4 Oct – 10 Nov 2019
Private View: 3rd October
NOW Gallery presents the first UK solo exhibition by West Indian photographer Nadia Huggins.
The fourth iteration of Human Stories will navigate the boundaries between land and sea through a collection of filmic and photographic works captured on the island of St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Huggins captures intimate scenes of a group of adolescent males, documenting a choreography of bodies underwater. The work traverses an irradiated border between deep submergence and spectral surfaces. Framed by dramatic coastal landscapes, the work reveals both a youthful camaraderie and spirit whilst exposing an undercurrent of vulnerability in her subjects.
Huggins continues to explore the context of people and the sea with newly commissioned works that will be presented for the first time in the UK.
The show will immerse and overwhelm the viewer, contemplating the power and expanse of the ocean juxtaposed against communities who are most affected and nurtured by it.
To accompany the exhibition, NOW Gallery has commissioned a series of critical essays by writers Melanie Archer and William Abbott.
‘Believing there to be a link between an under-explored aspect of Caribbean adolescent masculinity and the freedom of bodies in the ocean, I have decided to creatively document boys’ interaction with the sea. These pieces capture manhood, snippets of vulnerability and moments of abstraction, that often go unrecognized in the day-to-day. The ocean itself takes on a personality – that of the embracing mother providing a safe space for being – which is both archetypal and poignant. I am as much a subject as the boys for whom I provide solace. The boys climb a large rock, proving their manhood through endurance, fearlessly jump, and become submerged in a moment of innocent unawareness. They emerge having proven themselves. The relationship between myself and the subject is also explored within this paradigm. The subjects are aware of me while posturing but lose this cognizance when they sink into the water. It is this moment that tells the true story.’ – Nadia Huggins
Curated by Kaia Charles, NOW Gallery, Human Stories is a series of annual photographic displays that encourages a contemporary discourse on modern life and the human scale. By engaging with modern and progressive communities, artists, photographers, historians, filmmakers, writers and thinkers, Human Stories translates these messages into compelling visual displays.
‘This body of work reveals the spellbinding, infinite beauty of the ocean whilst celebrating the preciousness of coming of age’ – Kaia Charles
About Nadia Huggins:
(b. 1984, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago) is a visual artist who works primarily with photography.
Her work merges documentary and conceptual practices to explore identity, memory and belonging through the landscape and the sea.
Her work has been exhibited in Relational Undercurrents, Art of the Caribbean Archipelago, California/New York/Maine/Florida, USA. A love ethic, Wedge Curatorial Projects, Toronto, Canada. Addis Foto Fest 2018, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Jamaica Biennial 2017, Kingston, Jamaica. Couleurs Pays, Photaumnales Festival 2017, Beauvais, France. Caribbean Queer Visualities, Belfast/Glasgow, UK. She is the co-founder of ARC Magazine and One Drop in the Ocean – an initiative that aims to raise awareness about marine debris. She is currently based in St. Vincent & the Grenadines.