Art and Production

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Painting on 4ftx8ft ply entitled GT Connection. Photo by Nigel Butler.

PRODUCTION has several meanings. It is the making of a theatrical performance which may include drama, poetry and musical entertainment; the provision of something for consideration, inspection or use; the process of manufacturing goods for sale. Our focus here is on some aspects of the first definition.

Art is at the heart of making a good production. Artists have always acknowledged the importance of production both as an artistic action and an idea to be explored. The recent Rupununi Music and Art Festival is a clear demonstration of how local artists help to enhance production.

The Rupununi Music and Arts Festival is an annual event that started in 2014. It usually takes place in the Rupununi during three nights of camping. Occasionally, there is a Georgetown version to raise awareness on the coastland. The festival aims to create a unique experience through a combination of art and music. Invitations are extended beyond our borders to encourage cultural fusion and domestic and international tourism. The Rupununi Music and Arts Festival acts as a vehicle to help develop the creative industries of Guyana. The festival involves all aspects of the creative industry – music, visual art, craft, fashion, tourism, hospitality and transport. It also highlights the beauty of the Rupununi.

While the Festival is heavily focused on promoting persons involved in the performing arts, visual arts is one of the most important pillars of the festival. The work of the artist is to ensure that the aesthetics of the festival site would create an atmosphere that encourages positive interactions among artists and artisteS. The Rupununi Music and Arts Festival was held at Theatre Guild on November 22nd and 23rd. Artists have a new professional and creative platform to showcase their work and to earn. The festival encourages out-of-the-box thinking. It also provides an opportunity for persons to network with other creatives from around the world.

Local Artist Nigel Butler of the moving Circle of Artists spearheads the creative team for the festival. His team includes Ransford Simon and Nadia Salick. Gavin Mendonca, Programme Director, Rupununi Music and Arts Festival said, “Artists are the most valuable contributors to the festival being a success. It is their creative vision and input that gives the festival space a magical aura”. In addition to this, artists and craftsman are invited to display their work. This year seven crafters grabbed the opportunity to exhibit their work. These included The Real Thing by Mighty Chief, Vanda Designs, Jah Works and Selena’s Craft.

The festival was such an interactive experience for its audience that with the guidance of artists they created a masterpiece. The painting entitled GT Connection is, in fact, two paintings on one sheet of ply. On the right, there is a map of Guyana surrounded by nails and thread. Willing persons were asked to criss-cross the threads and create a web, turning many single strands into a whole network of “connections”. Spray paint was used to make spots to indicate where persons lived in Guyana. This showcased the visual reach of the festival. On the left, persons were invited to use a brush and add to the painting. However, Nigel and Ransford added the finishing touches.

Just in case you missed this year’s festival, or if you want to relive the experience start saving for 2020. The Rupununi Music and Arts Festival will be held on November 13th -15th, 2020 at Manari Ranch in the Rupununi.