Old... Venus and Cupid the Honey Thief by Lucas Cranach the Elder. *Image supplied
Old... Venus and Cupid the Honey Thief by Lucas Cranach the Elder. *Image supplied
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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31: The Bermuda National Gallery (BNG) unveils its autumn collections this weekend, featuring a digital video exhibition and local artists’ interpretations of historical pieces of art.

The City Hall gallery will present its first digital video exhibition with On Screen: Global Intimacy.

Abstract

Curated by Tumelo Mosaka and organized by the Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, it will run until November 30.

The show features five artists from Africa, the Caribbean and the US, who attempt to disprove the universal reach of globalization.

Their visual narratives capture some of the political, social and economic problems the world is facing.

BNG director Lisa Howie said: “These pieces are abstract and contemporary, and don’t necessarily follow a documentary style with a beginning, middle and end.

“They also encourage people to make connections to our own world in Bermuda, whether it’s related to women in politics, the legacies of slavery, violence, transportation or water.

“As this is the first time we’ve done a video exhibition we are looking to get people’s interest and feedback.”

In another imaginative first, eight local and international artists are Re-Interpreting the European Collection.

Bermudians James Cooper, Louisa Flannery, Charlie Godet Thomas, Sunell Lombard, Lynn Morrell, Alan Smith and Sharon Wilson, plus Titus Kaphar from the US, have each chosen a piece of artwork from the BNG’s previous exhibition, Decoding the European Collection, and have created their own interpretation of it.

The result adds another layer of meaning to the original piece, which gives it a more contemporary feel and relates it to today’s society.

The eight pieces of artwork will be exhibited side-by-side with the original artists’ — a total of 16 pieces on display.

They range from digital photography and collage to textiles, oils and pastels.

One artist, Charlie Godet Thomas, even travelled to Wales to try to find the original location of Richard Wilson’s eighteenth century painting The Classical Landscape with Diana and Actaeon.

Aesthetic

Ms Howie said: “He went in order to have an authentic experience with the painting, so it was a really personal experience for him.”

James Cooper picked Venus and Cupid the Honey Thief by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553), a German painter and etcher.

The painting warns that with pleasure comes pain, symbolized by the honeycomb and the stinging bee.

Mr Cooper said of his work: “To create a narrative that shared the qualities of the original work, I took two elements from it: the nude and the warning.

“In my piece, the nude legs and the marine emergency flare represent these.

“To evoke a similar aesthetic I chose to shoot at night, with the black background mimicking the background from the original work, and adding to the feeling that perhaps we are seeing something that we shouldn’t.

“I want my image to feel like it is a moment in a bigger story, which is what drew me to the Honey Thief in the first place.”

The exhibition, which runs until May 2012, also features a film by Bermudian Milton Raposo, adding further meaning to the historic pieces of art.

Also opening on Friday is New Acquisition Highlights 2007-2011, featuring selected works acquired by the BNG over the past four years.

The exhibition runs until May 2012 and features work by Carl Broemel, Bessie Gray, Kathy Harriott, Donald Kirkpatrick, Bill Ming, Chesley Trott and Henry Liam Ward.

In addition, William Collieson – A Retrospective will continue its run until November 30.

Ms Howie said: “We’ve had such incredible feedback from locals and visitors so it made sense to extend it.

“It has been touted as an international exhibition.”

Mr Collieson, a Bermudian, will also showcase new pieces of art, featuring his humorous style and unconventional materials.