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“THE CULTURAL SURFACE” NEW ART WORKS BY CHRISTOPHER OUTTEN

 Doongalik Studios announces their first art exhibition for 2019 entitled “The Cultural Surface” showcasing the art works of Christopher Outten, which will open on Friday, February 8, from 6-8pm. This is Outten’s first showing at Doongalik for which he provided this Artist’s Statement:

“My name is Christopher Outten and I am a Bahamian, born in the city of Nassau, The Bahamas. I’m a practicing artist who recently completed an Associates of Fine Arts at The University of The Bahamas. I have been exhibiting publicly since 2013, and my main emphasis is on Painting and Hand Building, but I’m open to experimenting with new media and concepts.

 “This recent body of work has been thematically focused on the people of my country - past and present - and their daily activities.  It delves into portraiture and figurative drawing with the occasional abstract painting and mixed media assemblages. Observing people, their cultures and personal ways of life is the focus of my creative process, which I enjoy immensely. I would love to expand my practice to include studying people and cultures in countries that I have yet to visit. I also aspire to continue my education in the Arts, as well as to pursue studies in Anthropology.

 “There are many artists in today’s society: artists who enjoy making beautiful creations, as well as artists who find pleasure in materializing the most grotesque abominations imaginable. Regardless of their creative preferences, they all share one goal in common:  they strive to become iconic. An iconic artist is somebody who takes pride in the works they produce, and is unapologetic; somebody who has the work ethic and determination to make a livelihood out of their passion. I have found that in order to become this ideal artist one must have the drive to fight through adversity and discouragement, to dream big, and to set expectations high. The iconic artist always tries to push the boundaries of his or her imagination to achieve what seems impossible.  I would love to share my aspirations by explaining my practice and thought process when creating my work.

 “Art is everlasting. It represents human beings’ inherent need to express themselves. Artistic expression is greatly affected by where an artist’s origins, or where they reside at the time the art is created; their world within and their world without.

 “One would expect The Bahamas to be a fountain of cultural expression in terms of the art produced here, but there are unseen barriers that prevent emerging artists from reaching their full potential. Bahamian artists are expected in Bahamian society, to stay within the cultural norms of art which is the typical ‘pretty picture’ scenario of a beachscape or nature paintings. This severely limits the creativity of young artists living here, myself included, when much of what is taught is the ‘non-imaginative usual’. Straying outside of this norm is rarely well-received because the consumer has been conditioned to accept these preconceptions. It is my feeling that there is an overall lack of appreciation for the arts here, opportunities for displaying and selling art are few and far between, sufficient studio space for creating can be counted on one hand partially due to our relatively small population, and  room for genuine extensive growth seems limited.

 “The works that I will be displaying include people, their emotions and activities in a sincere light, presented in fragmented portraits and figures with relief aspects accompanied by an assortment of sculpture-like wire paintings.  I endeavour to communicate an emotional expression that people can relate to as a whole.

 “I invite you to view the Exhibition which contains 21 pieces which I believe will awaken your interest.”

 The Exhibition will remain on display until Saturday, March 2. Gallery hours are Monday to Wednesday from 10am – 4pm, and Saturday from 9am – 1pm. Further information may be obtained by contacting the gallery at 394-1886.

 PAST EXHIBITIONS AND SHOWS

2018                       Wine and Arts Exhibition

2018                       Central Bank Art Competition

2013 -2016           Transforming Spaces     

2013                       Public Treasury Art Exhibition

2013 – 2015         Popop Art Studio Exhibitions

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