Island Finds: Something to Say
Bahamian artist Kachelle Knowles makes colorful messages about real life in the islands.
When you think of Bahamian art, what comes to mind? Is it watercolors of curvaceous beaches, swaying palm trees, and jolly market vendors with bountiful baskets of fruit propped between their legs? If it is, think again. A new crop of creatives is turning those sun-drenched stereotypes upside down, producing work that’s unexpected and provocative as well as pleasing to the senses. One of these modern mavericks is Kachelle Knowles, a 27-year-old multimedia artist whose visually arresting work we encountered at the Nassau art gallery The Current. Read on for a glimpse at her artistic inspiration and creative process.
I’m a contemporary artist with a focus on identity and cultural and social relations within the black Caribbean community. I majored in illustration at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver, Canada, and in 2011, I was invited to participate in a Nassau exhibition, Transforming Spaces. It was the first time I exhibited work that wasn’t school-related, and sharing space with established artists was an honor — and a bit overwhelming!
Bahamian culture is a big subject matter in my work because there’s so much to be discussed. [I believe that] artists are historians, archiving moments that a lot of us are failing to record. My work is inspired by the lack of dialogue within our society and the need to understand our Caribbean world a bit better.
From Mind To Made
I am a painfully meticulous creator, and there may be…
Photo: Kachelle Knowles