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Caribbean artist Nakazzi makes London debut

Rastafari mask, one of the creations by Nakazzi which will be on display at Zari Gallery

JAMAICAN-BASED artist and sculptor, Nakazzi Hutchinson, will be coming to the UK to showcase her varied work of ceramic masks and sculptures at Zari Gallery, 73 Newman Street, London, W1T from July 4 – 19.

Hutchinson, who prefers to be known simply as Nakazzi, describes herself as an “artist, dancer, dreamer and lover of all things natural, organic, beautiful and wild.” Her trademark masks represent freedom, created for the delight of her soul, rather for sale. She says: “It is work that is created specifically for the expansion of the mind of the view and to defy preconceived notions of what art should be.”

Nakazzi has previously exhibited in the Caribbean, USA and Europe, but this will be her first full scale UK exhibition and it promises to be quite a show with some very exquisite work which shows her versatility and trademark hand-painted ceramic creations.

The daughter of two iconic figures, legendary Jamaican artist Dawn Scott and trailblazing Barbadian Rastafarian and Pan Africanist the late Dr Ikael Tafari, Nakazzi has been creating her own ingenious and indelible footprint in the art world.

She has a permanent installation at the National Gallery in Jamaica and she was the featured artist whose work adorned the newly constructed Norman Manley International Airport building in Kingston. Her work has also been on display at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Florida.

The Jamaican-born artist grew up in Barbados before returning to Jamaica in 1995 to attend the Edna Manley School of Art. Since then she has continued to reside there but with yearly visits to Barbados where she also gets some of her creative inspirations.

Reflecting on her artistry, Nakazzi said: “I am a seeker of knowledge. I choose materials for their metaphysical properties and evocative qualities and for the evidence of life I see in them. My choice to be an artist is more a shamanic journey guided by intuition and passion for truth and self-revealing. My work is an act of rebellion in contradiction to values that have been taught and are deeply ingrained in the collective psyche of my generation.

“Nature is my greatest inspiration and I create masks, sculptures, paintings as a form of cultural confrontation - shifting awareness of the viewer with their mere presence. Mine is a celebration of beauty, of otherness, of self, mirrored and reflected. Using the contemporary language of repetition, I have stamped my identity on the world stage and declared my existence to be valid, my viewpoint to be unapologetically black.”

Nakazzi’s London debut at Zari Gallery from July 4 – 19 will exhibit glass and ceramic masks, veiled in mystery, which will invoke ancestral presences and organically connect the mystical and material worlds. Viewing times are from 10 am to 6 pm and admission is free.

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