Wednesday, December 29, 2010

All Your Houses: A Reading by Vahni Capildeo

Tuesday 4 January, 2011, at 7 pm

vahni rasta

The man next to me on the ten-hour flight has insomnia. His white clothing is in layers, and neat. He repacks his hand luggage, which is full of gifts. He was an athlete who represented his nation. Injury and necessity sent him to the factory near Croydon to make plastic cups. He is too big to ignore, even if he had not confided to me his fear of the losses that night shifts make in his mind. The art of memory becomes a topic of discussion. Will his family remember him? His trip is a secret....

Vahni Capildeo is a Trinidadian writer who has lived in Britain since 1991. Her poetry includes No Traveller Returns (2003), Person Animal Figure (2005), and Undraining Sea (2009). On Tuesday 4 January, 2011, at 7 pm, Capildeo will read from her recent work at Alice Yard. The programme will include excerpts from her prose work All Your Houses, accompanied by a series of images by Andre Bagoo, part of an “intertextual dialogue” ongoing over the past two years.

All are invited.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Robert Young/The Cloth: Things You May Appreciate

Saturday 18 to Friday 24 December, 2010

robert young cloth dress

Model with dress and handbag from The Cloth, Caribbean Fashion Week 2009

Robert Young, designer for The Cloth, has curated a year-end sale of clothing, accessories, and art by Trinidadian designers. Things You May Appreciate includes accessories and clothing from The Cloth, jewelry by Akilah Jarimoogi, Christmas decorations and handbags by Lupe Leonard, clothing by Shurnel Oliviere, handbags and jewelry by Jacqueline Charles, jewelry by Olivia Fern, and paintings by Brianna McCarthy.

Saturday 18 December, 8 am to 6 pm, and Sunday 19 to Friday 24 December, 10 am to 7 pm, at Alice Yard.

For information, call (868) 471-2041.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Unidos por la Musica

Wednesday 15 December, 2010, at 6.30 pm


Alice Yard’s final event for 2010 is an exhibition of photographs documenting contemporary parang music in Trinidad, with a performance by the parang group Los Amigos Cantadores.

Isabella Elizalde is a student at Trinity College, Connecticut. She has spent the Fall 2010 semester working in Trinidad under the mentorship of photographer Mark Lyndersay. Her series of photographs titled Unidos por la Musica documents Los Amigos Cantadores over several months leading up to the 2010 Christmas season. (Read Elizalde’s short statement about the photographs at the Trinity at Alice Yard blog.) Alice Yard will host an exhibition of Elizalde’s images for one night, and Los Amigos Cantadores will perform from 6.30 pm sharp.

This is also an opportunity to celebrate the end of the year with Alice Yard’s creative partners.

All are invited.


Friday, November 26, 2010

COCO Dance Festival 2010

Alice Yard and Bohemia, 26 to 28 November, 2010

The Contemporary Choreographers’ Collective, COCO, is a group of independent choreographers — Dave Williams, Nicole Wesley, Nancy Herrera, and Sonja Dumas — offering performance support for choreographers working in unconventional ways in Trinidad and Tobago. COCO will host its second annual dance festival, from Friday 26 to Sunday 28 November, 2010, in a series of unusual spaces.

The 2010 COCO Season, called the Moving Movement Museum, is a series of dances presented in two Woodbrook back yards which already have a tradition of performance: Alice Yard on Roberts Street and, two blocks away, Bohemia at 33 Murray Street. The first half will be at Alice Yard, and the second half at Bohemia. Patrons will be treated to a gallery of live performances created by an A-list line-up of both established and emerging choreographers: Dave Williams, Nicole Wesley, Rachel Lee, Gregor Breedy, Akuzuru, Anika Marcelle, and Sonja Dumas, as well as choreography students from dance programmes at the University of Trinidad and Tobago and the University of the West Indies. “Even the intermission is exciting,” says COCO co-director Sonja Dumas. “Movement will lead you from one space to the other.”


Friday 26 and Saturday 27 November: 8.00 pm
Sunday 28 November: 7.00 pm

Tickets are available from the choreographers and the organisers. Call 622-4426 to make reservations.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Alice Yard in The Global Africa Project: Peera, by Marlon Darbeau

See more images of the Peera prototype at Marlon Darbeau’s blog

Designer Marlon Darbeau’s Peera, a “design investigation” of a traditional furniture form, is featured in The Global Africa Project at the Museum of Arts and Design.

Darbeau writes:

“This project further investigates the idea of convergence, the utilisation of different modes of making.

“It is a culmination of many moments where a designer engages with an architect to design and build ... not a building but the architecture of a small object. Collaborating with Sean Leonard over the last year has brought up questions of multiplicity ... the nature of Alice Yard forces one to consider improvisation and demands a thing to have many purposes (a series of simple metal chairs is used for seating today, tomorrow they are shelves for displaying items).

