Thursday, December 31, 2009

Reading: Ishion Hutchinson and Valzhyna Mort

Wednesday 6 January, 2010, at 7.00 pm

Ishion Hutchinson and Valzhyna Mort

Alice Yard is currently hosting its first two writers in residence, both poets: Ishion Hutchinson of Jamaica and Valzhyna Mort of Belarus. They are also the first residents of our new Habitat space, intended to host visiting artists, writers, musicians, and other creative practitioners interested in living and working in Port of Spain and interacting with Alice Yard’s creative network.

On Wednesday 6 January, at 7.00 pm, Hutchinson and Mort will read from their recent work at Alice Yard, and engage in a conversation about questions which their separate bodies of work address from different directions: language, translation, home, abroad, and personal and national history.

All are invited.

About the writers:

Ishion Hutchinson was born in 1983 in Port Antonio, Jamaica. He has an MFA from New York University and is currently researching his doctoral dissertation at the University of Utah. He has read at the Calabash International Literary Festival in Jamaica and participated in the Cropper Foundation Caribbean Writers’ Workshop. In 2005 his chapbook Bryan’s Bay appeared in the Calabash Chapbook Series, and his first full-length book of poems will appear in 2010.

Valzhyna Mort was born in 1981 in Minsk, Belarus. Her first book, I’m As Thin as Your Eyelashes (2005), was a collection of poetry, prose, and selected translations from Polish and English. Since 2006 she has lived in the United States, where she is a writer in residence at the University of Baltimore. She has also been a writer in residence at the Literarisches Colloquium Berlin and Sylt-Quelle in Germany and at the International Authors’ House in Graz, Austria. Her second book of poems, Factory of Tears, translated by Mort in collaboration with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Franz Wright and Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright, appeared in 2008.

I took my name from the aftersky
of a Mesopotamian flood,

birdless as if culture had shed its wings

into a ground vulture on the plain.

— from “A Surveyor’s Journal”, by Ishion Hutchinson

even our mothers have no idea how we were born
how we parted their legs and crawled out into the world

the way you crawl from the ruins after a bombing....

— from “Belarusian 1”, by Valzhyna Mort

The reading is co-hosted by Town.

Three young artists: Stanita Clarke, Justin Hay, Arnaldo James

Alice Yard recently hosted the work of three young photographers, all of them university undergraduates.

Photo by Stanita Clarke

Stanita Clarke is a student at Trinity College, Connecticut. She spent the Fall 2009 semester working in Trinidad under the mentorship of Christopher Cozier. Her research focused on traditional architecture, the evolution of urban space, conservation, and preservation. On Monday 21 December she showed a series of photographs documenting Trinidad's urban fabric at this current moment of transition, and gave a short talk. She also documented her work at the Trinity at Alice Yard blog.


Photo by Justin Hay

Photo by Arnaldo James

On Wednesday 30 December, Justin Hay and Arnaldo James staged a collaborative exhibition of recent work in photography and other media. Hay is a student at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver. He showed a sequence of photographs alongside several works on paper and a sculptural work. James is a student at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. He showed a sequence of 100 photographs, many of which also appear on his Flickr page.

The event also included music by DJ cozyprone metronome.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Another chance to visit the Alice Yard Shop

Following the Alice Yard Shop exhibition and sale last Saturday, we've had many requests for a second opportunity to view and purchase artworks from the Shop inventory. Here's your chance: the Alice Yard Shop will open again on Thursday 24 December, from 1.00 to 7.00 pm.

Christmas Eve is an extremely busy time for many people, but if you need to buy an intriguing and unexpected last-minute present for someone--or simply want a break from errands, crowds, and traffic--stop by Alice Yard and take a look at our selection of artists' limited editions and multiples, design objects, and original artworks. Most of these items are modestly priced--you can pick something up for as little as a dollar--and all purchases help support Alice Yard and its programme of events.

Please spread the word--this is Alice Yard's first and only fundraising event for 2009--and if you can't make it to the yard on Thursday, you can still browse a selection of artworks at the new Alice Yard Shop website.

Artists with works in the Alice Yard Shop include Akuzuru, Ashraph, Christopher Cozier, Marlon Darbeau, Michelle Isava, Jaime Lee Loy, Brianna McCarthy, Kavir Mootoo, Nikolai Noel, Suzanne Nunez, Richard Rawlins, Seon Thompson, Rodell Warner, Adam Williams, Robert Young, and 12 the band.

