Haiti, Art and Vodou

As the Caribbean island recovers from Sandy's wrath, we present an exclusive set of pictures from the first major exhibition of modern Haitian art

Les Bourgeois, by Alexandre Grégoire (1980)

The Nottingham Contemporary Gallery hosts the first UK exhibition by artists living and working in Haiti. The exhibition is a diverse and arresting collection of pieces, dated from 1940 to the present day, and revolves around themes of the island's native religion, vodou, which has informed many of the artists work and practice. Hurricane Sandy has meant we haven’t been able to contact the artists directly, but here is a quote from the director of the exhibition, Alex Farquharson explaining somehting of the beauty and force of these images:

“Haiti has produced a phenomenal number of inspired artists, most of whom had little or no access to formal education and lived, and continue to live, in great poverty. While Haitian art is much admired in folk art contexts, and has occasionally entered major modern art museums, it is still very rare to see it presented in the context of an international contemporary art programme. We look forward to giving British audiences the opportunity of discovering for themselves a wide cross-section of this extraordinary art and to see it in relation to fascinating current debates around the culture and history of Haiti. We think the exhibition will be a revelation to contemporary artists today and we hope that it will help raise the profile of Haitian art in the art world in general.”

 

Photography by David Sillitoe

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