Talent has put Jamaica on the map in a way unlike any other – splashed with color and pride and artistry and athleticism – creating a stage which Jamaicans from Kingston to East London can stand upon and spread “one love” to the masses.
From 27 July to 12 August that vast talent stops by the PUMA YARD in dancehall-design form. Art in the Dancehall, curated by Shimmy Shimmy und Al Fingers, and in association with the PUMA YARD and Jamaica50, celebrates dancehall illustration and design from 1980 to the present day.
Early 1980s Jamaica was a changing place, politically and musically, with a new generation of deejays bringing in a brand new sound. Mirroring this change in the music were graphic designers and illustrators translating the energy, color, and playfulness of dancehall into images, painting a world of crazy characters in highly saturated colors. As an introduction to this foundation, Art in the Dancehall features cover art by seminal 1980s Jamaican artists Limonious and Jamaal Pete, alongside UK artist Tony McDermott and posters by Jamaica's most celebrated poster designer, Sassafras.
The exhibition is currently underway at the BASS Festival in Birmingham. Afterwards, it moves with Team Jamaica to London, where it will be shown at the PUMA YARD. Stop by. Check it out. Get in on the "one love" and walk away a bit awed with a few good vibes in your step. You'll be glad you did.
Photo credit: Al Fingers