As always, all are invited.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

At the Alice Yard Shop opening

Photographs (by Georgia Popplewell) from the opening exhibition and sale of artists’ works at the Alice Yard Shop, Saturday 19 December, 2009. Selected items are available for viewing and purchase at the new Alice Yard Shop website.

Works by Christopher Cozier, Nikolai Noel, Richard Rawlins, and Marlon Darbeau installed in Alice Yard’s gallery box.

Audience members view artworks on sale.

Alice Yard’s chief instigator, Sean Leonard, at the Shop opening exhibition.

See more photos by Georgia Popplewell here.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Introducing the Alice Yard Shop

This coming Saturday, we will launch the Alice Yard Shop, a new intervention in Trinidad's commercial art market. Rather than a permanent retail outlet, the Shop is an exhibition and sale of artists' limited editions and multiples, design objects, and some original artworks, reasonably priced and intended to be affordable to beginning collectors. Every few months the Alice Yard Shop will exhibit a new selection of works and objects, which will also be available for purchase online.

The first Shop exhibition and sale opens at 6.00 pm on Saturday 19 December, 2009. It will feature objects by a range of artists who have been involved in Alice Yard's activities over the past year, including Akuzuru, Christopher Cozier, Marlon Darbeau, Michelle Isava, Jaime Lee Loy, Brianna McCarthy, Nikolai Noel, Suzanne Nunez, Richard Rawlins, Seon Thompson, Rodell Warner, Adam Williams, and Robert Young.

All are invited.

For more information, contact

Sunday, December 13, 2009

At the opening of The Dimming

Images from the opening night of The Dimming, an exhibition of two series of drawings by Nikolai Noel, Friday 11 December, 2009.

noel dimming 2 installation

The Dimming 2, a series of 100 drawings (graphite on paper), installed in Alice Yard's Habitat space. Photo by Nicholas Laughlin

noel dimming 1 installation

The Dimming 1, a series of 25 larger drawings, installed in the gallery box. Photo by Nicholas Laughlin

noel dimming talk

The artist in conversation with Nicholas Laughlin. Photo by Richard Rawlins

(See more images from the opening of The Dimming here.)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Nikolai Noel: The Dimming

Opens Friday 11 December, 2009, at 8.00 pm

From The Dimming (1)

The Dimming is a series of new drawings by Nikolai Noel — dark, puzzling, and by turns sinister, witty, sly. These works on paper play with ideas of narrative, sequence, congruence, consequence — notions of absence, isolation, harm, magic, fear — and cumulatively suggest either distress or sanctity, a state of peace, contentment, rest.

The drawings will be installed at Alice Yard for one week, and the exhibition opens at 8.00 pm on Friday 11 December.

All are invited.

From The Dimming (1)

About the artist:

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, 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.”

Noel last showed his work at Alice Yard in December 2007.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

At the Vein performance

Images from Vein, a site-specific performance work by Akuzuru, Monday 23 November, 2009. All photos by Georgia Popplewell.

(See more images of the performance here.)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Akuzuru: Vein

Monday 23 November, 2009, at 8.00 pm

Part of Akuzuru's Earthology performance, India, 2008

To coincide with the 2009 Commonwealth People's Forum in Port of Spain, and to celebrate the Commonwealth Foundation's support for artists via the Commonwealth Connections International Arts Residencies, Alice Yard will host a new performance work by Trinidadian artist Akuzuru on the evening of Monday 23 November.

In 2008, Akuzuru spent several months living and working in India with the support of a Commonwealth arts residency. The result was Earthology, a "spatial work in three acts" incorporating large-scale sculptural installations and performance. The entire project is documented in a limited edition catalogue titled Earthology India.

Vein, the new work which Akuzuru will create at Alice Yard, is a further installment in what she conceives as an "epic opus" unfolding in locations around the world. The performance will begin at 8.00 pm and run for approximately 45 minutes.

The event will also include a small installation documenting the work of Nigerian artist Ugochukwu Bright Eke, who was artist-in-residence at Alice Yard in 2008, supported by the Commonwealth Foundation.

Vein is part of the programme for the Creativity and Innovation component of the Commonwealth People's Forum. Delegates to the forum and representatives of the Commonwealth Foundation will attend, and Alice Yard invites members of the public to come and join in an informal conversation about creative connections across the Commonwealth.

All are invited.

