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A Minnis Family Retrospective

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A Minnis Family Retrospective

September 1st, 2014 - Marsh Harbour, Ab

National Art Gallery of The Bahamas

NAGB

The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas

West & West Hill Streets

Nassau, New Providence

The Bahamas

July 30th, 2014 - November 30th, 2014

Opening Hours:

Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Sundays: Noon – 4 p.m.

Admission: $5 Adults; $3 Students/Seniors

Free for children under 12.

Free admission for all Bahamians

on third Sunday of every month.

Press Release

Creation’s Grace:

A Minnis Family Retrospective Exhibition

Eddie Minnis (1).

Mr. Minnis loves to pain outdoor scenes, mainly landscapes and town scenes, often

with wonderful Bahamian flora in full bloom. More often than not, these images are

unpopulated, even excising the traces of modern human society, not setting down the

telegraph lines, vehicles, or other evidence of the contemporary world, a paean to a tra

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ditional Bahamian way of life in harmony with nature. One can clearly see, in his passion

for illustrating simple abodes and traditional Bahamian homes, the skill of his architec

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tural training, while using the texture of the paint to create depth, bringing the stones of

buildings, the leaves of trees and shrubs, or the paneling of wooden houses, into relief

with a wonderful impasto technique.

Opening July 24th and running through Thanksgiving weekend until November 30th,

the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) will stage a large-scale retrospective

of the extremely gifted Minnis Family.

Starting with the extraordinarily talented Eddie Minnis, who was trained as an architect

at McGill University (graduating with a BSc. in 1971) but is actually a self-taught painter,

the exhibition will show his masterworks from the very early college years up to today

and will also highlight the major works of both his daughters -- Nicole Minnis Ferguson

and Rosheanne Minnis Eyma -- as well as his son-in-law, Ritchie Eyma.

Mr. Eddie Minnis (b. Nassau, 1947) first experimented with ink, watercolours and pas

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tels; he was much beloved for his satires of the political landscape in the 70s in his car

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toon series "Pot Luck," which ran in the Nassau Guardian for 7 years and in The Trib

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une from April 1977 until October 1981. Recognising that oils had greater value and tex

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ture, as early as 1965, Mr. Minnis was experimenting in applying paint with a palette

knife, using thick paint and broad strokes -- inspired by Van Gogh -- but later honing his

skill to a fine pointillism, practising an extremely precise gesture, executed with a very

small and delicate knife. Inspired by the French Impressionists, who painted en

plein air

,

“Reflections”, Roshanne Minnis-Eyma (2).

“Potter’s Cay Drama”, Ritchie Eyma (3).

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Daughters Nicole (b. 1970) and Roshanne (lovingly called "Shan" by the family, b. 1972)

couldn't have had a better teacher; learning at their father's knee, both showed excel

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lence in their field at an early age. The panoramic lens that Eddie used to look at the

world was, however, pulled into sharp focus and both daughters concerned themselves

more with the people that were missing in their father's work, creating carefully studied

portraits of regular folk, going about their daily life and labour. Perhaps it was an inher

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ent maternal streak, but the Minnis girls saw not just the beauty of the country but the

beauty in the people -- the mothers, fathers, daughters and sons -- and the grace

brought to the simple everyday tasks they perform, no matter how mundane: fishing,

hair braiding, selling papers, cleaning fish, sharing a freshly cut coconut. Nicole's work

--mainly in oils -- records the emotions of the characters, etched in their faces or shin

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ing through their eyes; she reveals a deep pathos for her countrymen and -women, and,

as a portraitist, can rival any of the greats. Her younger sister, Roshanne, also works in

oils but also excels in soft pastels; Eddie tells the story of how he gave her a box when

she was about 13 and he never picked them up again, recognising that his student was

to easily master him soon in that medium! Roshanne's work differs to Nicole's in her

concentration on the manual and physical labour undertaken by many Bahamians;

women in outdoor kitchens, men gutting fish or hauling conch; all of her subjects are

bestowed a certain grace in their tasks, showing a pride, dignity and dexterity in their

labor. Roshanne met her soulmate in Ritchie Eyma (b. Nassau, 1967), another painter

also in love with the Bahamian landscape, the traditional way of life, the people, the

landscape, though capturing them all in a darker-toned palette, possibly an influence of

his early years spent in Haiti, where the artists tend to use darker hues in their work.

“Lil Fisherman”, Nicole Minnis detail (4).

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