One often gets the feeling that there is no space for art in Guyana. Perhaps this is due to the failure of the successive Governments over the years to create an environment conducive to artistic expressions.
Yet, the importance of art is not to be underestimated, for it is twofold: it is not only an outlet for the freedom of speech and expression which ought to define a democracy, but it also depicts the psyche of a society, the state of mind of the people of a country. Art is the materialisation of talent, the characterisation of culture, progress and evolution of an era, and a medium for individuality. Most of all, art provokes thought, a provocation much necessary to the advancement of human kind.
Here in Guyana we have failed miserably in valorising the work of those local artists who have carved a place for themselves as people of exceptional talents, visions and perspectives. As a country we have allowed ourselves to by stifled by political and developmental myopia, an opacity which has blurred the mindset of policymakers, and reduced the interest of the regular Guyanese for artistic diversities.
But like freedom of expression in any society, art is present; it is alive and becoming increasingly independent. An outstanding example of such independence is the ongoing VISIONS Exhibition at Fitzgerald House on Hadfield Street (behind the St Stanislaus College).
The exhibition displays a selection of photographs taken by passionate people whose talents lie in their ability to capture those moments which remains invisible to the regular Guyanese.
The seemingly most insignificant, inanimate and forlorn object is brought to life and given a second chance so that we may find appreciation for the tale it has to tell.
Scenic landscapes which are so often being taken for granted stand out untamed, almost surrealistically, absorbing us as we lose ourselves into that split second which the photographer has frozen in time. The photographer magnanimously shares the love for the beauty of Guyana as seen through his eyes. VISIONS is indeed a breath of fresh air, a manifestation of hope for the future of photography in Guyana.
The fact that the entire initiative was pioneered by the sole efforts of the photographers and the Private Sector summons deepened admiration, especially since the Government scrapped the Capture Guyana 2016 photography exhibition which was scheduled to take effect during the recent Jubilee celebrations.
VISIONS is a smart response from the world of art and an inspiring demonstration of the persevering will of artists who continue to find means to substantiate their work, imprinting their mark on the culture of the day and the future legacy of a country.