About the artist:

Akuzuru is an "experiential artist" known for her performances and large sculptural-installation works. Interdisciplinary in approach, she creates experiences, working primarily in the natural environment. She has had solo exhibitions in the United Kingdom, Nigeria, South Africa, and various locations in the Caribbean. She was artist-in-residence at the Bag Factory in Johannesburg in 2002 and a participant in the 2006 Galvanize programme in Trinidad.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Esther Figueroa: Jamaica For Sale

Wednesday 18 November, 2009, at 7.30 pm

Jamaica for Sale is a feature-length documentary film about the economic, social, and environmental impacts of tourism and unsustainable development in Jamaica, directed by Esther Figueroa and produced in collaboration with Diana McCaulay.

On Wednesday 18 November, Alice Yard will host the Trinidad and Tobago premiere of Jamaica For Sale, with director and producer Esther Figueroa in attendance. The film will be introduced by economist Norman Girvan, and afterwards Figueroa will engage the audience in an informal discussion.

All are invited.

The producers write:

“Though the Caribbean receives about five percent of the global tourist trade, it is the region most economically dependent on tourism. Heavily promoted since 1891 as the way to modernisation and prosperity, tourism has tragically failed in its promises, as Jamaica is one of the most indebted countries in the world. Lively, hard-hitting, with powerful voices, arresting visuals, and iconic music, Jamaica For Sale documents the environmental, economic, social, and cultural impacts of unsustainable tourism development. Filled with wit and penetrating observations from the streetwise to highly acclaimed academics, Jamaica For Sale engages with a cross section of Jamaicans: workers, small hoteliers, fishermen, community members, and environmentalists. As Jamaica is irreversibly transformed by massive hotel and luxury condominium development, Jamaica For Sale both documents this transformation and is trying to turn the tide. It is a cautionary tale not just for Jamaica, but all islands in the Caribbean.”

Winner of the audience award at the Africa World Documentary Film Festival and the Bronze Palm Award at the Mexico International Film Festival.

About the director:

Esther Figueroa is a Jamaican independent filmmaker, writer, educator, and linguist. She has twenty-five years’ experience in media production, including documentaries, educational videos, television programming, music videos, multimedia, web content, and feature film. An activist filmmaker, she focuses on local knowledge, indigenous cultures, social injustice, community empowerment, and the environment.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Proyecto Capital

Friday 6 November, 2009, at 7.30 pm

Proyecto Capital is a collaboration among two Colombian artists, Alejandro Mina and Mar Molano, and Trinidadian artist Michelle Isava. As visitors to Trinidad, Mina and Molano were surprised by the number of small-denomination coins discarded in the streets of Port of Spain--money literally thrown away. Together with Isava, they began collecting coins from the streets of the capital city and documenting the process. The project will conclude with an installation of these found objects at Alice Yard, symbolically re-inserting this "capital" into circulation.

Isava writes:

"We have collected 500 5-cent coins, 987 25-cent coins, 498 10-cent coins, 7 50-cent coins (although they are no longer in use).... This installation seeks to give value to what is not valued here in Trinidad. To foreign eyes, coins on the streets are an absurd enigma that represents the extravagance and wealth of Trinidad and Tobago."

The project is documented at the Proyecto Capital blog.

The Proyecto Capital installation opens to the public at Alice Yard on Friday 6 November at 7.30 pm. Audience members can participate by taking the found coins away. All are invited.

Friday, October 23, 2009

“The Caribbean is really a critical space...”

Critical Space is a short video featuring a conversation between Alice Yard co-instigator Christopher Cozier and Draconian Switch publisher Richard Rawlins. It explores ideas about how to define the Caribbean and its creative possibilities, and examines the collaborative networks, off- and online, that are evolving around Alice Yard and its partners.

The genesis of the video was an invitation for Cozier to participate in the Transformations: New Directions in Black Art conference, organised by Lowery Stokes Sims and Leslie King-Hammond at the Maryland Institute College of Art (22 to 25 October, 2009). Unable to attend in person, Cozier proposed that the conference screen a video conversation instead, and enlisted the creative team behind Draconian Switch as collaborators. The video was shot and edited in the space of forty-eight hours.

