Diaspora-Artists logo

Caribbean Focus 86 Caribbean Art Now press release

Press release relating to an exhibition, 1986
Published by: Commonwealth Institute
Year published: 1986

image of Caribbean Focus 86 Caribbean Art Now press release

Two page original press release, dated March 1986. During the 1980s, Caribbean Art found itself constructed as a panacea for ignorance of the wider cultural dynamism of the region. Caribbean Focus ’86 utilised the admonition, ‘Widen Your Vision, Sharpen Your Focus’, and took place “March to November all over the country” and presented “music, theatre, exhibitions, education, ideas, dance and debate”. One of the centrepieces of the programme was Caribbean Art Now, which dubbed itself “Europe’s first exhibition of contemporary Caribbean art” and was held at the Commonwealth Institute over the summer of 1986. (Caribbean Art Now: Europe’s first exhibition of contemporary Caribbean art, Commonwealth Institute, London, 17 June – 4 August 1986).

The exhibition’s press release boldly stated, “FIRST EUROPEAN EXHIBITION OF CONTEMPORARY CARIBBEAN ART The western world has seen remarkably little of contemporary art from the Caribbean. The Commonwealth Institute’s major exhibition, ‘Caribbean Art Now’ is therefore both an important artistic event and an opportunity for international exposure for the artists concerned. The exhibition is part of Caribbean Focus ’86, a nine month programme of cultural and educational events initiated by the Commonwealth Institute and taken up with great enthusiasm by Caribbean governments and Britons of Caribbean descent. The works of the majority of the artists have never been seen in Britain before and the Institute hopes that the exhibition will do much to correct the often held perception that Caribbean cultural achievements reside only in the literary and musical arts.