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The D’Aguilar Art Foundation: Transforming Spaces 2020

For Transforming Spaces 2020, The D’Aguilar Art Foundation will present artwork from Abaco-based artists. The exhibition, entitled “A Burning for Home”, brings together Leanne Russell, Ivanna Gaitor, Attila Feszt, Androo Carey, Martysta Turnquest, Adrian Whylly and Yasmin Glinton, artists that were directly affected by Hurricane Dorian.

Yasmin Glinton is acting as the guest curator for The D’Aguilar Art Foundation gallery, a space that is normally curated by the in-house team of Saskia D’Aguilar and Tessa Whitehead. Glinton explained she wants to pull together various narratives to examine the multifaceted meaning of the word home, in particular how the connotation of that word has been impacted as a result of the hurricane.

Hurricane Dorian physically destroyed homes and displaced individuals on the Abacos as well as Grand Bahama. In Marsh Harbour alone, it is estimated that 75% of homes were destroyed. This destruction canvases an unravelling of individual lives through loss of home and belongings; family ties to land through the displacement of individuals from homes that existed as generational dwelling places; and community through the mass exodus of the individuals that kept communities thriving.

For many Abaconians, home now means change, forever.

Glinton knows all about having home changed forever. The homes of her grandparents, great grand uncle and the first home she lived in, were all destroyed by the storm. Glinton clings to the memories of the joy found in exploring the connective yards of her childhood that lead down to the sea, where she and her cousins would gather curbs and whelks. She remembers the lush seagrape tree that kissed the roof of her grandparents’ house and the way her grandmother wielded a machete in the summer to open coconuts for her Nassuvian grandkids, who spent summers with her.

Glinton’s vision for this show is to give voice to the memories of the artists that are in the midst of making sense of the change they must now face. Glinton attempts to create a show that provides temporary shelters, through the visual representation of a community coming face to face with the flimsiness of structures in this new climate, possibly both emotionally and physically.

Russell recalls the cycles in the process of reclaiming home by comparing the impact of the 1932 hurricane with that of Hurricane Dorian. Feszt is examining the connectivity of family tradition by focusing on the local lighthouse keepers on Elbow Cay. Turnquest says her work is an expression of her “own healing process that pays homage to memories of growing up on the island of Abaco and the many loved ones who have been affected by this horrific storm”. Gaitor speaks of being honest in her work and ensuring that her work speaks to the new outlook of home and the fact that home is now tied in with a perspective of grief. Whylly’s work makes record of what was and through that recall, a promise of what can be once again.

The exploration of these very diverse works allows the artist to knit together a new meaning of home by calling to memory what was to intertwine with what now exists and even what they envision for the future. The works range from very hard-hitting photography to the fantastic, all calling into being a means of healing and dreaming as a part of the healing process.

Glinton hopes for a show that “focuses on capturing ways individuals can experience loss without losing themselves”.

“A Burning for Home” will nestle its way into the hearts of gallery visitors through recall, loss, hope and art that recreates a foundation for communities to stand upon, once again.

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