Alvaro Barrington
Grandma’s Land

On until 21 October 2023

The wood and corrugated iron huts which Borrington built in the gallery from his grandmother’s memories of her Caribbean village look disconcertingly like art fair booths. The atmosphere is festive, the carnival is on. One hut is home to Bonnington’s sail-like paintings of sunsets and girls frolicking in the sea. Another, with ‘guest artist’ Paul Anthony Smith, shows collages of revellers and flags of pan-Caribbean unity. Sonia Gomes uses hers to hang a fabric sculpture. There’s also a ‘project’ room with Akinola Davies Jr.’s flickering images and sounds from Notting Hill.

Any one of these artists could have carried the show but together, they compete for grandma’s hospitality. The party slumps into a half-voiced political complaint and never recovers. This is what happens when instead of living culture, we ‘celebrate’ it, as is the demand of street carnivals and, indeed, art fairs. 

notes and notices is a collection of short and curt exhibition reviews.