By Lisa Howie, Director, Bermuda National Gallery

The Bermuda National Gallery is closed until June 17 as we prepare for the opening of the Bermuda Biennial 2016. My sincere apologies for the inconvenience. Please enjoy some of the sculpture from our permanent collection in the Queen Elizabeth Park behind Perot Post Office on Queen Street, Hamilton.

We are excited to launch the 12th iteration of the Bermuda Biennial, thanks to the dedicated sponsorship of Bacardi Limited. This year’s theme is It’s About Now- Memories of the Present. Perhaps you can relate to the ideas behind this theme selection, which is that this moment, this ‘now’ emerges out of an era when information is constantly bombarding us. Now, more than ever, it feels that time is incessantly bounding ahead. (Which is ridiculous of course, as I can watch time turn on my archaic analog watch, spinning second by second as it always did.) The theme is borne out of this sense that we are saturated by hyper-connectivity and interactivity with technology and data and dialogue from so many directions simultaneously.

What will be remembered about this moment? What type of visual expressions will communicate across generations? In what ways might visual artists place flag markers on what is important and meaningful of our time? Or does the theme itself present a paradox?

If these types of questions are interesting to you, then you will enjoy the various ways in which local artists have addressed the theme. Expressions are in digital media, sculpture, photography, woodblock printing, and more.

BNG Curator Sophie Cressall selected two respected international jurors to critically review the submissions of artwork: Holly Bynoe, Chief Curator at the National Art Gallery of Bahamas and Executive Director of ARC Magazine, and Valerie Cassel Oliver, Senior Curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston. Both jurors have extensive experience in the contemporary art arena.

The artwork in the exhibition furthers the dialogue on contemporary art and quite possibly challenges perceptions about what type of art gets created on Islands. Innovative, diverse expressions that provoke versus placate can be expected.

Adding to this and in a separate exhibition, Barbadian/ Canadian artist Joscelyn Gardner showcases Staging Mary Prince: in her own words; a multi-media installation that encompasses historical references, original screenplay, and layers of filmed performances.    

I encourage you to enjoy the beach, the golf, the diving and much more, and to take time to explore the variety of visual art experiences on Island. Please visit us soon in City Hall, Hamilton.

First featured image: Christina Hutchings Flash Back, aluminium angles, 45rpm records, transistor radios, antennas, fluorescent light, 2015. 23 x 96 x 10 in. Collection of the artist.

Second featured image: Jon Legere, Decon 4, mixed media collage on paper, 2015. 22 x 30 in. Collection of the artist.

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