Thursday, 28 September 2017

VINTAGE APPEAL: The Annabella & Peter Proudlock Collection brims with artistic treasures

STILL LIFE: Colin Garland's "Boy with Grass" (1975) is among the works that made it into the exhibition.

A gigantic sepia photograph of Mallica ‘Kapo’ Reynolds meeting with husband-and-wife duo Peter and Annabella Proudlock guards the doorway to the splendid new exhibition mounted in their honour inside the National Gallery. It’s one of the most striking images in this celebration of fine Jamaican artistic expression and Jamaican art-world heroes. And when it comes to Jamaican art-world heroes, Kapo (and Edna Manley, of course) are certainly at the top of the list.

The Annabella & Peter Proudlock Collection spans four mini galleries, reflecting the breadth and depth of the works assembled over the decades by these tastemakers and connoisseurs, not to mention the treasure trove with which their Tower Isle-based haven Harmony Hall has become synonymous. (Sadly, Annabella and Peter passed away in 2015 and 2016 respectively.)

“Harmony Hall Intuitives” includes several oil on hardboard pieces by the likes of Albert Artwell (“Three Men and a Bird”, “Feeding 5000” and “The Birth of Jesus”), Leonard Daley, Everald Brown, Evadney Cruickshank and Kapo (“Orange Grove,” “Pleasant Hall” and “Karati Woman”).

“Living with Art”, meanwhile, boasts a stunning set of carvings by Woody Harris and Zaccheus Powell, alongside paintings by Yousef Ait Tazann and Lisa Rimony. Cecil Cooper fans will spend several minutes admiring the gorgeous mixed-media on glass “Table Top.”

A Gene Pearson bronze sculpture (“Private Dancer”) also finds its way into the display, serving as one of the highlights in a room devoted to “The Harmony Hall Story.” We were also thrilled to discover in that same room a David Boxer (the mixed-media on paper selection “Box IV”) and an acrylic on canvas by George Rodney. 

But this exhibition would not have been complete sans a few selections from Annabella’s own private oeuvre. She could work wonders with marine specimen. While browsing the “Family Portraits” room, witness the stunning mixed-media on collage display (festive blends of sea urchins, shells, clams, coral and sea glass etc. bound to elicit some oohs and ahhs) – sharing wall space with subtle, minimalist watercolour images by her kids (now all grown up) Sebastian and Jessica Ogden, products from her first marriage. 

A most fitting tribute to a dynamic duo who greatly loved art – and each other – the exhibition is a triumph and a delight. 

> The Annabella & Peter Proudlock Collection is on view at the National Gallery 'til November 4.






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