Few of us remain untouched by the sweeping narrative of migration. For those who have left one place for another, fueled by choice or trauma, sustaining the vulnerable threads to homeland is at once, beautiful, disruptive, and evolving.
Liminal Space brings together artists of Guyanese heritage, who via photography, painting, sculpture, installation, video, textile and mixed-media, bear witness to what drives one from their homeland as well as what keeps one psychically tethered to it.
“Liminal” from the Latin word limens means “threshold” a place of transition, waiting, and unknowing. In tandem, the artworks in Liminal Space engage hard truths of a country defined by constant departure and deemed “a disappearing nation.” Yet, the works offer restorative narratives of why this homeland is loved. Etched out in the artists’ visual narratives are tensions conjured up when one floats in liminal space–the land lived in and the land left behind.
Today, Guyana has a population of 750,000 and over one million living in its diaspora–in other words, more of its citizens reside outside of its borders. After gaining independence from the British in 1966, the young nation would see the beginnings of an exodus of its citizens migrating to the United States as they sought reprieve from political conflict, racially-divisive violence, and poverty. New York City, where Guyanese immigrants are the 5th largest foreign-born population, is affectionately known as “Little Guyana” home to the most significant Guyanese community in the diaspora.
Guyana’s legacy of migration reflects the broader emergence of Caribbean people in global metropolises and is symbolic of universal concerns weighing on our hearts and minds: the tensions between place and placelessness, nationality and belonging, immigrant and citizen.
The artists in Liminal Space represent both spectrums of migration: the ones who leave and the ones who are left. They tease out symbols of decay and loss, avoiding trappings of nostalgia by envisioning avenues out of displacement. While their work engages the hard truths of a country defined by constant departure and deemed “a disappearing nation,” they equally offer restorative narratives of why this homeland is loved.
Featured Artists: Kwesi Abbensetts, Damali Abrams, Khadija Benn, Victor Davson, Stanley Greaves, Carl Hazlewood, Dominique Hunter, Michael Lam, Donald Locke, Andrew Lyght, Suchitra Mattai, Christie Neptune, Mason Richards, Karran Sahadeo, Keisha Scarville, Arlington Weithers.
Curator: Grace Aneiza Ali