Kingston Biennial for 2022
The National Gallery of Jamaica

Plans are currently moving apace for the 2022 staging of the Kingston Biennial organised by The National Gallery of Jamaica (NGJ).

The event will be held from June 26 and run until December 31 under the theme 'Pressure'. The art exposition is being curated by David Scott, Nicole Smythe-Johnson, Wayne Modest, and O'Neil Lawrence.

According to the NGJ, the novel coronavirus pandemic — as it has with art institutions around the world–has significantly impacted the NGJ's exhibition programming. It has made it impossible to meet previously set timelines — both for the NGJ as well as several of the participating artists in the Kingston Biennial.

While the preparations for the exhibition are ongoing, the recently confirmed presence of the Delta and Mu variants of the novel coronavirus in Jamaica also factored in the decision to change the opening date from the original December 12, 2021.

Senior director of the NGJ Dr Jonathan Greenland shared that, despite the times he remains committed to presenting the biennial.

“With the evolving uncertainties of the pandemic, the decision was made to change dates for the exhibition in order to prioritise the safety of our staff, the artistic community, and our public. The Kingston Biennial: Pressure is, however, our newest flagship exhibition. We remain committed to this exhibition for its potential to be a catalyst for the further exposure and development of Jamaican art both here and in the Jamaican Diaspora.”

The exhibition's lead curator David Scott noted his thoughts on the exhibition's theme:

“What is instructive about the Jamaican experience and the idiom of pressure is that it has always had a generative and dissenting quality about it. Pressure is a source of critical and creative counter-powers and creative oppositional activity. It is an inspiring human resource and, historically, it has been deeply fertile ground for some of the most brilliant works of Jamaican cultural achievement.”

Leading up to the opening of the Kingston Biennial: Pressure, there will be several interactive online seminars including The Cultural History of Art Institutions in Jamaica and the Sonic and Visual Lives of Pressure, among others.

The National Gallery of Jamaica (NGJ) is the largest and oldest public art museum in the English-speaking Caribbean. The custodian of Jamaica's national art collection, its holdings boast a comprehensive aggregation of early, modern, and contemporary Jamaican works of art, as well as artwork produced by other Caribbean and international artists. Since its establishment, the museum has continually advanced its public offerings, which include active exhibition and engaging education programming.

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