Bunty's show opened at the Art Society in Federation Park on Tuesday night. I had taken these photos before but wanted to wait until the show opened before I posted them. Her work in these pieces is very exciting. Aptly titled "Between Worlds" she explores this theme on many levels. Bunty was, literally, between worlds when she was was working on this collection. With the decision to close Ajoupa's doors came unexpected freedom to express her creativity but it was also filled with significant grief. In her artist's statement she says: "Letting go of Ajoupa Pottery has been the hardest thing to deal with- like a death." She worked steadily on the collection over a period of 16 months beginning with Between Worlds (below).
There is a sense of magical playfulness in the pieces. Many are whimsical with a nod to Trinidad and Tobago's extensive folklore traditions but there is also a sense that Bunty is pushing herself to go below the surface, crossing another boundary to allow the subconscious to bubble up. In the piece below, the back side (not shown) of Between Worlds is a contrasting study in unbridled nature, a la Garden of Eden. The message is twofold; civilisation is but skin deep, an untamed, deeply beautiful world is always accessible through hidden doorways. But it is not necessary to over-analyse Bunty's work. The work is what it is and this is what makes it so powerful. One of the three Actors The Child.
Like many artists, place and landscape are integral to the work. While hiking in the forest, Bunty and Rory visited and camped overnight at the plane crash site of Mikey Cipriani. In the 1930's, the small light aircraft piloted by Cipriani and a friend crashed in the northern range while enroute to Tobago. The death of this charismatic, handsome young pilot captured the nation's attention. Bunty describes the site as a place of serene beauty. "The Place Where Mikey Cipriani Crashed His Plane" is part memorial, part tribute to this as yet un-commemorated spot.
"Homage to Hands" is a commanding piece with an almost Rodin-type feel. Bunty tells the story that she created them to be apart, open and upturned. Rory had a different idea and would entwine them every time he passed by. This little performance art ritual-of-the-hands only adds to the piece.