Photo Credit: Angel Adegbesan
By Theodora Danso
Jamaica’s renowned artist, Emmett Wigglesworth has opened another art exhibition at the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL). The theme, “Music.. to make you see”, forces the viewer to see beyond the sculptures and to perceive it in a different light.
There are several paintings on the walls with quotes and messages attached to them. Each color in the painting is a symbolism. For instance, the color blue in his paintings, Wigglesworth says, represents angelic forms.
Wiglesworth, a resident artist at the JCAL, is a lover of jazz and blues, who uses his art to bring to light, issues around the world. He is a muralist, painter, sculptor, fabric designer, educator and a poet, who has been creating for over a decade. His artwork has been exhibited in different part of the world including Ghana, West Africa and in the U.S.
Wigglesworth’s uses his art, to bring awareness to issues such as pollution, climate change, terrorism, slavery (both past and modern-day versions), poverty, racism, discrimination, single parent families, etc. His art is thought-provoking and enlightening.
He wants his artwork to help inform the viewers about the social and economic problems society faces, especially in the African-American community.
The “Music … To Make You See” exhibit is incorporated with the music and lights. The works are illuminated and rotate to music transitioning from jazz to R&B. This adds a touch of pizzazz to the exhibition.
At first glance, the sculpture pieces all look alike. They all look like male jazz singer and saxophone players. But upon careful examination of it, one realizes that they are all female figures. This brings to the forefront the role how the societal gender roles ingrained in us plays a part in our perception of the world. This is an example of the patriarchal society we live in.
Each painting has a message that one can draw from and apply to one’s life. One of the paintings that struck out was one of a representation of a family. It ingrains the importance of family into one’s mind. The saying “it takes a village” rings a loud bell with this painting and so does the importance of every family member in raising a child.
His thought-provoking art pieces leaves you with a new sense of awareness and eye-opening perspective on things around you. It raises a sense of awareness.
Another part of his exhibition is his poetry. He has dubbed it “Written notes from around a world.” He has travelled to different parts of the world and he shares his thoughts through these written notes.
The exhibit is on display through April 30 at the JCAL and entrance is free. More information about the exhibit is available on the JCAL website.