Design Caribbean Fusing Cultural Points of View through Art

The Caribbean’s artistic heritage will be brought to the forefront this year at the Autumn Fair from 6th-9th September 2015 at the Birmingham NEC, UK. Rainforest Pottery, Hands In Clay Jamaica Ltd, and Josnel Bruno, three distinctly different Caribbean artisans will exhibit their ware with the assistance of Design Caribbean, a project of the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export).

Launched 25 years ago, the Autumn Fair is now considered to be the leading gift and home trade show, attracting over 29,000 visitors from the UK and overseas.  With over 1,400 exhibitors, the show attracts buyers from the UK and internationally who are looking for new and innovative products for the year’s big shopping seasons.

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The progressive vision of creative director Robert Campbell of Hands in Clay Jamaica Ltd is not only to take his unique pieces globally but also to see the formation of an alliance for the production and distribution of Caribbean art.   Campbell believes in telling the story of the Jamaican people in every piece that he makes.  Starting in pottery, he has expanded his offering to include small scale paintings, papier-mâché, sculptures and ceramics with new products retailing under the brand Khadabra: The Magical Experience.

Also using clay as his main resource, Guyanese Nicholas Young of Rainforest Pottery, uses different types of indigenous Amerindian clay to create his masterpieces.  Inheriting his creativity from his father, Nicholas started his journey dabbling into different art mediums until the late 80s when he discovered his artistic enthusiasm for pottery.   His collection is a contemporary interpretation of traditional Amerindian motifs etched into clay sculptures, the result of which is art that is deeply rooted in Guyanese nature and culture that tells the stories of its rich past, preserving the legacy of now extinct civilisations.

In a small community in Haiti, Josnel Bruno contributes to the renewal of hope with the production of his works of art that provide families with financial support to send their children to school, build homes, and provide healthcare.    Josnel and his staff of 13 artisans uses discarded oil drums and transforms them into functional works of art and unique home accessories such as bowls, mirrors, wall art, picture frames, and trays.  Each piece goes through a meticulous process of sanding and varnishing to create unique pieces that reflect the landscape and culture of Haiti.

Other exhibitors at the Design Caribbean booth will include Amazon Authentics from Guyana, Baughaus Design Studio and Reve Jewellery from Jamaica, By Making from Trinidad and Tobago, Bijou Lakay from Haiti, REECII from St. Kitts and Nevis, and Designs by Nadia from St. Lucia.