Between a rock and a hard place: local-global dynamics of funding and sponsorship in Caribbean art

Winston Kellman


This article argues in favour of a series of concepts whose origins hail directly from the Caribbean space. They encapsulate ideas that are significant to the production and development of Caribbean art, and are here expressed through the framework of the ‘local’. They include notions of poverty, Caribbean identity, embodied practice, geographic location, nationalism, memory, trauma, the ‘longue durée’ and the effects of arts institutions. Globalisation, with its built-in power to determine and influence state policy in the forms of cultural elites with access to sponsorship and funding sources, is used as a counter position to be critiqued. The article also examines artworks by Ras Ishi Butcher and Winston Kellman, the author of the article. These two artists from Barbados work at the site of ‘the local’ and remain resolutely engaged in the traditional medium of painting, still critically articulating relevant ideas in the visual arts in Barbados and possessing what could be called a global sense of the local.

Keywords: Caribbean art, poverty, local-global dynamics, nationalism, memory and trauma, Commonwealth

Full text: OAJ_issue5_kellman_final_v2 (PDF 1.3 MB).


Biographical note
Winston Kellman was born in Barbados in 1952. He studied at Gloucestershire College of Art and Design, Cheltenham, and Chelsea College of Art and Design, gaining a B.A. Fine Art (Hons) in 1981 and a postgraduate Diploma in History and Theory of Modern Art in 1990, respectively. After two decades as a London-based artist, he returned to Barbados in 1992. He is a practising painter and tutor of Studio Art and Art History at the Barbados Community College and has had several solo exhibitions, as well as representing Barbados on a number of occasions at international exhibitions. He recently completed an M.A. in Cultural Studies at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados.