International Artists Unite for Exhibit at Oxford Powerhouse

England, Ecuador, and Memphis, Tenn. are three locations one does not often hear in the same sentence. Artists Jacqui Chapman, Christine Chemin, and Eunika Rogers may come from diverse locations, but they share one thing in common: art.

A Jacqui Chapman exhibit on display at Williamson Art Gallery and Museum in the UK
A Jacqui Chapman exhibit on display at Bridewell studios and Gallery, Prescott St., Liverpool UK

Called the MOSAIC International Art Collective, these three artists came together to create their newest show called Fragile Migrations. MOSAIC was founded in 2011 as, “a result of a group exposition at the International Florence Biennale in Italy,” according to a press release. The Yoknapatawpha Arts Council is hosting the show.

MOSAIC is unique in that it strives to bring visual artists together from around the world. As stated on the Yoknapatawpha website, it is the group’s belief that, “art promotes positive transformation of societies and personal growth by enabling communication, cultural progress and creative thinking through visual metaphors and aesthetics.”

The Collective strives to display the artist’s work on a global level. Each artist’s diverse style, combined with their differing backgrounds allows for a unique experience, full of learning and knowledge. The exhibit allows the artists to share their experiences and perspectives not only with each other, but with the people and the community where their art is showcased.

Chapman was born in South Africa and currently lives in England. Memory is the central theme of her work. She experiments with materials, presentation, and method to create her signature style. Many of her landscape paintings are inspired by her homeland.

Chapman’s website, www.jacquichapman.com, states “…in a metaphorical abstract painterly language, the process of remembering is transferred. Here, a point of inner connection yields feelings of loss and longing experienced through displacement as an emigrant.”

Being an emigrant, Chapman’s work shows her internal struggle between identity and territory. Experiences are the building-blocks to who we are. “Working out who I was in a contemporary art world and who I was [as] a person in two minds in two places as an emigrant, unable to return to live in my own country, the answers in my work as an ‘exile’ myself began to unfold,” she said.

Chemin, of French descent, was born in Ivory Coast, Africa before moving to Ecuador later in life. Having a love for art

Christine Chemin's painting, "Maponos"
Christine Chemin’s painting, “Maponos”

from a young age, she “developed a passion for portraying what her eyes saw and what her heart felt, through any medium that allowed for the free expression of her imagination,” according to her website www.christinechemin.com.

Her early paintings reflected her African origin in subject and color. About seven years ago, however, her themes began to change and she became passionate about painting horses. She showcases her horses in unique ways and approaches, using a stage-like setting. In addition to horses, Chemin paints other equine mammals including donkeys and zebras. She always focuses on the animal’s eyes.

“In the last five years I have had an average of two individual exhibits and four group exhibits per year,” she said. “It has given me the opportunity to travel and discover new countries, meet new people.”

Rogers was born in Slovakia and immigrated to Canada as a young girl. Before eventually moving to Memphis, she attended Delta State University. According to the press release, ‘Rogers says, “these paintings are of me and about me and about how I fly and navigate through my life in my lucid dreams.”’

Painting with clay, her work is based in nature and the female body. Often focused on a spiritual and physical connection with the land, special attention is paid to how nature and the body change over time. As stated on her website, www.ipaintwithclay.com, “I use nature as my inspiration for the process and the medium I use in my art work – I paint with clay.”

Eunika Rogers, "A stronghold to which I will return" /photo courtesy of  http://www.ipaintwithclay.com
Eunika Rogers, “A stronghold to which I will return” /photo courtesy of http://www.ipaintwithclay.com

As time passes, things look different. “I record these images in my photographs, capturing a moment in time, and then, using clay and other organic matter, I fossilize these images in my paintings,” Rogers said. “To paint with clay is to stain the surface that will never fade overtime. Time changes things but my paintings stay eternal.”

The MOSAIC International Art Collective provides an opportunity for each artist’s work to be displayed in the home country of each participant. Experiences for artists that may not have been possible otherwise become available. “It is difficult and costly to get your work out to other countries and find galleries to represent your work,” Rogers said. “This way each of us get to host a show and look for cost effective ways to promote ourselves.”

“It has been a very enjoyable venture and having our artwork displayed together in Mississippi is the result of much collaboration and effort on our part,” Chemin said. “We plan on showing this exhibit possibly in other cities of the United States and also in England and Ecuador, home countries to Jacqui and myself.”

The Fragile Migrations exhibit is on display at the Powerhouse until Feb. 28. The exhibit is free and is open to the public from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily. A reception will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 25.

-Joanie Sanders, staff writer for hottytoddy.com, jgsander@go.olemiss.edu 

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