A new collection of oil paintings from native son artist Gordon Solomon debuts Thursday night (8 November) at the National Gallery.
His provocative new exhibition, Life on the Colony finds its inspiration among the myriad topical issues we grapple with in our rapidly-changing society.
“Nobody does this in Cayman. If you want flowers, you can find flowers, you want ocean, you can find ocean, but one is at the heart of conversations,” said Mr. Solomon.
Life on the Colony is a bold, in-your-face, exhibition that presents an unvarnished look at Caymanian society and the issues that define our times.
“GMO mosquitoes, recently released, we got the seamens benefits, we’ve got the marijuana oil,” said Mr. Solomon. “There are just a few that I’m speaking about in this particular exhibit.”
The pros and cons of Cayman’s rapid ascendance from ‘the islands that time forgot’ to a major international financial centre are illustrated in works like Mr. Solomon’s ‘Joy rides and Down sides.’
“If you think about it, in 1905 we had our first car, and people thought that God had came to the island, right? And now we’re up to, we are importing about 170,000 cars, that’s more cars than people,” said Mr. Solomon.
While each painting attacks individual issues, Life on the Colony is tied together by a few recurring themes.
“We have our silver thatch pattern here which represents the heritage, we have plants all through the series as well, which represents the environment which is under pressure,” he said, gesturing at the various elements in the works. “We do have these dollar signs that are all around.”
Through his visual take on the issues that dominate Cayman’s talk shows and news headlines, Mr. Solomon said that Life on the Colony is provocative by design.
“This is what art does, art brings people together, art allows people to have conversations about things that they can’t change, and things that they can’t change, life on the colony,” said Mr. Solomon.
Gordon Solomon’s Life on the Colony opens Thursday, November 8th at the National Gallery, and runs through December 5th. Gallery admission is free.