“Ideas about rethinking and remaking the familiar challenge the way we see ourselves and the things we have grown up with. Christopher Cozier has appropriated the peera bench in a series he titles Little Gestures. while he sees it for its symbolic value, this object for me is a design investigation.”

From Marlon Darbeau’s sketchbook

Alice Yard in The Global Africa Project: Made in China, by Christopher Cozier

Artist Christopher Cozier’s Made in China, a three-dimensional version of an image that recurs in his recent works on paper, is featured in The Global Africa Project at the Museum of Arts and Design.

Cozier writes:

“‘Made in China’ stamps have been so much a part of our lives growing up in Caribbean. In the past it was pencils and plastic pencil-sharpeners, yellow twelve-inch rulers, etc. Modest items with all the associations of developing countries and low level consumption. Today, in the same locations, for people with bigger budgets, it is monolithic structures and narratives of progress.

“I bought this little stamp in a mall in Port of Spain. I began to see these little stamps more and more over the years. Apparently they are quite commonly used for labelling objects on arrival in small shops. Why are they being labelled like this here in Trinidad? What is the value of labelling my work this way in narratives of development and progress? So far I have begun to label drawings of pedestals for politicians to stand upon. Within the narrative of ‘development’ this object can allow them to feel taller and more important, or they could use it to hang themselves.”

Read more at Christopher Cozier’s blog

Monday, November 15, 2010

Alice Yard in The Global Africa Project: A Work in Progress

Alice Yard: A Work in Progress is a short video produced by Artzpub Films for our participation in The Global Africa Project, documenting the physical and critical spaces of the Yard and its creative network.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A conversation with Marlon Griffith

Thursday 11 November, 2010, at 7.30 pm

From the Powder Box Schoolgirl series (2009), by Marlon Griffith

Marlon Griffith, a member of Alice Yard’s network of collaborators, is the recipient of a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2010 Commonwealth Connections International Arts Residency. He is currently preparing to travel to Nassau, where he will work for several months supported by the Commonwealth residency. On Thursday 11 November, Griffith will give an informal talk at Alice Yard about his recent projects and work in progress.

All are invited.

Artist’s statement:

“Marlon Griffith is an artist whose practice is based upon a reciprocal dialogue between mas (the artistic component of Trinidad Carnival) and art as a means of investigating the phenomenological aspect of the embodied experience: it is situated at the intersection of the visual and public performance.

“Through this he has created installations and performance-based works which operate outside the context of mas and which look at fundamental questions in perception and how these actions respond to contemporary culture. In his refashioning of Carnival forms, the work challenges both commercialisation of Trinidad’s rich traditions of performance and their various appropriations by both Afro- and Indo-Trinidadians.

“Through this work he is able to use symbols that define Caribbean society and social groups, which are stripped down to their basic form and abstracted to create new images and narratives that are both public and participatory, responding critically and poetically to the socio-cultural environment which powerfully evokes the uneasy tension-filled interdependency between competing social groups that shapes contemporary Caribbean societies.”

Thursday, September 30, 2010

4x4: Sheena Rose and Lauren Hinds: Parallel Narratives

Friday 1 October, 2010, at 8.00 pm

Conceptual sketches by Sheena Rose and Lauren Hinds

The final event in 4x4, Alice Yard’s fourth anniversary programme, is a collaborative project by Barbadian artist Sheena Rose and Trinidadian artist Lauren Hinds.

Rose was artist in residence at Alice Yard in May 2009, when she presented her animated video work Town. She recently participated in a residency and exhibition in Cape Town. Hinds, who works in the medium of the graphic novel, recently completed a year-long programme at the Centre for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont.

The two artists have spent a week working collaboratively, and will present their work in progress alongside recent solo works. Their collaboration began with an exchange of visual images from their respective environments in Barbados and Trinidad, which they attempted to interpret and respond to. Audience members on Friday night will have the opportunity to create their own interpretation of the resulting visual narratives, before the artists reveal the details of their stories.

All are invited.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

4x4: O’Neil Lawrence on the Kingston scene

Wednesday 29 September, 2010, at 8.00 pm

O’Neil Lawrence

The fourth event in 4x4, Alice Yard’s fourth anniversary programme, is a talk by Jamaican artist and curator O’Neil Lawrence on recent developments on the Kingston art scene.

Lawrence is one of the artists featured in Shot in Kingston: The Digital Scene, an exhibition of digital photo- and video-based work which opened at Alice Yard on 15 September. He is also a curator at the National Gallery of Jamaica. He will give an informal talk on current trends in Jamaica and the artists included in Shot in Kingston.

All are invited.

For more information on the artist, visit his website:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

4x4: Heino Schmid: Equilibrium

Monday 27 September, 2010, at 8.00 pm

Still from < (temporary horizon) (2010, video), by Heino Schmid

The third event in 4x4, Alice Yard’s fourth anniversary programme, is Equilibrium, an exhibition of new work by Bahamian artist Heino Schmid.

Supported by a Commonwealth Connections international arts residency, Schmid has been living and working at Alice Yard since May 2010. Equilibrium presents a series of new works and works-in-progress in several media, created during his time in Port of Spain, and also shown at the 2010 Liverpool Biennial.

