SONIC SPACE PROJECT
Kingston Jamaica, March, 2019
Sonic Space’, is a collaborative partnership project between Prof Julian Henriques (Sound System Outernational, Goldsmiths,University of London),198 Contemporary Arts and Learning (CAL), and Jamaican gallerist Susanne Fredricks of Suzie Wong Presents.
Leading British/Grenadian Windrush visual artist Denzil Forrester came to Jamaica for the first time for ‘Sonic Space’, to lay down the foundations for new work in the dancehalls of Kingston. Throughout the 1980’s Denzil painted vibrant and frenetic paintings of London’s Afro Caribbean session spaces, and was a leading contributor to the Caribbean Arts Movement in the UK. Having just had a major Retrospective curated by Peter Doig, Denzil’s resurgence as an important artist of his time, and his relevance today, has led to recent representation by one of London’s most respected galleries, Stephen Friedman.
The project sought to stretch the boundaries of sound system culture by developing a particular visual expression of the auditory, visual, olfactory and choreographic atmosphere of the Jamaican dancehall through Denzil’s lens. Denzil worked in Dancehall and Dub session spaces throughout Kingston, and showed his works in process at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, Kingston, and conducted
a one day workshop with EMC students This journey will be filmed and a documentary produced by Julian Henriques.
‘Denzil’s works will develop the aesthetics, sensibilities and values embodied in the techniques and
practices of dancehall culture in a distinctive new way. This is to find a visual painterly language to
express the feel or "vibes" of the dancehall most often considered to be restricted to musical and
choreographic performance. Specifically, the artworks will develop innovative forms of expression
for the "sonic space" identified in my research in every dancehall - in terms of its visual structure of
line, colour and perspective.’
Julian Henriques, Sound System Outernational, Goldsmiths, University of London
THE JUSTICE PROJECT
Orange Villa Community - Street Mural and Community Farm Garden, September, 2017
Suzie Wong Presents partnered with Jamaicans for Justice, a local social justice NGO, to launch the first project of a long term collaboration ‘The Justice Project’, a series of advocacy and community projects which aim to evoke new ways to think about issues around justice and justice itself.
The downtown Kingston community of Orange Villa lost young cookshop owner and Rastafarian Nakea Jackson, at the hands of the police in a case of ‘mistaken identity in 2014.
His family have been advocating for justice for his murder at the hands of the state, with his sister Shakelia Jackson becoming an avid activist in the process.
Renowned street artist Matthew McArthy and organic farmer Christopher Binns of Stush in the Bush partnered with The Justice Project to celebrate the memory of Nakia by creating a community mural and Livity community farm garden.