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Art show explores slavery’s impact on Bermudian’s heritage

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I Am Because You Are, by Gherdai Hassell (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Two art exhibitions at the Bermuda National Gallery will open up to the public tomorrow.

Members of the public will be able to see Gherdai Hassell’sI Am Because You Are and the collaborative exhibition Illusion and Abstraction: Capturing the Landscape after viewing was restricted to BNG members since Saturday.

I Am Because You Are explores the impact of slavery on Ms Hassell’s family heritage in her first ever solo exhibition.

It is sponsored by the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sports, as well as the Bermuda Arts Council and the Centennial Bermuda Foundation.

Ernest Peets, the Minister of Youth, Culture and Sports, said: “This is an inspiring and moving exhibition that chronicles Gherdai’s family history and her connections to St Kitts and Africa.

“More specifically, it traces our own difficult collective history as it relates to the Bermuda Slave Registers and how that journey intersects with Gherdai’s family story.”

I Am Because You Are features portraits of former slaves – many of whom her ancestors – styled in ways that redefine their identities.

Ms Hassell, who participated in the 2020 Bermuda Biennial exhibition, will also be featured in a now-sold out interview tonight to discuss her project.

Illusion and Abstraction Capturing the Landscape (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Illusion and Abstraction: Capturing the Landscape features artwork from both local and international artists that reflect the environment of Bermuda.

The gallery will explore the many ways that people view the natural world and will showcase different artistic styles including realism and experimental contemporary styles.

Mitchell Klink, a guest curator for Illusion and Abstraction, said: "This exhibit is a love letter to nature and Bermuda, expressed through diverse viewpoints in diverse expression.

“We’ve pulled great artworks from the permanent collection and we’re grateful to be able to show incredible loans from private and corporate collectors as well as both international and Bermuda artists.”

He added: “There’s work here that will speak to traditionalists and history buffs, maximalists and expressives, minimalists and rationalists."

Click here for a gallery of Illusion and Abstraction is backed by Solterra Landscape and Design, with sponsorship towards their education programming coming from Axis Capital.

Both galleries will be open until September.

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Published March 11, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated March 10, 2021 at 6:11 pm)

Art show explores slavery’s impact on Bermudian’s heritage

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