Critical Space is an artzpub films production. Director: Darryn Boodan. Editor: Tracy J. Hutchings. Photography: Rodell Warner, Richard Rawlins, and Damian Libert. Equipment provided by: Dave Williams, firsttfloor studios.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Introducing Town

town 1 alice yard entrance

Broadsides from the first issue of Town posted at the entrance to Alice Yard

Town is a new literary magazine launched in October 2009, associated with Alice Yard. Planned to appear at irregular intervals (approximately every six to eight weeks), Town publishes poems, short prose, and art in broadside editions posted in public locations around Port of Spain, and online. It is edited by Alice Yard co-instigator Nicholas Laughlin together with writers Anu Lakhan and Vahni Capildeo. The first issue includes poems by the three editors, short fiction by Kelvin Christopher James, and images by Nikolai Noel. PDFs of all the broadsides from each issue of the magazine are available for download at the Town website. Readers can print copies and post them in their own neighbourhoods, homes, offices, or schools.

Read more about the project here, and see the table of contents of the first issue here. Photos of the Town broadsides around Port of Spain are posted here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

24HRS: Marlon Griffith

marlon 24HRS 3

For his 24HRS residency--part of the free+three programme--Marlon Griffith installed a series of "shadow drawings" on large fabric panels across the Alice Yard space. As audience members walked through and around the installation, their own shadows contributed to the spectacle.

(Alice Yard's 24HRS residency programme invites an artist to create a site- and time-specific work in the yard space over the course of a single day. The programme was conceived by Griffith. The first 24HRS artist was Barbadian Sheena Rose.)

marlon chris shadows

Marlon Griffith and Christopher Cozier, silhouetted against a portion of the installation, discuss the 24HRS project in the context of Griffith's previous work.

marlon 24 HRS 1

A detail of the installation, showing one of the stencils used to project Griffith's drawings onto the fabric panels.

Friday, September 11, 2009

free+three photos

free+three 12 sheldon

Sheldon Holder performing with 12 the band at "Free yourself, be yourself", Wednesday 9 September, 2009, part of Alice Yard's free+three anniversary programme. The event also celebrated 12's tenth anniversary and the launch of their album Streets and Avenues. Photo by Richard Rawlins.

free+three 12 performance

The audience in Alice Yard during 12's performance. Photo by Nicholas Laughlin.

free+three sean

Sean Leonard participating in a conversation about "The idea of free", Monday 7 September, 2009. Photo by Richard Rawlins.

free+three audience

Part of the audience at "The idea of free". Photo by Mariel Brown.

See more photos from free+three here, and the full programme of events here.

Monday, September 7, 2009

(Download your own) free+three posters

free+three poster 1

free+three poster 2

Artist and designer Marlon Darbeau, one of Alice Yard's creative collaborators, has designed three posters for our free+three anniversary programme, incorporating photographs by Rodell Warner. They draw on the new wordmark typeface Darbeau has designed for Alice Yard, and the distinctive trapezium shape of the floorplan of the small gallery at the heart of our space.

From 7 to 14 September, 2009, during free+three, high-resolution PDF versions of the posters, suitable for printing, were available for download.

See the full free+three programme here.

free+three poster 3

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.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"Patricia Gone with ... Millicent?"

Thursday 30 July, 2009, from 7.30 to 9.30 pm

Lord Invader, the Mighty Growler, Atilla the Hun, and the Roaring Lion in 1943

What is one subject that calypso has handled with some of its sweetest ingenuity and subtlest imagination? Homosexuality, believe it or not! Come listen! Whether you love the calypso artform and Trini culture or you have a personal or family connection to the topic, join community organiser Colin Robinson, cultural critic Charleston Thomas and others in a tent-like atmosphere at Alice Yard, where they will take in some two dozen recordings of fascinating calypsoes from the 1950s to the present that display surprising wit and intelligence in their treatment of same-sex love. The audience will be invited to share their own memories of other treatments of the topic, talk about the meaning of the music, why dancehall and calypso treat so differently with the same issue, and what implications the music and its history might have for debates about homosexuality in the current political moment. Plans for Carnival season activities on the topic will also be aired.

This is a free event supporting the mission of a new coalition, CAISO (Coalition Advocating Inclusion of Sexual Orientation), to promote an inclusive, 20/20 vision of sexual orientation and citizenship in Trinidad and Tobago.

For more information, contact: 758-7676 or

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Erotic Art Week 2009 at Alice Yard

Alice Yard was one of ten locations participating in EroticArtTT, the 2009 Erotic Art Week (23 June to 2 July). Organised and curated by graphic designers Christian Alexis and Richard Rawlins, choreographer/writer Dave Williams, and architect Terry Smith, the Erotic Art Week programme included exhibitions and installations of visual work, a spoken word and poetry performance, and a discussion of erotic elements in Trinidad Carnival. Several dozen artists, musicians, and writers participated, at exhibition and performance venues scattered across a few blocks of Woodbrook.

