Thursday, 28 July 2011

BLACK, MY STORY: New Hope Brooks exhibition examines Black life and our history

BLACK POWER: "Kings and Princes"; Brooks (circa 2000)

Full of African humanity and Black consciousness, "People and Their Story" is at once a haunting meditation on race, history and legacy. The latest exhibit from acclaimed artist Hope Brooks (currently on view at the Mutual Gallery) focuses on the human form, but, more precisely, the head. Add to that Brooks' signature techniques of scratching surfaces, tenderly dripping water colours and layering pigment.

With titles such as "Bakra Pickney" and "Where do we Come from, Where are we Going?", this fresh sample of Brooks' time-honoured oeuvre forces the viewer to question his sense of history, nation and identity. According to Brooks, “I was meant to do this series, I found it and it found me”. Noted scholar Dr. Petrine Archer takes this observation a step further: "Brooks' imagery reminds us that Africa is the cradle of humanity and that our concern with that continent and its scattered people is a concern for the self and each other."

"People and Their Story" is on view at the Mutual Gallery (Oxford Road, Kingston) through mid-August.

BOLD PRINTS: "Painting for the planet Earth" and "Backra Pickney," both mixed media on board.

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