Creative expressions explore the conflicts around history and relationships, memory and pain, religion, and joy. Enter a space evoking a reflective and calming environment, amidst truth telling.
“…sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear which is inherent in the human condition.” Graham Greene, Ways of Escape, 1980.
“When I read this statement in the 1980’s, it summarized my need for creative expressions around history and relationships, memory and pain, religion, and joy. Visual artwork is one route I use to explore these conflicts.
My ambition is to build a cathedral of remembrance around the sufferings and triumphs over transatlantic chattel enslavement, whilst interrogating cultural icons. Meanwhile, I sketch towards this imaginary with available spaces. In this gallery at Storiel I intend to create a sense of chapel evoking a reflective and calming environment, amidst truth telling. Mixed media includes portraits, seascapes, found objects and sound recordings that articulate symbols of personal and collective trajectories.”
Audrey West’s exhibition alongside award winning artist Gareth Griffith brings together Welsh, Jamaican and other cultural tropes within the unique perspective of both artists, as well as the wider involvement of diverse partners. Both artists have a strong connection with Jamaica: Audrey was born there, arriving in the UK in 1962 as part of the ‘Windrush Generation.’ Welsh born Gareth Griffith taught art in Jamaica. Both left this beautiful island under traumatising experiences: not surprising given its history. The brutality of Transatlantic enslavement in the Caribbean was mainly hidden history in the UK until the turn of the 21st century. Since the awakening of Black Lives Matter, a wider and more diverse audience will appreciate this work.
Audrey West engages in multiple creative activities. These include Psychotherapy, community activism, languages, equalities training, artwork, and creative writing. Her MA in Cultural Memory in 2001 synchronised these interests. It also raised her awareness of the post-traumatic legacy of Transatlantic slavery that she addresses in her work.
Audrey’s painting is playful, therapeutic, as well as a disciplined exploration of personal and cultural narratives. Audrey has participated in various solo and group exhibitions, including 1986 televised black women artists: Some of Us Are Brave, All of Us are Strong. Held 2010 solo exhibitions at the Crypt Gallery and Stoke Newington Gallery, both in London. Since moving to the coast of North Wales in 2017, she has exhibited in group shows in 2019 at MOMA Machynlleth with Pete Telfer’s Culture Colony Intervention and at St John’s Gallery, Barmouth. She is a member of Utopia’s Bach and Merched y Tir: Artist Collaboratories in Wales.