Seven artists showed their work at Alice Yard: Marlon Darbeau, Jason Winter-Roach, Silverstar, Justine Hosein, Christine Healey, Sabrina Charran, and Rodell Warner. Below are some installation images. For more information, download the special Erotic Art Week issue of Draconian Switch.

Playful Things, by Marlon Darbeau, installed in the gallery space at Alice Yard. Photo by Damian Libert.

Photographs by Silverstar, installed in the residency apartment at Alice Yard.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Town, by Sheena Rose

Video still from "Town"

Artist Sheena Rose, visiting from Barbados, will project her animated video work Town on Friday 29 May at 7 pm, at Alice Yard, 80 Roberts Street, Woodbrook, Port of Spain. The work will be introduced in dialogue with artists and writers Marsha Pearce and Jaime Lee Loy.

Rose is a recent graduate from the BFA programme at the Barbados Community College. Since graduating she has shown work at the Zemicon Gallery and in the Sign of the Times digital art exhibition at Queen’s Park in Bridgetown. Rose was also commissioned to produce an animated video as part of the Black Diaspora Visual Arts Symposium and Exhibition, curated by David A. Bailey in February 2009. Her participation at Alice Yard was funded in part by the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) Barbados and the OECS.

"The primary focus of my animation is something that I can arguably say everyone struggles with, and that is constantly thinking about our daily problems. There are not very many times during the day when our minds are at rest. We are always dwelling on something that we need to do, a broken relationship, how we are going to manage paying the electricity bill as well as buying new school uniforms at the end of the month, not driving the car unnecessarily because gas costs more now-a-days. I am interested in the daily lives of Barbadian people, especially with what is going on in their minds..."

-- Sheena Rose

Sheena Rose will also participate in Alice Yard's first 24HRS residency
. A 24-hour site-specific improvisational artwork instigated by Marlon Griffith will begin on Monday 1 June at 12.00 pm. The public is welcome to visit and engage with the process.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Photographic Exploration of Religious Life in Trinidad

The Trinity of Trinidad
A Photographic Exploration of Religious Life in Trinidad
Photographs by: Erin Caner
click on the image to go to Erin's flickr site
Monday May 11, 2009

Opens at 7.00 PM
Alice Yard, 80 Roberts Street,Woodbrook, POS.
"I don't really know or understand what I'm looking at, being from a different culture, and I want to resist relying on tired stock imaging of what the Caribbean should look like, or a sort of 'orientalism' of Trinidad carnival, as an American outsider. It's complicated because so much of the culture, in my limited perception, appears to be mas or performance in itself. The culture is a performance. How does photography, capturing this performance-in-action, play into this? What's behind it all? I don't believe I've accomplished this investigative approach yet, but I would like to." - Read more here.
Co-sponsored by: Alice Yard & Trinity-in-Trinidad
Trinity at Alice Yard
Erin Caner, student at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, presents a series of photographs investigating the ways that religious life is performed and observed in Trinidadian society. Focusing on three religions in the country: Hinduism, Christianity, and the Shouter Baptists, the exhibition opens at, and all are welcome!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mother Mas and the Junk Jester

click on the image to go to Erin Caner's flickr site
A Performance by: Haben Abraham & Thea Button
Friday May 8th, 2009
Performance will start at 7:30 pm
Alice Yard, 80 Roberts Street, Woodbrook, POS
Co-sponsered by: Alice Yard & Trinity-in-Trinidad
Students of Trinity College in Hartford, CT, Button and Abraham have spent this past semester in Trinidad developing an experimental performance piece exploring society, location, and situation on Friday May 8th at 7:30. All are welcome! Feel free to check out their blog Trinity at Alice Yard for a sneak preview and to see how they got to where they are.