He writes:

“The context of much of my work is concerned with narrative and the reconsideration of personal stories in the public forum. Using a variety of media, such as video, drawing, installation, and photography, I investigate the often simple, sometimes irrelevant encounters and collisions between people and their environments.

“Although I strive for universal metaphors, I approach each body of work in a very personal way. Using self-referential experiences as an avenue to illuminating collective experiences, I hope to reveal the subtle social dramas that inform our lives and ultimately bring those realities to the forefront for discussion.

“The image above (from < (temporary horizon)) combines the use of common material and repetition to candidly examine the shifting tensions between action and inertia, balance and imbalance. The positioning of the two bottles, though fragile and ultimately unsustainable, evokes surprise through its temporary equilibrium, with a false horizon created as a byproduct of this balancing act.”

All are invited.

About the artist:

Heino Schmid was born in 1976 in Nassau, the Bahamas. In addition to his own practice, he is adjunct lecturer for the School of Communication and Creative Arts at the College of the Bahamas; curator of the Central Bank of the Bahamas Art Gallery; and exhibitions director of Popopstudios Centre for the Visual Arts, a non-profit artists’ co-op where he also holds a studio.

For further information, visit his website:

Sunday, September 19, 2010

4x4: Outward Reach

Friday 24 September, 2010, at 8.00 pm.

John Cox in his studio. Photograph by Christopher Cozier

Marcel Pinas at his Moiwana Monument, commemorating the victims of the Moiwana Massacre in 1986. Photograph by Christopher Cozier

The second event in 4x4, Alice Yard’s fourth anniversary programme, is Outward Reach, a conversation about regional art networks and collaborations between John Cox, Marcel Pinas, and Christopher Cozier.

John Cox is a Bahamian artist whose mixed media works “sample” images from mass media. He is the founder of the Popopstudios Centre for the Visual Arts, an independent studio and art gallery dedicated to the preservation and advancement of alternative Bahamian visual culture. Popopstudios hosts an ongoing residency programme for international artists.

Marcel Pinas is a Surinamese artist. His work, which he has shown widely in the Caribbean and internationally, draws on his Ndjuka heritage. He is the founder of the Kibii Wi Foundation, which has established a community art education project, an artists’ residency programme, and a sculpture park in the Maroon community of Moengo.

Cox and Pinas will speak about their respective programmes and networks in the Bahamas and Suriname, and engage in a conversation about cross-Caribbean collaboration with Alice Yard co-instigator Christopher Cozier and members of the audience.

All are invited.

Monday, September 13, 2010

4x4: Shot in Kingston

Details of Chair (2010), by Keisha Castello, and Enthroned Madonna (2010), by Marvin Bartley

The first event in 4x4, Alice Yard’s fourth anniversary programme, is Shot in Kingston: The Digital Scene, an exhibition of digital photo- and video-based work by seven younger Jamaican artists.

Curated by Christopher Cozier and O’Neil Lawrence, Shot in Kingston includes work by:

= Marvin Bartley
= Keisha Castello
= Stefan Clarke
= Marlon James
= O’Neil Lawrence
= Ebony Patterson
= Oneika Russel

Opens Wednesday 15 September, 2010, at 8.00 pm, with further opportunities for viewing on Friday 17 September (7.00 to 9.00 pm); Saturday 18 September (7.00 to 9.00 pm, when Cozier will be available for informal conversation about the works); and Wednesday 29 September (8.00 to 10.00 pm), or by special request.

All are invited.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Alice Yard’s fourth anniversary programme

September 2010 is Alice Yard’s fourth anniversary as an independent space for creative experiment. This year we mark the occasion with 4x4, a programme of events focusing on Alice Yard’s regional network, and our creative collaborators in four specific Caribbean locations: the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, and Suriname.

= Wednesday 15 September, 2010: Shot in Kingston: The Digital Scene

The exploration of digital photo- and video-based work is a significant recent trend among younger Jamaican artists. Shot in Kingston assembles work by Marvin Bartley, Keisha Castello, Stefan Clarke, Marlon James, O’Neil Lawrence, Ebony Patterson, and Oneika Russell, curated by Christopher Cozier and O’Neil Lawrence.
Exhibition opening 8.00 pm

= Friday 17 September: Alice Yard jam

Alice Yard is an important centre for musical creativity and exchange, offering rehearsal and performance space to numerous bands and individual musicians. Sheldon Holder of 12 the band will curate an acoustic jam session bringing together a number of musicians associated with Alice Yard, in an update of the “Conversations in the Yard” series that ran from 2006 to 2008.
7.00 to 9.00 pm

= Friday 24 September: Outward Reach

Alice Yard’s Caribbean network includes independent contemporary art institutions in the Bahamas and Suriname. Artists John Cox of Popopstudios in Nassau and Marcel Pinas of the Kibii Wi Foundation in Moengo join Christopher Cozier in a conversation about regional collaborations and future possibilities.
8.00 pm

