Carrington's New, Old Caribbean Dream
Barbadian multidisciplinary artist Taisha Carrington(Photos: IG/@taishacarringtonatelier, The Morgan Media & Junior Sealy)

In 2019 I returned home to Barbados after living in New York for four years as I felt that the work I needed to do had to be nurtured in the place it was about — Barbadian multidisciplinary artist Taisha Carrington

Carrington's sit-down continues with the Style Observer (SO). “When setting out for college in 2013. I knew I had one opportunity to stamp my mark, as hard as I possibly could, so as to keep a foot in one of the world's art capitals, New York. I believed doing this was my way to sustain my career even if/when no longer in that city, and it has worked for me.

To me, art has always been a nomadic career field, so I opted to use that to my advantage and operate as if I am employed globally but working remotely in Barbados. Maintaining a global audience is key for the sustainability of my art practice as the local market is extremely small,” she continues.

Taking advantage of the current pandemic, as many art institutions and organisations operated online with exhibitions, residencies, artists' talks, and all of these components that an artist like herself would depend on for growth were now accessible online, opened doors for her at what she informs was a critical point in her journey. “I think now is a good time to take advantage of online visibility and the idea of 'remote work' to grow our local and regional art and design fields.” She's spot on!

Her work is available directly via Instagram @taishacarringtonatelier or via her website taishacarrington.com. Most pieces are made to order.

She also has several exhibitions coming up. The soonest beginning next month on Feb with the Chautauqua Visual Arts Gallery in New York.

I Had a Dream of a New Old Caribbean is her latest body of work. In this collection, Carrington imagines a new story of how Afro-Caribbean people came to populate the islands. Proposing that they arrived as superheroes, not enslaved persons, Carrington uses this 'new history' as a reference guide when exploring the island of Barbados; instead of seeing the colonial history of the beaches, towns and sugar fields she imagines the homes of the superheroes, how they would adorn themselves, methods for survival and thriving, where would they play, what would they eat and what materials they might make jewellery and talismans from. Each jewellery piece serves as tangible anchors to build new memories on to combat the complexities of postcolonial trauma.

The collection uses crushed West Indian welks shells, queen conch shells, volcanic ash from a recent eruption of the La Soufrière volcano, and Barbadian clay, all gathered and refined by Carrington during her walking meditations on the island. With the forms and materials of each piece she tells individual stories of resilience, survival, creolised knowledge and vibrant futures.

Taisha Carrington

Taisha Carrington is a jewellery designer and multidisciplinary artist from Barbados. Carrington graduated from Pratt Institute in 2018 with a BFA in Jewelry Design and metalsmithing and the award for the most outstanding thesis collection. She was also selected by New York City Jewelry Week for their inaugural One For The Future initiative and awarded as a CFDA+Design Graduate by the Council of Fashion Designers of America — an award given annually to exemplary new talent from a pool of graduates around the world.

Carrington works in performance, sculpture, body adornment, and installation. Her work seeks to promote solidarity with the land and investigate the liminality of life in the Caribbean after colonialism and into the Anthropocene. Carrington invents 'devices' and explores performances for self-healing and facilitation of social dialogue about climate justice while proposing methods for rebirth, reclamation, and reimagining the value of Caribbean people and communities.

Taleslike MamiWata earrings.Hand-carved WestIndian wilks shell,gold plated silver
Tales like Mami Wata earrings
Waves hair brooch3”x 2.5” CrushedWest Indian wilksshell, resin, brass,silver
'My ivory is pink ' rings
My ivory ispink' ring.Hand-carvedqueen conchshell
Dance likelight, roll likesea earrings
Dance like light,roll like sea earrings5”x 4” Crushed WestIndian wilks shell, goldplated silver
Huglinks neckpiece
Huglinks neckpiece
Afterblooms earrings are modelled aftermy favourite plant in my front yardwhich was covered in ash during theeruption of the La Soufriere volcano inneighbouring St Vincent. Each day theblanket of ash thickened until the greenof its leaves was no longer visible untila downpour of rain in the following dayswashed away all the ash.These earrings replicate that plant andacknowledge this event in its life byincluding the ash in the making of thework but not in the final piece, the onlyremnants of the ash is the satin finishimparted by using it like sandpaper.Through my work I observe theresilience of our plants and environmentto inform my approach to, andunderstanding of, my own resilience.
Afterblooms earrings— 18k gold platedsilver with La Soufrièrevolcanic ash finish

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