WHERE THE AIR CLINGS CLOSE
21st July - 19th September 2021
Hannah Ferreira-Allen was born in Trinidad and moved to the UK as a child. Her painted work investigates her relationship to the landscape of Trinidad, occupying the interstice between insider and outsider. Although the colours in her work seduce the viewer, the lush surroundings are dense and impenetrable. Hannah Ferreira-Allen hones the materiality of paint to imbue a mood that echoes not only the complexity of her cultural identity but also something of the identity of Trinidad; considering the contrasts of a naturally abundant tropical paradise against the colonial history of the Caribbean island. Hannah Ferreira-Allen gained a Master of Fine Art at the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University, in 2019 and a Bachelor of Arts at Lancaster University in 2017. She lives and works in Bradford, West Yorkshire.
The air clings closely as I walk over the bridge. The sound of children playing mingles with the call of motmots and distant howler monkeys. The smell of earth is rich and ripe. The bell rings and I stand in line with my coolbox. In unison, we sing the national anthem in the forecourt of an imposing building, reminiscent of a plantation house. Vividly painted houses, of simple construction, cluster together and stare across from the opposite hillside; an iconic sight scattered across the Northern Range. Another day begins.
The works in this exhibition reference familiar places for the artist. One such site of interest is her primary school, located in the rainforested outskirts of Port-of-Spain. Foliage from her aunts’ gardens, familiar streets viewed from the window of a car and tropical greens of the landscape are also interspersed throughout the exhibition as ashbacks to sights, sounds and smells of another life lived.