JIS News

Jamaican High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Burchell Whiteman, was guest of honour at the opening of a major exhibition of Jamaican art for Black History Month (2009) in Haringey, England.
Mr. Whiteman praised Richard Blackford, for helping Jamaica “share our story with the world”, and commended Haringey Council’s Black History Month programme. “It is expanding knowledge, increasing understanding and strengthening communities,” he said.
He also commended the artist for reminding the community of both the economic and the social power of the Jamaican creative industries.
Works by Jamaican artist Richard Blackford, are on show until October 31, at Haringey Council’s Original Gallery, Hornsey Library, alongside paintings by Jamaican-born Haringey resident Newton Matticks.
Haringey Cabinet member for Leisure, Culture and Lifelong Learning, Councillor Dhiren Basu, said that Haringey was one of the most diverse areas in London, and that it was important to celebrate all cultures and communities.
“Black History Month, is an opportunity for us to recognise the important contribution of the Caribbean and the African Diaspora to economic and cultural life here in Haringey,” he said.
Richard Blackford is based in Jamaica and studied art at Kingston College and Camperdown, refining his talent under the well-known Kingston-based artist and teacher, Samere Tansley.
His paintings evoke the beloved sport of the Caribbean region, cricket, prominent Jamaicans, and the Jamaican way of life. The show is named after its centrepiece work, capturing the mid 1970’s moment when Bob Marley called then Prime Minister, Michael Manley and Opposition Leader, Edward Seaga, leaders of the Peoples National Party and Jamaica Labour Party on stage to join hands at the ‘One Love’ concert in Kingston.
Blackford’s cricket pictures were on show at Sabina Park and other venues during the Cricket World Cup in 2007. He has also shown widely in the Caribbean, in the United States and previously in the UK, at the Cheltenham Cricket Festival.
The exhibition also features works by Newton Matticks, a Haringey resident and self-taught artist who arrived from Jamaica at the age of 15, to join his parents. After working many years in the engineering industry, Newton has turned his skills to painting, documenting everyday life in Britain, with a distinctive Caribbean twist.