Bahamian artist John Beadle explores natural shapes, lines and textures in new sculpture collection – Eye Witness News


Beadle will present his solo exhibition “Splinters and Shards” at TERN gallery from December 11

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – TERN Gallery is delighted to announce “Splinters and Shards,” a solo exhibition of new sculpture by Nassau-based artist and sculptor John Beadle.

The exhibition runs from December 11, 2021 to January 22, 2022, with an artists reception on Saturday December 11 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

John Beadle.

“Splinters and Shards” marks Beadle’s first exhibition with TERN. In this new body of work, Beadle combines natural and manufactured materials to create pieces that reference and distort their original forms.

Beadle, who trained as a painter and printmaker, applies a similar attitude to materiality in these sculptures. These new works are examples of Beadle’s ability to merge painting, sculpture and installation, creating a rich sense of line, dimension and texture.

Beadle’s charred mahogany carvings merge a variety of natural wood textures into unique compositions. In his circular wall sculptures, round indentations, finely engraved lines and curved hollows mimic the various textures naturally present in wood, allowing these different patterns to blend into each other. These natural patterns are found in the grain of the wood itself, which remains an important characteristic of these pieces despite the charring of the wood.

The artist contrasts his circular sculptures with two standing and freestanding wooden sculptures. The natural shape of the tree is referenced in these rectangular pieces, in continuity with the motifs of the naturalistic linework and the engravings. Beadle sees all of his woodcarvings as some kind of drawing – except that instead of adding to existing material, these carvings force him to subtract from it, as one would with a block of wood for engraving.

A select group of circular wall sculptures by Beadle also incorporate metal, creating a variation between organic and man-made resources and processes. Works like “Eden” instead of delicately carved and textured wood against brushed metal. These juxtapositions – between natural and artificial, textured and smooth, modified and intact – are at the heart of the artist’s practice.

“Splinters and Shards” also presents four metal sculptures, two of which come from an older work. These two – “Make yourself known… at the door” (2013) and “However ventilated the enclosure they inhabit…” (2013) – activate the material and aesthetic motifs of the iron fences and transform them into human silhouettes.

“Make yourself known… at the door” also includes a small bell which, if the title of the play is to be taken literally, is intended to alert those on the other side of the door to our presence. This instruction to make oneself known is reminiscent of the role of iron gates as barriers to entry, leaving the viewer to wonder what or who is on the other side.

John Beadle (born 1964, Nassau, Bahamas) is a multidisciplinary artist and masterful craftsman. Painter, sculptor and artist in mixed media and installation, Beadle creates works that touch on migration, work, safety and the perception of the value placed on certain materials, objects and people.

A painter / printmaker by training, Beadle also has an impressive practice in the traditional arts of Junkanoo, having served as a lead designer and sculptor in the One Family Junkanoo group.

Because of his reach and longevity, Beadle is also considered one of the founding artists of the contemporary Bahamian art scene.


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