January 31, 2023

Caymanian artist goes to Aruba

Pin It

20160111 Simon Tatum at NGCIwebCaymanian artist accepted for Caribbean Linked IV artist residency program in Aruba

Simon Tatum is a young Caymanian artist, currently pursuing a Bachelor’s of Arts in Studio Drawing at The University of Missouri, Columbia. Since beginning his studies he has had his work shown in local galleries in Missouri, and is now a part of an artistic experience of a lifetime. Tatum has been selected for the fourth installment of the Caribbean Linked artist residency program and will be the first artist from the Cayman Islands to participate. Funded in part by the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands (NGCI), Tatum will have the time and space to work and develop his art practice. The grant towards Tatum’s placement directly supports NGCI’s mission to promote Caymanian art and opportunities for local artists regionally.

Caribbean Linked is a regional residency project and exhibition organised across the Caribbean for young and emerging artists. The residency acts as the foundation of an entire community of artists from all over the Caribbean. The programme provides a space for artists, creative activists, writers and critics to build relationships and connections across the creative industries, while developing a stronger portfolio and participating in global conversations. Given the major socioeconomic difficulties that emerging creatives face in the region, Caribbean Linked aims to assist with the sustainability of artists and intra-regional creative communities. The annual residency is organised by Ateliers ’89 Foundation in collaboration with ARC Inc. and The Fresh Milk Art Platform Inc. and takes place in Aruba this year.

Tatum has exhibited in Columbia, Missouri along with several group exhibitions since 2014. In 2014 Tatum was one of twenty-three artists featured in the exhibition tIDal shift – Explorations of Identity in Contemporary Caymanian Art at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands (NGCI). Through digital media, painting, sculpture, photography and drawing the exhibition explored what it is to be Caymanian, an artist and an artist practicing in Cayman. It was during this exhibition that NGCI Director, Natalie Urquhart introduced Simon’s work to Caribbean Linked executives.

“It is wonderful to see a young Caymanian artist chosen for such an exciting opportunity. Residencies, like Caribbean Linked, not only offer artists time to work but place artists in new communal contexts with new peers and mentors from all over the world. These factors create an environment where artists can make substantial jumps in their work in a short amount of time. The National Gallery is very proud to support Simon and watch him continue to achieve great things. We wish him all the best,” comments NGCI Director Natalie Urquhart.

Tatum’s work focuses primarily on Caymanian history and uses appropriated photographs from the Cayman Islands National Archives. His work also draws upon themes of colonial history, migration, and the exploration of personal identity within the context of a Caribbean cultural background. “My intention is to communicate to the Caymanian people the condition of our history and how easily it can be manipulated by outside sources. My work promotes information literacy to further stimulate a creative society, ” explains Tatum.

The National Gallery will be posting information throughout Tatum’s residency on their website (www.nationalgallery.org.ky) and social media pages (@NatGalCayman). For more information on Caribbean Linked visit https://caribbeanlinked.com/. For more information about the artist visit http://www.voyagerart.info/. For more information about opportunities for artists please email [email protected]

About Simon Tatum

Taking On the Caribbean, One Residency at a Time

Blog post by: Charlotte Chesters, NGCI summer intern; BFA student at The Art Institute of Chicago

This month we caught up with Simon Tatum, who is currently participating in the Caribbean Linked IV residency in Aruba. Caribbean Linked is a regional residency project and exhibition organised across the Caribbean region for young and emerging artists. For this residency program, artists are selected to work on their portfolios, and further their art careers. One of the few artists chosen to take part in this exciting opportunity this summer, is Simon Tatum, who just so happens to be the first artist to represent the Cayman Islands in this residency. Tatum worked as an intern for some time at National Gallery of the Cayman Islands (NGCI) and has had teaching and exhibition opportunities in Cayman and the U.S. Here’s what he had to say about his current experience!

Q: How has the residency program been going so far?

A: It has been about a week since the beginning of the Caribbean Linked IV residency program in Aruba. There are ten artists here from various islands of the Caribbean and one master artist (Hamberto Diaz, from Cuba) who are taking part in the program. Every day is a full day with continuous dialogue amongst the artists. We speak on all sorts of topics which stem from our curiosity towards the differing cultures of our islands.

Q: How does it feel to represent the Cayman Islands in this program?

A: I am the first Caymanian artist to take part in the Caribbean Linked program, so it has been a great honour to represent our country and to share aspects of our country’s culture and history with a regional Caribbean audience.

Q: Do you get involved in working with other artists and activities during your residency?

A: This week different artists from our group will be presenting their work in formal lectures. These lectures are taking place at the Ateliers 89 site and these lectures are open to the public. I encourage the Caymanian public to take part in these lectures. The lectures can be screened online for free on www.caribbean.tv. These lectures take place Monday-Friday from 7-9:30 pm.

Q: What do you hope to achieve?

A: During my time here in Aruba I hope to be challenged and engaged by some contemporary Caribbean artists. I feel very energized working around here amongst these other artists and I feel like my work is starting to grow due to the continuous contact I have with them.

Q: Do you connect well with the other artists?

A: I was surprised to learn that many of these artists have experience in dealing with issues that I address within my own artwork, colonial history, migration, and the exploration of personal identity within the context of a Caribbean cultural background. It has made me realize that although all of our islands are unique we still have many similarities and relations within our cultures that are worth sharing with one another.

Q: Has the Caribbean Linked residency been beneficial to you so far?

A: Yes, I feel like being here in Aruba and taking part in the Caribbean Linked program is helping me better understand the conversations that are being made with the contemporary Caribbean arts.

Q: What would you like to tell the other artists of Cayman?

A: I would like to encourage all Caymanian artists to start seeking ways in which we can become more involved. The local arts within Cayman have been blossoming in the last several years. Now it is time for us to go beyond our own borders and reach out to our neighbouring islands.

Funded in part by NGCI, Simon’s residency placement will help Simon accomplish great things, and continue to help his career move forward as an emerging artist. We wish him all the best during his time in Aruba, and look forward to seeing his future works.
The National Gallery will be posting information throughout Tatum’s residency on their website (www.nationalgallery.org.ky) and social media pages (@NatGalCayman). For more information on Caribbean Linked visit https://caribbeanlinked.com/. For more information about the artist visit http://www.voyagerart.info/. For more information about opportunities for artists please email [email protected]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About ieyenews

Speak Your Mind

*