cozier and Tatiana Flores; published in The Caribbean Review of Books, January 2011

= Beyond the tropical veneer: sun cream and the aesthetics of leisure, by Krista Thompson
On Blue Curry’s Untitled (2010), silk screened cover design in sun cream; published in nn [arbeitstitel], 2010

= Stranger than paradise, by Melanie Archer
On recent work by Blue Curry, including an interview with the artist; published in The Caribbean Review of Books, November 2010

= Interview with Karyn Olivier by Astri von Arbin Ahlander
Published at The Days of Yore, September 2010

= Brave new world, by Annie Paul
On the Young Talent V exhibition at the National Gallery of Jamaica; published in The Caribbean Review of Books, July 2010

= Hungry for words, by Nicholas Laughlin
On Karyn Olivier’s ACA Foods Free Library project, including an interview with the artist; published in The Caribbean Review of Books, July 2010

= Still from “The Life Movie”, by Nicholas Laughlin
On Christopher Cozier’s Now Showing print; published at Antilles, the CRB blog, 20 July, 2010

= A place to stand, by Nicholas Laughlin
On Dhiradj Ramsamoedj’s Adjie Gilas project; published in The Caribbean Review of Books, May 2010

= On monuments and moments, by Christopher Cozier
Essay on the commemoration of historic events in the work of Surinamese artists Marcel Pinas and Kurt Nahar; published on the Paramaribo SPAN blog, February 2010

= Losing your head in the Photobooth, by Dave Williams
On Rodell Warner’s Photobooth project; published at the Small Axe blog, 9 November, 2009

= Trinidad and Tobago Erotic Art Week 2009 catalogue
A special issue of Draconian Switch, number 8, 2009 [PDF download]

= Mi Did Deh Deh: a conversation between Jamaican artists Ebony G. Patterson and Oneika Russell
Published on the Small Axe “Vocabularies of Visual Memory” blog, August 2009

= Between a fantasy and a hard place, by Nicholas Laughlin
On La Fantasie, a public installation by Marlon Griffith, Jaime Lee Loy, and Nikolai Noel; written August 2009

= The Wakaman Project, by Rob Perrée
Essay on the Suriname-based Wakaman Project, 2006-2009; published on the Small Axe blog

= A walk in the night, by Alexandra Dodd
Essay on Marlon Griffith's project at CAPE 09, Cape Town, 2009; published on the Small Axe blog

= Riotous assemblage, by Nicholas Laughlin
On The Kingdom of the Blind, by Hew Locke; published in The Caribbean Review of Books, November 2008

= Full frontal, by Christopher Cozier
Short essay on Gerard Gaskin's Trinidad Artists series; published in The Caribbean Review of Books, August 2008

= An island is a world, by Nicholas Laughlin
Review of Infinite Island: Contemporary Caribbean Art, an exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum; published in The Caribbean Review of Books, November 2007

= Working notes: On Christopher Cozier's Tropical Night drawings, by Nicholas Laughlin
Published in the catalogue of Little Gestures: From the Tropical Night Series, an exhibition at the Jaffe-Friede Gallery, Hopkins Centre, Dartmouth College, 2007

= Hermetically sealed, by Maxwell Heller
Essay on Bahamian artist Tavares Strachan; published in The Brooklyn Rail, December 2006/January 2007

= National affairs, by Annie Paul
Review of the 2006 Jamaica National Biennial; published in The Caribbean Review of Books, May 2007

= Make a space: a dialogue between Christopher Cozier and Nicholas Laughlin
On the 2006 Galvanize programme; published in the Trinidad and Tobago Review, November 2006

= Discomfort zone, by Nicholas Laughlin
On Christopher Cozier, his Tropical Night drawings, and Richard Fung’s documentary Uncomfortable; first published in Modern Painters, June 2006

= Access Denied: Big River 3
Catalogue of the 2006 Big River International Artists' Workshop, Trinidad, February to March 2006 [PDF download]

= Art journeys
A series of reports on contemporary art in Guadeloupe, St. Vincent, Guyana, Suriname, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Dominica, circa 2005; published at the CLICO Caribbean Art website

= Lighting the shadow, by Claire Tancons
Essay by the curator of Lighting the Shadow: Trinidad In and Out of Light, an exhibition at Caribbean Contemporary Arts, 2004

= Interview with Christopher Cozier by Annie Paul
First published in BOMB 82, Winter 2003

= Meeting history with art: "The Myriad of Myself", by Annie Paul
Catalogue essay from Lips, Sticks & Marks, an exhibition curated by Annalee Davis, Alida Martinez, and Irénée Shaw, at The Art Foundry, Barbados, and CCA, Trinidad, 1998; republished in N.Paradoxa 8, 1998

Other writings

= Politics of installation, by Boris Groys
Published in e-flux journal #2, 01/2009

Artists' websites and blogs

Trinidad and Tobago

= Nicole Awai
= La Vaughn Belle
= Edward Bowen
= Christopher Cozier
= Marlon Darbeau
= Marlon Griffith
= Jaime Lee Loy
= Wendell McShine
= Alicia Milne
= Nikolai Noel
= Karyn Olivier
= Rachel Rochford
= Irénée Shaw
= Adele Todd
= Luis Vasquez la Roche
= Rodell Warner


= Anand Binda
= Remy Jungerman
= Marcel Pinas
= Ravi Rajcoomar
= George Struikelblok


= Ewan Atkinson
= Annalee Davis
= Joscelyn Gardner
= Ingrid Persaud
= Sheena Rose


= Marvin Bartley
= Charles Campbell
= Andrea Chung
= Alphonso Dunn
= O’Neil Lawrence
= Ebony Patterson
= Oneika Russell

The Bahamas

= John Cox
= Blue Curry
= Kishan Munroe
= Heino Schmid


= Pauline Marcelle

St Vincent and the Grenadines

= Holly Bynoe
= Nadia Huggins

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Who are we?

Alice Yard is administered and curated by Sean Leonard, Christopher Cozier, and Nicholas Laughlin.

= Sean Leonard is an architect who has practised in Trinidad and Tobago since 1992. He is a director of co-ord Ltd. and Basso Leonard Architects Collaborative Ltd. He has a strong interest in contemporary art enterprises, and has worked with numerous artists, designers, and performers on a wide range of creative projects.

= Christopher Cozier is an artist and writer. He has participated in a number of exhibitions focused on contemporary art in the Caribbean and internationally. Since 1989 he has published a range of essays on related issues in several catalogues and journals.

= Nicholas Laughlin is a writer with a particular interest in Caribbean literature and art, and the editor of Caribbean Beat and The Caribbean Review of Books. He is also the programme director of the Bocas Lit Fest.