From left to right: Dr. Richard Johns and Chad Elias from the History of Art department and curator Svetlana Leu ©Norman Rea Gallery

Review: Norman Rea Gallery’s .868.

On Monday 6th October the Norman Rea Gallery presented their first exhibition of the new academic year: .868. Illuminated by the soft lighting of the gallery were a series of captivating photographs by three different artists Maria Nunes, Zacques Morrison and Dylan Quesnel. All of the artists are from Trinidad and Tobago, making it the first time that the gallery has ever showcased artwork by artists from outside of the UK/EU. Each artist offered a unique perspective of life in Trinidad and Tobago and were beautifully juxtaposed against each other.

©Maria Nunes
©Maria Nunes

 

The first artist, Maria Nunes, offered a wonderfully vibrant array of photographs. Her images mainly relate to the performing arts, especially carnival traditions such as Blue Devil, Fancy Sailor and Jab Jab. As soon as I walked into the gallery I found that my eyes were immediately drawn to her photography, especially the photos titled Jab Jab I, II and III. The cool blue paint of the ‘jabs’ was strikingly contrasted against the bright background and the sheer intensity of colour in her photography beckoned the viewer closer.

©Zacques Morrison
©Zacques Morrison

Zaques Morrison’s photography gave a different facet of life in Trinidad and Tobago with his urban images. Morrison has been a photographer for four years and admits that the thing he enjoys most about his career is being able to interact with the individuals he has photographed. This passion is very much evident in his photography, with the soft blurring of the background enhancing the clarity of each face he has taken.

©Dylan Quesnal
©Dylan Quesnel

Dylan Quesnel, the final artist, gave the viewer a far more idyllic perspective of the country. His photography captured a feeling of paradise, which you couldn’t help but feel envious of in the current weather, and his photographs of the sunsets were particularly enchanting. Having only finished secondary school two years ago, Quesnel’s photography is certainly impressive and I can’t wait to see where his photography goes from here.

Although I have never visited Trinidad and Tobago and in all honesty know nothing of the culture there, .868. offered a fascinating insight; each photograph felt like a window that allowed you to look into a small snippet of the country. All of the photographs were taken with expertise and flair as each artist allowed you a different taste of life in Trinidad and Tobago.

Visit the Norman Rea gallery to view the photographs in this exhibition until 24 October 2014.

 Exhibition curated by Svetlana Leu.

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Alex Smith

Literature and Original Work Editor.