= Monday 27 September: Heino Schmid: Equilibrium

Bahamian artist Heino Schmid has been living and working at Alice Yard since May 2010, supported by a Commonwealth Connections International Arts Residency. Equilibrium is a new work created during his time in Port of Spain, also presented at the 2010 Liverpool Biennial.
8.00 pm

= Wednesday 29 September: O’Neil Lawrence on the Kingston scene

O’Neil Lawrence is an artist and curator at the National Gallery of Jamaica. He will give an informal talk on current trends in Jamaica and the artists included in Shot in Kingston.
8.00 pm

= Friday 1 October: Sheena Rose and Lauren Hinds

Barbadian Sheena Rose was artist in residence at Alice Yard in May 2009, when she presented her animated video work Town. She recently participated in a residency and exhibition in Cape Town. Lauren Hinds is a Trinidadian artist working in the medium of the graphic novel. She recently completed a year-long programme at the Centre for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont. Rose and Hinds will spend a week working together, then present their collaborative project to the public, together with recent solo works.
8.00 pm

Further details of each event will be posted at the Alice Yard website during the 4x4 programme.

All are invited.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Richard Rawlins: Chinese Worker

26 to 28 August, 2010

Richard Mark Rawlins Chinese Worker Promo from artzpubfilms on Vimeo.

Now almost as globally ubiquitous as the “Made in China” stamp, Chinese construction workers are changing the landscape, both internationally and here in Trinidad and Tobago. In his new body of work, artist Richard Rawlins offers a visual commentary on this phenomenon.

Chinese Worker opens at Alice Yard on Thursday 26 August at 7.00 pm, and runs until Saturday 28. The opening night will include a special performance by Dave Williams.

Rawlins says:

Chinese Worker is another one of my investigations into the things that make us Trinidad. I actually admire what they have done. And, putting all the political footballs aside, we are left with structures that they built almost overnight. Whether you like it or not, they are now on our landscape, and I think that needs to be recorded.”

About the artist:

Richard Rawlins is a visual artist, graphic designer, and photographer. He has worked in advertising for the last twenty years. He is the publisher of the online magazine Draconian Switch. He showed his 2010 Button Project at Alice Yard in May.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Woodbrook Touchdown

13 August, 2010, 7.00 pm

Lamp (2010), by Alixzander Morle, from the Abricktted series

Woodbrook Touchdown, an exhibition of art and design by Alixzander Morle, opens at Alice Yard on Friday 13 August, 2010, at 7.00 pm, and continues until Monday 16 August (7.00 pm t0 11.00 pm daily). Morle is a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia. He previously exhibited his work at Alice Yard in December 2008.

There are three elements to the show:

A series of sculptural/painted objects using found materials. Morle writes: “Upon reaching Trinidad I came across some abandoned bricks in my garage. Something about the way they were placed in a corner made me notice them. They had been collected and placed there for disposal. The desolate bricks had history, though, they once made up the wall I grew up seeing every Woodbrook morning, a wall right outside my studio. I decided to salvage some bricks and make some pieces.”

SML Clothing
aMorle designs and SISTM Mental Wear have fused together to create SML Clothing, a new line of urban fashion. SML strives to represent the “wearable art” movement. Whether it is a parody of an everyday brand or political satire, SML guarantees a quality shirt with a head-turning image. SML initially meant “small, medium and large”, but the initials can refer to anything: sex, money, and laundry, or sophisticated, magnanimous, and limited.

The aMorle Summer Collection
A series of recent paintings, with a live graffiti painting performance by Morle and fellow artist JAP. In the last two months Morle has been working on a “Peace, Love, Respect” public mural project in the Woodbrook neighbourhood, with examples on Carlos Street and at the corner of Roberts and Rosalino Streets.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Introducing the 2010 Cropper Foundation workshop writers

hop skip jump detail

Detail of Hop Skip Jump, from the Tropical Night series (2006–), by Christopher Cozier

On Friday 9 July, 2010, at 7.00 pm, Alice Yard will host a reading by participants in the 2010 Cropper Foundation Caribbean Writer’s Workshop.

This year is the tenth anniversary of the workshop, which is sponsored by the Cropper Foundation and organised in partnership with the Departments of Creative and Festival Arts and Liberal Arts of the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. The workshop will assemble thirteen poets and fiction writers from across the Caribbean for nearly three weeks of intense writing and discussion at the Jammev Estate in Toco.

The 2010 workshop will be steered by writers Merle Hodge and Funso Aiyejina, along with James Christopher Aboud, Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw, Philip Nanton, Ian Randle, and Earl Lovelace.

Many of the current group of writers are already published authors and prizewinners:

= Andre Bagoo
= Christine Barrow
= Shakirah Bourne
= Abinta Clarke
= Yarisa Colon-Torres
= Keon Francis
= Danielle Boodoo-Fortune
= Desiree MacEachrane
= Phillip Murray
= Alake Pilgrim
= Shivanee Ramlochan
= Colin Robinson
= LeShanta Roop

Participants will read selections from their current work in progress. This is an opportunity to meet and hear from talented and promising members of the next generation of Caribbean writers.

