The Brighton Storeroom’s latest exhibition, Kraig Yearwood: This Is How Our Garden Grows, abounds with jubilant references to the fullness of life on earth. At the same time, this metaphor-laden exhibition reminds us of the fragility of our own existence, a particularly poignant and universal message for communities emerging from months in lockdown only to be confronted by societal and environmental challenges posed by climate change, the Black Lives Matter movement, and other factions. This Is How Our
Garden Grows is as much a homage to the beauty of nature and the space we occupy as it is a sobering admonition of the consequences of every choice and action we undertake.
Most of the work displayed in This Is How Our Garden Grows was created during lockdown, and Yearwood took full advantage of those days and weeks to reflect on our new reality. The result is a body of work that conveys the anxiety and yearning for a definitive way forward that was commonplace during lockdown, yet simultaneously reveals a man at peace with his “garden.”
A male figure is central to many of the pieces in This Is How Our Garden Grows. At times anchored, at others juxtaposed opposite lyrical images of animate and inanimate objects, the human form becomes part of a larger ecosystem – though the separation between the conscious and dreaming self has also become fluid. Nowhere is this made more explicit than in two “Hypnagogic” pieces (“Head” and “The Fall”) which depict the figure of a falling man caught between sleep and wakefulness. Yet, as much as these pieces evoke the sudden sense of falling in a dream, the man’s position in mid-air also registers as a lasting global embrace – and may therefore at once be seen as a metaphor for our suspended everyday lives, and as a parable of life’s journey, where the earth is both origin and destiny, and the garden everything that happens in-between.
Kraig Yearwood is a Barbadian artist and designer. His paintings and mixed media works embrace an intuitive process of considering and collecting materials that facilitate an intimate exploration of self as well as larger issues of materialism, consumption and cultural inheritance.
Since graduating from the Barbados Community College, Yearwood has participated in group exhibitions in Florida, London, Belgium, Trinidad, and Barbados as well as residencies at the Punch Creative Arena Gallery and the Fresh Milk Platform, both in Barbados. This Is How Our Garden Grows is his fifth solo show.
Kraig Yearwood: This Is How Our Garden Grows runs through the end of October. It is the fourth exhibition hosted by The Brighton Storeroom since the gallery opened in November 2019. Previous shows have included the inaugural exhibition, “beginning”; “up close”, a solo show dedicated to Barbadian Bethany Pile; and “The Blue”, a collective exhibition. The Brighton Storeroom opens Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon and by appointment.