In his first solo show since graduating from UWI in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in visual arts, Richard Rampersad explores women’s identities and experiences. “In this body of work, my primary concern is violence against women,” said Rampersad. His investigation takes the form of acrylic paint on canvas, mixed media works and several ceramic pieces, which feature the female figure as the focal point.
In the painting Strategic Disengagement, Rampersad questions whether letting go is the same as giving up. In the collage piece Dance-in to Dance-out, the female in the image constrains her vision so that she zones out of a painful circumstance. Dance or the movement of her body becomes a means of emotional and physical escape. While Rampersad shares his renderings of women and his considerations of their social and psychological worlds, he remains aware that viewers can bring their own interpretations to his art. It is a viewing experience he welcomes. A key idea in this exhibition, therefore, is ambivalence.
“I don’t want people to view this body of work and immediately say: ‘Oh this is what he meant.’ No, I want people to get a double meaning, and to question it, like ‘Maybe it means this’ or ‘Maybe it could mean that.’ Through my work, I seek to invite the viewer to move into a space of questioning,” Rampersad explained. By encouraging audiences to interrogate the many possible layers of meaning in his work, he exposes the multidimensionality and complexities of being a woman in today’s societies. Richard Rampersad’s Subjectivity, Ambivalence and the Contemporary Imagination opens on July 19, from 6 pm at the Art Society, corner of Jamaica Boulevard and St Vincent Avenue, Federation Park. The exhibition runs through July 24. Gallery hours: 10 am–5 pm daily.
Richard Rampersad is a nationally recognised artist who specialises in figurative painting and Ceramics. His patrons include many distinguished members of the private sector as well as corporate, academic, religious and cultural personalities.
Rampersad was born in the year 1990 and grew up in the suburbs of Valsayn. He began his art education at the University of the West Indies, pursuing a Certificate in Visual Arts and then moved on to obtain his degree in Fine Arts with First Class Honours. His extraordinary achievements throughout his artistic career have made him one of the most influential figurative painters in the Contemporary Caribbean Art realm.
His artistic expression goes beyond pictorial representation and becomes the affirmation of one whose ontological foundation expresses the will to use the media as a vehicle to convey an idea or narrative. “I seek to make an advancement in the visual understanding of my figures and in how this subject matter can be rendered”. There is indeed a strong awareness for the contrast of tone and a conspicuous depiction of light, whether subdued or intense.
His graphic statements are capable of speaking very clearly to us about our current concerns and is a “joy” to the observer. The arrangement of his subject is somewhat schematic, inviting the viewer to move into a space of speculation. Questioning the real and the surreal. “My non-orthodox style of rendering my subject matter supersedes naturalistic accuracy”. He is indeed a promising, pervasive and all- encompassing artist, whose works merit close watching.
Read the original article on the Trinidad & Tobago Guardian, and RSVP to the event on Facebook here.