All are invited.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A conversation with Heino Schmid

Friday 4 June, 2010, from 7.30 pm

The Subject Is the Object (2008; charcoal, graphite, and acrylic on paper; 324 x 72 inches), by Heino Schmid

Alice Yard is currently hosting its second Commonwealth artist-in-residence: Heino Schmid from the Bahamas. He is a 2009 recipient of the Commonwealth Foundation’s Commonwealth Connections international arts residency, and has chosen to use his award grant to visit and work in Trinidad.

On Friday 4 June, 2010, at 7.30 pm, Schmid will give an informal talk at Alice Yard about his previous work and his interest in Trinidad. This is an opportunity for artists and others to meet him and learn about the contemporary art scene in the Bahamas.

All are invited.

About the artist:

Heino Schmid was born in 1976 in Nassau, the Bahamas. In addition to his own practice, he is adjunct lecturer for the School of Communication and Creative Arts at the College of the Bahamas; curator of the Central Bank of the Bahamas Art Gallery; and exhibitions director of Popopstudios Centre for the Visual Arts, a non-profit artists’ co-op where he also holds a studio.

Schmid will be living and working at Alice Yard until September.

For further information, visit his website:

Friday, May 14, 2010


Friday 21st May, 2010 • 7PM • Alice Yard.
80 Roberts Street, Woodbrook, Port of Spain

You are invited to see the musings
of visual artist, RICHARD RAWLINS -
in this our favourite silly season -
through his multi-media
“Button Project”.

ninety-nine buttons up on a wall,
ninety-nine buttons upon a wall,
before the night’s done,
you should have bought them all,
ninety-nine buttons bought
off the wall.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

(IN) SECURITIES & "OUR HOME ": Wednesday May 12th, 6-10pm

Project presentations by Jeanika B. Springer & Nicolette J. Laume.

Click on image to see Flickr set

"...I will be showing a combination of photographs and stop motion videos, constructing my own ongoing relationship and thoughts about security and boundaries in both it's physical manifestations, and social manifestations..." NJL

Click on image to see Flickr set
"...Dealing with the interior space as a way of artistic expression and emotional / psychological influence... For my final photography project, I wanted to get my hands dirty and do something for the greater good. After being in Trinidad for a semester, I thought it important to leave a valuable mark on the place that future participants could enjoy. I am going to remodel our Program House! This presentation will showcase my analysis, discoveries, and progress." JBS
"Our home" will consist of two presentations - tonight "our home on the terrace" of Alice Yard and on Thursday 13th at 13 Harris St. Curepe, the actual re-designed space.
For further details, go to Trinity at Alice Yard site.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


MONDAY MAY 3rd, 6-10PM / One night only.

RED BAND invite

Installation and photographs, produced in Trinidad, looking at Red Band Maxi Taxis, on the ARIMA/POS. route , by Andrea Wise from
Trinity College, CT, USA. Go to the Trinity at Alice Yard site for more information.
Red Band Maxi will be the first of this current series, consisting of three student internship presentations, at Alice Yard. The next two presentations by Jeanika B. Springer and Nicolette Laume will follow on May 12th.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Streaming in Michelle Isava

LOW - LIVES - 2- D
Alice Yard streaming in Michelle Isava's performance, "En_Cell" during her on-line participation in "low-lives-2."

The artist requested that we call her mobile phone during the performance. It was an experimental, 5 minute, "interactive work."

Low Lives 2
Curated by Jorge Rojas
El Museo del Barrio co-presenting with Aljira, Fusebox Festival co-presenting with Co-Lab, Galería de la Raza co-presenting with ATA, Diaspora Vibe Gallery, The Temporary Space, Terminal, Obsidian Arts and Studio 304 present:
Friday, April 30th, 2010 8:00pm - 11:00pm (EST)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Proximities continues

Ivan Monforte -1

Watching Ivan Monforte’s Que Te Vaya Bonito at Alice Yard, 22 April, 2010. Photo by Christopher Cozier

Alice Yard’s Proximities programme continues this week with video installations on Thursday 29 and Friday 30 April.



Thursday 29 April, 2010, 8-10 pm
Mulatta/Mestiza, by Yvette Mattern
Los Diarios de Porcelana, by La Vaughn Belle

Friday 30 April, 2010, 8-10 pm
Ways of Making Love in US, by Diana-Sofia Estrada
Que Te Vaya Bonito, by Ivan Monforte
La Mala, by Sandra Vivas

The videos will be installed in various spaces at Alice Yard, and will play simultaneously and continuously throughout each evening.

More information about this programme and the participating artists here.

