First solo exhibit explores mystical nature of life


Tribune Features Reporter

INSPIRATION FROM mystical life, African heritage and Bahamian folklore is evident in new works by young Bahamian artist Averia Wright, whose exhibition opened last week at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas.

“Explosure” is Averia’s first solo show and features 10 ceramic sculptures that reflect her deep seated love affair with the mystery found in water, and images with an organic appeal.

In “Explosure”, Averia continues in the same fashion as she did in “Earth to Flight”, a collaborative show with artist Toby Lunn a few years ago. The themes explored in Earth To Flight are reborn in her new body of work.

“The story of mythologies, mysteries and the mystical nature of life takes me to my roots, my place of inspiration, African heritage, Bahamian folklore, exotic life forms and elements of deep turquoise seas. In exploring my African heritage the abstraction of the effects of the Junkanoo parade plays into my work simply through the essence of movement, costume construction and bright colour,” said Averia.

While her chosen medium is clay, she also works with copper, which is incorporated into several sculptures on display, and other material.

“I actually welded the copper but I used it in a different way than I have before. This time I got to work with the material and I found it to be very interesting. My medium of choice is clay in this more technological world. It also has to do with my background; working with my hands to create something is a primitive necessity. Manipulating slabs and coils of clay to make a three dimensional objects from an image in my mind or from paper is truly a passion and a challenge to experience,” said Averia.

“Metal’s tensile strength allows the mechanisation of my ceramic sculptures to work. Whereas clay will bend with the possibility of melting and breaking, metal on the other hand bends readily. Although tedious to work with, metal is something I hope to continue using. Exploring how far I can work with this material inspires me to continue this journey,” she said.

Averia’s pieces are mounted in the less formal project gallery space at the NAGB. Averia said she was ecstatic to have her work on display at the gallery because a platform like the NAGB offers an “explosion of exposure”.

“The project space gallery is a more informal space than the rest of the gallery. John Cox our curator asked if I would be interested in doing a show in the project space. What we are hoping is that people see what the project space is about. All of the other spaces and exhibitions we have going on in the gallery are very well planned. The project space is more informal and we can have smaller shows, on a monthly turn over. So every month we will be having shows. So when he asked me if I was interested in doing a show I gladly accepted,” she said.

Averia’s next step now is preparing to participate in the ACE Ceramics Show spearheaded by master ceramist Jessica Colebrooke. Her appreciation for sea creatures will most likely be seen in the upcoming show.

“I have great appreciation for the sea and under water beings and I think people can see that from my show because a lot of things look organic. That is the reason why I use oil paints instead of glazing them because you have to be very cautious about which colours you choose. With the paints I know exactly how to mix the colours and to make it exactly what I want it to be. The pieces that I create are always sea or organic beings,” she said.