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After Colour McCarthy exhibition celebrates beauty of black women

Published: 
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Artist Brianna McCarthy stands beside one of her collage canvases at the opening of her new show, AfterColour, at the Medulla Art Gallery in Woodbrook on March 15. Photos: Gillian Moore

 

Artist Brianna McCarthy got a big turnout for the launch of her first solo show, AfterColour, at Medulla Art Gallery on Fitt Street in Woodbrook. The opening, which took place on March 15, featured multimedia works—most of which portrayed women of colour in collage and cloth. The exhibition was made up of five distinct bodies of work, including some charming cloth dolls, colourful portraits with mirrored eyes, larger images of masked females erupting in blossoms, and a series of provocative ad billboards. McCarthy’s work often features female faces and forms. This latest collection “examines the representation of women of different shades of skin, by themselves and by others, and the idea of “shadism,” both in Trinidad and within a wider global discussion.” 
 
It explores “the levels of value and beauty associated with skin colour and hair texture...mining inspiration from local classified ads, youth culture, anonymous online statuses from all over the Internet and the artist’s personal experiences.” She got the idea for the collection last year when looking at a skin-whitening pamphlet she received in the mail. Since then, she says the work “has evolved from being heavy” to a new phase, which she thinks is more positive. The self-taught artist takes a hands-on approach to her creativity: “I tend to figure things out when I want to or need to make the thing,” she said.  “Trial and error and reading!”
 
The AfterColour collection represents about five months of work. McCarthy says the works are representations of black female beauty “in a possible future, after racial markers and shade have lost their status.” Her work has been featured as part of Erotic Art Week and on the cover of ARC magazine. AfterColour continues at Medulla Art Gallery until March 29. There will be an artist talk on March 28. For more information , call 868-740-7597.