Black Pony Gallery Features Gherdai Hassell

January 17, 2020

Black Pony Gallery has announced the inclusion of Bermudian artist Gherdai Hassell and her first online exclusive solo exhibition ‘Collecting the Gaze.’

Curator Lisa Howie said, “The beauty of black women is celebrated in this limited-edition print run by Gherdai Hassell. Her layers of mixed media materials combined with deft brushwork create sculpted portraits that have unique personalities that are further expressed in each title. Enigmatic, seductive and complex, each narrative is open to interpretation beyond aesthetic appreciation.”

The exhibition runs from January 17 to February 17.

Visit the Black Pony Gallery website here.

Below is a short Q & A between the artist and Ms. Howie.

LH: From Bermuda to China, such wildly different physical and cultural environments. Does each place have a significance in your artwork?

GH: My artwork is inspired by my Bermudian heritage. The colours, the vibrancy, the emotional appeal, are all inspired by growing up in Bermuda. Being away from home has profoundly brought me closer to it, to who I am. The juxtaposition of being in China inspires me to look at myself with clarity.

When you find yourself in another culture, you are forced to examine your own. Being outside of home, guides me to find a home within myself; it provides a mirror that reflects back truth.

Gherdai Hassell Art Bermuda Jan 2020

LH: Your style is a unique fusion of elements. Can you describe how you arrived at this and what has informed this artistic direction?

GH: I arrived at the collages organically. Actually, I never intended anyone to see them. I started collaging when I became frustrated with painting, and they were meant to be creative outlets in my studio.

But quickly they took on a life of their own. The collages are very much linked to a type of play that I engaged in when I was a child, making paper people. These are the adult versions of my childhood imaginations. When I begin a collage, I have no idea what it will look like. The artwork unfolds as I assemble so there’s an element of discovery.

LH: Has your artistic practice been influenced by a particular artist, mentor, or experience? If so, please explain.

GH: I’ve been inspired by Bermudian artist Sharon Wilson; she has encouraged me to dig deeper within myself which has in turn strengthened my practice. Artists should be able to draw a direct line between their lives and their artwork.

This, for me, has required a deeper level of introspection, meditation and solitude to find out who I am, what I want to say, and why it’s important. My conversations with Ms. Wilson have challenged and inspired me so much.

LH: Anything to add?

GH: Art is love.

The full checklist of artwork in the exhibition follows below [PDF here]:

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