Friday, April 16, 2010


22, 23, 29, and 30 April, 2010, from 8.00 pm

estrada making love

Still from Ways of Making Love in US (2006), by Diana-Sofia Estrada

Proximities is a programme of five artists’ videos posing questions about family and domesticity, intimacy and publicity, anxieties and appetites. Curated by artist and Alice Yard co-instigator Christopher Cozier, Proximities explores the medium of video, its immediacy, and its relations with performance, spontaneity, and self-revelation.

Cozier writes:

“I experienced most of these works in various exhibitions or while travelling between 2007 and 2008, and one or two were sent to me. They had an impact on me and lived with me because of their relatively simple and/or efficient use of video, and because the expression and/or investigation of intimacy — the use of self as subject — the personal and its relation to the public space, especially in the anglophone Caribbean — are concerns that are rarely directly visualised.

“Also, Trinidad is seven miles off the coast of the South American continent. Most of these works come from or engage the Latin American world — a space, history, and sensibility we share but also rarely engage.”

monforte que te vaya

Still from Que Te Vaya Bonito (2007), by Ivan Monforte

vivas la mala

Still from La Mala (2008), by Sandra Vivas


The programme includes:

Ways of Making Love in US (2006)
Diana-Sofia Estrada

Que Te Vaya Bonito (2007)
Ivan Monforte

La Mala (2008)
Sandra Vivas

Mulatta/Mestiza (2007)
Yvette Mattern

Los Diarios de Porcelana (2003)
La Vaughan Belle

Mulatta 1

Installation view of Mulatta/Mestiza (2007)



Thursday 22 April, 2010, 8-10 pm
Ways of Making Love in US
Que Te Vaya Bonito
La Mala

Friday 23 April, 2010, 8-10 pm
Los Diarios de Porcelana

Thursday 29 April, 2010, 8-10 pm
Los Diarios de Porcelana

Friday 30 April, 2010, 8-10 pm
Ways of Making Love in US
Que Te Vaya Bonito
La Mala

The videos will be installed in various spaces at Alice Yard, and will play simultaneously and continuously throughout each evening.


belle porcelana

Still from Los Diarios de Porcelana (2003), by La Vaughn Belle

About the artists:

Diana-Sofia Estrada is an artist based in Los Angeles. She writes: “My work creates geographies crafted out of the substance of trade itself,” and “I often use narrative to explore a possible situation in life. I am interested in implicating the memory or truth of one’s point of view, and I use my own subjectivity as a starting point for this investigation.” She has had several solo shows in California and Texas, and participated in a number of group projects and exhibitions. She was born in Houston, Texas.

Ivan Monforte’s interdisciplinary practice uses simple gestures and materials, as well as emotional language and content, as strategic tools to address themes of loss and mourning; representations of gender, race and sexuality; and the pursuit of love. He has shown at Bronx Museum of the Arts, New Fest 2005, Haven Artspace, and Longwood Art Gallery, all in New York; MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles; and California Institute of the Arts, Valencia. He was born in Mérida, Yucatan, Mexico, and is based in New York.

Sandra Vivas is a video and performance artist who has described her work as “conceptual pastiche that deals with the irony of things from our daily lives, the questioning of certain ideas taken for granted, certain clichés.” She has had several solo shows in Venezuela, and participated in group exhibitions there and in Buenos Aires, New York, Miami, and other locations. Originally from Venezuela, she now lives in Dominica.

Yvette Mattern is an artist whose work intersects the disciplines of performance, cinema, and avant-garde opera, and has been exhibited, screened, or performed in numerous locations internationally. Her most recent project, Seven rays of coloured light in a white cube (Freies-Museum, Berlin) is a version of the large public installation Global Rainbow, which premiered in New York in 2009. She was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and now lives between New York and Berlin.

La Vaughn Belle is an artist living and working in the Virgin Islands. She writes: “I like things provincial and domestic. I used to paint figures and symbols. While living in Havana, I started throwing parties on buses, asking neighbours to exchange objects and making animations of figurines on their living room tables.” She has shown her work in solo shows in St. Croix and Cuba, and participated in group exhibitions and projects such as the Bienal del Caribe in Santo Domingo, the Havana Biennale, and the Big River residency in Trinidad. She was born in Tobago.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Celia Weiss Bambara: work-in-progress

Thursday 25 March, 2010, at 8.00 pm

Celia Weiss Bambara is an American dancer, choreographer, and scholar, and artist in residence with the Makeda Thomas/Roots and Wings Movement Dance and Performance Institute. During the final phase of her residency, she has been living and working at Alice Yard.

On Thursday 25 March, at 8.00 pm, Weiss Bambara will perform a new site-specific work-in-progress at Alice Yard. She writes:

“Choreographic and improvisational ideas have a way of growing, shifting, and changing. I had originally intended to present a new improvisation at Alice Yard and discuss a bit about some of current working methods. Two things altered this improvisational path.

“Firstly, upon arriving at Alice Yard, I became entranced with the contours of the space and energies at work in the nooks and joints in between structures. Each one of these spaces seems to have a set of layered histories, and I began contemplating a site-specific work that would engage these spatial dynamics and energies.

