An exhibition of recent
Raku Ceramic Works by
APRIL 20 - MAY 9, 2008
[ Nick Whittle ]

Baptism by Fire
Essay by Nick Whittle

The new work of Juliana Inniss continues to explore her relationship with the natural world which immediately surrounds her. It is a world under threat throughout her beloved Barbados. The raku works which Inniss has produced are quietly political; they are carefully crafted worlds which have become threatened by our very existence. There is no harking back to a nostalgic and romantic past but rather a plea for the future sustainability of our environment. They demand us to stop, look and listen to a world many of us have locked out of our everyday experience.

The physical breaks in the large wall mounted series are deliberate and at the same time allowing chance to enter into the creative process. The divisions which they create suggest personal maps and enclosures. They also suggest fragility; not of the work but the natural world which is Inniss' inspiration. Search these works and you will find the seed pods from the flamboyant and woman's tongue. There are impressions made by coral and shell. Like wandering through a private garden we constantly discover and see anew. Sometimes we have to search through layers of colour to discover the intricacies of flamboyant blossoms or the perfect shape of a seagrape leaf.

In some works there is reference to a view through a window but the view we anticipate frames the window instead of being framed by it. The view itself is blank, suggesting a feared future where Inniss' Caribbean Arcadia is no more.

Many of these works have evolved into a microcosm not only of her environment, but of Barbados itself potent with an evolving personal iconography.

Nick Whittle
March 2008