|CHASE Supports Ancestral Whisperings|
Kay Anderson's "Ancestral Whisperings", an examination of African traditions and culture which exist in Jamaican art, was launched in a lively and enlightening presentation at the Liguanea Club recently. Anderson, an educator, artist and published poet, lectured on the theme locally and internationally before its passage to publication.
In the book, Anderson reiterates the roots of Jamaican culture and covers the historical, geographic, and cultural factors together with the social and religious relationships carried over from African society and the extent to which they are retained in Jamaican art.
Produced with the financial support of the CHASE Fund "Ancestral Whisperings" provides extensive evidence of this retention in contemporary Jamaican art. She writes that "modern Jamaican art is replete with examples of the familial context of artistic production and the spirituality of the artists particularly the phenomenon of seeing visions." Both are reflected in the works of John Dunkley, Mallica "Kappo" Reynolds, David Boxer, Christopher Gonzales and Louisa Jones ("Ma Lou") among others.
Retentions and continuities of African culture are also expressed in architecture exemplified by the fretwork of the roof eves and barge boards and in the use of colour used to decorate buildings. Referencing the book, Guest Speaker, Prof. Verene Shepherd, commented on the surprising fact that that some motifs used in our ubiquitous grillwork such as the popular Sankofa pattern, is as the book describes it, "a stylization of the Sankofa bird which is shown with its head turned back towards its tail." She reminded the large audience in attendance that our artistic representation is not new but derives from a skill source which is our African ancestors. Anderson's other examples of African retentions make for 122 pages of interesting reading.
Anderson thanked the many persons who were an integral part of the publication journey including colleagues and members of her family. She recognized as a valuable resource the Jamaica Memory Bank Project which has been documenting Jamaica's heritage by tapping the memories of our senior citizens.
Special mention was made of the CHASE Fund which has, over a seven-year period, provided financial support for 48 books covering education, culture and history. Titles include: Bustamante: Notes and Quotes and Anecdotes by Ken Jones; Jamaica at the Wicket, by Arnold Bertram; The Rise and Fall of Falmouth by Carey Robinson; Adult Suffrage and Political Administration in Jamaica: 1944 - 2002 by Professor Trevor Munroe and The Story of Hanover by Marguerite Curtin.
Paulette Michelle, Project Manager for the Fund noted that support for publications fall under the CHASE Fund Arts & Culture portfolio. She said that 15% of the Fund's resources are channeled towards projects which, among other things, lead to improvement of libraries, archives and documentation facilities; encourage the people of Jamaica, especially the young, to utilize such facilities and services; offer programmes which develop the talents and skills in Jamaica's youth in Arts and Culture as well as projects which seek to restore and maintain the country's historic sites and monuments.
The Courtney Walsh Award is awarded annually recognizing exemplary qualities in male or female Jamaican nationals between 18 to 40 years of age who represented Jamaica, at senior level in the field of sports. The successful nominee wwill receive cash award of $500,000.00 and a Crystal Trophy administered by the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports, ans Education Fund (CHASE).
CHASE TREATS GUESTS TO PERFORMANCES BY ITS CLASSICAL STARS
Guests of the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education Fund (CHASE) were treated to a special musical performance on May 27 at King's House by talented performers who were awarded scholarships under the Fund's Arts and Culture Portfolio. Entitled "A Classical Evening with CHASE", the sparklin...more...
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