“Secondly, I was confronted with the actuality of daily violence in Trinidad, and realised that I needed to process my reactions through my own corporeality and movement. In the US, I had been working on a set of ideas for a new piece, which addresses the cyclical and intergenerational nature of violence. Some of the questions that I have been asking are: How does grand-scale violence precipitate daily violence? How do we stop cycles of violence on our bodies? Can we find a moment of non-violence amidst daily violences?

“Research that correlates these ideas, experiences, and space will be shown as work-in-progress at Alice Yard. Aiybobo!”

All are invited.

About the artist:

Celia Weiss Bambara is co-artistic director of the CCBdance Project, an African-based contemporary dance company formed in 2006 with Burkina Faso-born Christian Bambara. She has danced for JAKA in Port-au-Prince and Martin Dancers in Los Angeles, among others. Between the late 1990s and 2003, Weiss Bambara worked with artists in Port-au-Prince on projects that combined Haitian, modern/contemporary, and other African diasporic dance forms. Her choreography and the work of the CCBdance Project have also been shown in Los Angeles, Chicago, Iowa, Michigan, Cuba, and Jamaica. She holds a PhD in dance history and theory/critical dance studies from the University of California, Riverside, and is currently a visiting lecturer at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Richard Rawlins: Alice Bangi

alice bangi sketch

Richard Rawlins's design sketches for the Alice Bangi

Visiting Suriname at the end of February for the Paramaribo SPAN exhibition, Alice Yard collaborator Richard Rawlins was inspired by artist Roberto Tjon A Meeuw's Fatu Bangi project.

A fatu bangi is a traditional item of outdoor furniture often found on roadsides in rural Suriname. "Bangi" is the Sranan word for bench, and "fatu" means big, but also refers to an informal gathering of friends, a lime. Often made from scrap wood, the fatu bangi is a big bench for liming--a spot to sit and observe the world go by, share stories and ideas.

On his return to Trinidad, Richard set about his own bangi project at Alice Yard. He writes this note:

“Wow,” I said to Sean Leonard, chief architect of Alice Yard. “I want one.” That desire and inspiration would basically see me through the fourteen-hour residency project of building Trinidad and Tobago’s first ever fatu bangi with my partner Mariel Brown.

My recent trip to Suriname left me buzzing with an incredible amount of ideas and creative energy. My first fatu bangi experience in Suriname was the work of artist Roberto Tjon A Meeuw outside the DSB Bank in Paramaribo, and later his other humungous creation inside the bank’s compound.

I’ve called my interpretation Alice Bangi, after the yard of course. The Alice Bangi actually breaks into two sections, to facilitate easy movement of the piece as it traverses round the yard. It also allows for additional back rests to be created from time to time.

This Alice Bangi is meant to be a major participant in the life of the yard.

alice bangi

alice bangi

alice bangi

fatu 1

fatu 4

Richard Rawlins, Mariel Brown, and Sean Leonard, working on the Alice Bangi, Saturday 13 March, 2010. Photos by Christopher Cozier

The final touches on the Alice Bangi, which will take place over time, are 3x3-inch stencils recording every major occasion, show, or artist's project that passes through the yard. The first stencils record initiatives like free+three, Erotic Art Week, 12 the Band, INDIgroove TV, Draconian Switch, Jemima Charles's Cones project, and others.

sean on the alice bangi

alice bangi stencils

Above: Sean Leonard relaxing on the completed Alice Bangi. Below: stencils on the seat of the Bangi record recent events and projects at Alice Yard. Photos by Richard Rawlins

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

12 at Real Art Ways

12 the Band's 2009 album Streets and Avenues; packaging designed by Marlon Darbeau

12 the Band, led by Sheldon Holder, will perform at Real Art Ways in Hartford, Connecticut, on Thursday 18 March, from 6 pm. This event is associated with Rockstone and Bootheel: Contemporary West Indian Art, an exhibition which opened in November 2009. (Rockstone and Bootheel includes projects by several artists associated with Alice Yard, including Christopher Cozier, Marlon Griffith, Jaime Lee Loy, Wendell McShine, Sheena Rose, and Dave Williams. In addition, Richard Rawlins of Draconian Switch has designed and produced a series of Rockstone e-catalogues, and filmmaker Mariel Brown's documentary The Solitary Alchemist was included in the exhibition's film series.)

12's US tour also includes several performances in New York. For a schedule, see the band's website. 12 has been based at Alice Yard since September 2006, and Holder has been a key instigator of many events and activities in this space.