Also, on Monday night, look out for:

The Trinity of Trinidad
A Photographic Exploration of Religious Life in Trinidad
Photographs by: Erin Caner
Monday May 11, 2009
Opens at 7.00 PM
Alice Yard, 80 Roberts Street,Woodbrook, POS.
Co-sponsored by: Alice Yard & Trinity-in-Trinidad
Erin Caner, student at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, presents a series of photographs investigating the ways that religious life is performed and observed in Trinidadian society. Focusing on three religions in the country: Hinduism, Christianity, and the Shouter Baptists, the exhibition opens at, and all are welcome!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Greta Mendez at Alice Yard

In collaboration with Alice Yard, Paul Kain and Robert Young, of the Cloth, London based Greta Mendez will perform a fragment of the her multi-media contemporary performance work, Ndulgence on Thursday April 9th at
Bring an extra eyebrow pencil and or lipstick.


uses images, text and calypsos, they collide and weave to get create a dramatic whole.
'Ndulgence tells a story of a Caribbean woman (Madam Glo) who has lived most of her life in Europe, struggling for her identity, amidst the daily bombardment of the “perfect image”…. The 'Ndulgence journey is not unique, it is an everyday story of the aging women and identity but it would be told in an original and powerful way. Most of us as migrant people struggle for our identity as we are always on the margins even when we are appear to operating within the society. When we return to our countries of origin we are also seen as outsiders. Migrant peoples clutch onto their traditions but some host countries favour assimilation on their terms. The need to be glo/bal is also forging a new manufactured identity.

".... there is a folk character called Mama Dlo/Dglo, Mama del’eau mother of the water. She sometimes takes the form of a beautiful woman and sits singing silent songs on still afternoons. She is really a houilla (wheel-a) anaconda; she makes cracking loud sounds with her tail. To escape Mama Dglo take off your left shoe, turn it upside down…..leave the scene walking backwards until you reach home and then there is Glo/bal"


"Everywhere we go there are images telling us what to wear, what to drive, what we should look like and so on"

Ndulgence highlights the external--social issues--and internal pressures pushing and pulling against each other in and around her. The need to find a voice in a society in which she is invisible, but how can she be obsessed with her image?
How can she be so indulgent when?

"Vagrants and destitutes on the street
Infants with simply nothing to eat
Is arming, disarming, alarming droughts and
The overlords and a chosen few making the whole world blue"
-- Calypsonian Baron

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Moyenne and Philip Nanton in performance

Friday 27 March, 2009, at 8.00 pm

This Friday, Alice Yard presents a double bill: the jazz ensemble Moyenne preceded by a performance of Island Voices by Philip Nanton.

wakeup call_0066

"Wake Up Call", by Caroline "bops" Sardine.
Image courtesy Khalil Goodman and the artist.
Click here to see video sequence of Nanton discussing the work at Zemicon Gallery, Barbados

Philip Nanton's Island Voices is located on the imaginary Caribbean island state of St. Christopher and the Barracudas. It is a place where anything can happen and the wrong thing usually does. These dramatic monologues and dialogues, ranging in tone from broad humour to pathos, are introduced by the island state’s retired, rumbustuous Chief of Police, Emmanuel "Fish-head" De Freitas. Nanton's live stage reading includes visual responses by the Vincentian artist Caroline "bops" Sardine, and a short film, Shades, by the South African filmmaker Akin Omotosho.

Island Voices has previously been performed in Barbados, Jamaica, St. Vincent, and at the 2007 Miami International Book Fair.


Moyenne is a Caribbean jazz group, led by Chantal Esdelle, a graduate of Berklee College of Music and a MA student at York University. This pianist, composer, and arranger is joined by co-founder of the group Kevin Sobers on steel pans, Douglas Redon on bass, and Junior Noel on percussion. Together they create and perform original music that reflects their rich Caribbean heritage and their exploration of African-American jazz.

Moyenne has performed at the Havana International Jazz Festival, the Grenada Spice Jazz Festival, Pan Royale (now referred to as the Trinidad and Tobago Steel Pan and Jazz Festival), and throughout the Caribbean.

You can hear Moyenne’s music at

The evening's performance starts at 8.00 pm. Admission is free and all are invited.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wendell McShine & The Cloth

Alice Yard ( Mac Shine )

Designer Robert Young of The Cloth will open a temporary retail shop for the 2009 Carnival season at Alice Yard, featuring locally designed and made clothing. Mexico-based Trinidadian artist Wendell McShine will participate in the launch of The Cloth Here, with a performance piece at Alice Yard on Wednesday 18 February, 2009, from 5.00 pm. McShine will paint the Alice Yard exhibition space housing pieces from The Cloth's 2009 collection. For more information, contact Robert Young at 721-7616.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Marlon Darbeau's En Route in Draconian Switch

En Route ... Of Bridges and Barriers, the installation project by Marlon Darbeau that ran at Alice Yard from 10 to 13 December, 2008, is featured in the latest issue of Draconian Switch, an emag produced by a group of Trinidadian artists and writers. Download the current issue (and back issues from the archive) here.