Founded in 1975, Real Art Ways is "an alternative multidisciplinary arts organization that presents and supports contemporary artists and their work, facilitates the creation of new work, and creatively engages, builds, and informs audiences and communities." Jamaican artist Kristina Newman-Scott is RAW's director of visual arts, and co-curator with Yona Backer of Rockstone and Bootheel.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Alice Yard team in Suriname

alice yard crew

Sean Leonard, Christopher Cozier, Nicholas Laughlin, and Richard Rawlins of Alice Yard at the Moiwana Monument, Marowijne, Suriname; 28 February, 2010. Photo by Jurgen Lisse

Four members of the Alice Yard team recently spent a week in Suriname, participating in activities around the Paramaribo SPAN project, a conversation about contemporary art in Suriname. SPAN includes three platforms: an exhibition, which opened on Friday 26 February, 2010, and runs until 14 March; a book published in three language editions; and a blog which is both a journal and an archive.

Alice Yard co-instigators Christopher Cozier and Nicholas Laughlin are, respectively, co-curator of the SPAN project and editor of the SPAN blog. Visiting Paramaribo for the opening events of the SPAN exhibition, they were accompanied by Alice Yard founder Sean Leonard and partner Richard Rawlins, the publisher of Draconian Switch.

Paramaribo SPAN is conceived in part as a bridge connecting artists and other creative practitioners in Suriname with their contemporaries elsewhere in the Caribbean. This trip offered many formal and informal opportunities for the Alice Yard team to explore common ideas, interests, and goals, and begin planning future collaborations. Apart from the SPAN exhibition opening and other events in Paramaribo, the Alice Yard team visited the town of Moengo, east of Paramaribo, where artist Marcel Pinas has founded an art park and art education centre. Sean spent two days in Moengo investigating Marcel's project, and conceptualising ways for himself as an architect and Alice Yard as an institution to support and collaborate with Marcel's Kibii Foundation.

Other Alice Yard team members engaged creatively with the SPAN project in different ways. Nicholas, who is also co-editor of the literary magazine Town, published a special issue coinciding with SPAN, and Richard has collected material for an upcoming SPAN issue of Draconian Switch. And Alice Yard has started conversations about hosting Surinamese artists in Trinidad as part of our modest residency programme.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Jemima Charles: Cones

20 to 25 January, 2010

Cones is an "interactive exhibition of colour and light transparency" by the young artist Jemima Charles. She writes:

"Cones deals with visual perception and the role of the retina. The cone is one of the basic building blocks of form construction, and seeing is one of the processes of visual art. The viewer interacts with the work when light coming from inside the work falling on the retina of the eye generates visual stimuli that are transmitted to the brain via nerve impulses. Arriving impulses are combined with established experiences and habits of seeing, thus visual perception can differ from person to person....

"Perceptions can be influenced by social connections, political connections, spiritual connections and many more. I hope that the viewer will leave marks of intimate relationships they have to these colours."

The materials of this project are inspired by the art of nebuta, a Japanese paper lantern festival. In 2008, Charles participated in a nebuta workshop in Japan. On returning to Trinidad, in order to further explore the medium, she began experimenting with wire-bending and basic geometrical shapes.

The artist will begin installing Cones at Alice Yard two days before the formal opening. On Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 January (12.00 to 7.00 pm), visitors are welcome to participate in the installation by helping to paint the paper cones. (Please bring a paintbrush.)

The exhibition opens at 7.00 pm on Friday 22 January and runs until Monday 25.

All are invited.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Helping Haiti

Child's shoes, Haiti

Child’s shoes, Haiti, 2002

Following yesterday’s catastrophic earthquake in Haiti, many people in the Caribbean are keen to help with relief efforts. The MEP blog has posted a list of links to international agencies which are accepting money donations online, as well as information on groups based in Trinidad organising donation drives, including:

= Foodstuffs, blankets and clothing can be dropped off (please label all bags) to the COP (Congress of the People) Flagship Office on the corner of Tragarete Road and Broome Street in Port of Spain between 9am and 3pm

= ITNAC (Is There Not A Cause) is collecting non-perishable food items, clothing, bedding, temporary building supplies, medical supplies, and toiletries. For details, contact Avonelle Hector-Joseph ( or Mellissa Lezama (868-714-5610/396-3330)

We urge all friends of Alice Yard to make a donation of some kind. Recovery from this disaster will be long, painful, and very expensive. It’s still unclear how many thousands of people have been injured or killed, and damage to Haiti’s infrastructure seems immense.

For ongoing coverage, see the Haiti Earthquake 2010 special coverage page at Global Voices.

UPDATES: Silicon Caribe has posted information on where to make donations of food, clothes, etc. in Jamaica.

Another list of relief links from Miami-based Jamaican writer Geoffrey Philp.

Other international NGOs who have launched appeals:

Partners in Health: community-based health services in Haiti
Architecture for Humanity: supporting infrastructure reconstruction, including earthquake-resistant housing


The photo above was posted online by Christopher Cozier in 2008. He wrote:

“This was the only photo from my entire time while in Haiti. On my last visit [in 2002], I just could not take pictures. I had to ask a colleague (Karole Gizolme) to take this image for me. I noticed the shoes on the ground near to where I was sitting. Something about the way that the shoes had become so worn out struck me. I kept thinking that no one growing child could have worn that shoe long enough for it to become so worn down. The shoes were just on the ground in a yard in the Capital.”