"May You Live in Interesting Times” by painter Norma Trimborn.
“May You Live in Interesting Times” – is it a curse or a heartfelt wish for a full life? This will be the exploration that painter Norma Trimborn and marine fabricator and autodidact metal artist Mark Templeton will take viewers on with this upcoming public exhibition of the same name on Saturday, August 10, at NoCo Art Studio in Terres Basses, French side Lowlands.
The public exhibition carries the same title as the current 58th edition of the Venice Biennale. Just as with the Venice Biennale, the two artists will open their show to embrace both pleasure and critical thinking.
The saying – “May you live in interesting times” – is an allusion to periods of uncertainty, crisis and turmoil. The name has wrongly been understood as an ancient Chinese curse.
The name of both the local and international exhibition comes from a speech given in the late 1930s by Austen Chamberlain, a member of British Parliament. Chamberlain cited what had wrongly been understood as an ancient Chinese curse.
Talking about the Venice Biennial in the publication ArtNews, the curator of the 2019 Venice Biennale, Ralph Rugoff was quoted as saying: “Artists who think in this manner offer alternatives to the meaning of so-called facts by suggesting other ways of connecting and contextualizing them … An exhibition should open people’s eyes to previously unconsidered ways of being in the world and thus change their view of that world.”
This is the same approach Trimborm and Templeton are taking with their collaboration. “We are living in Interesting times – meaning, times of severe transformation, such as climate change, fake news and environmental disasters. Art can be a kind of guide for how to live and think in those current interesting times.”
About the title’s provenance as an aged curse with a note of wryness in it, Rugoff further stated in ArtNews, “In this case, it turns out that there never was any such “ancient Chinese curse”, despite the fact that Western politicians have made reference to it in speeches for over a hundred years. It is an ersatz cultural relic, another Occidental ‘Orientalism,’ and yet for all its fictional status, it has had real rhetorical effects in significant public exchanges.”
Linking the Chinese symbolism is not far-fetched for the local exhibition. Trimborn has a China connection. She studied the art of the brush with Master Wang Min Ping and Master Shu Ming at the University of Nanjing in People's Republic of China. This was in addition to her skill and talent nurturing in Germany and the United States. She moved to this island in 2001 and has become a well-known independent artist here at home and in the Eastern Caribbean.
Known in the island’s marine circle for his work on boats, Templeton has become more and more visible on the art scene for his fabrication of workable artistic pieces, such as the huge fireball at Buccaneer’s Beach Bar. Spider Louise, a sculpture commissioned by Trimborn and sitting in NoCo’s sculpture garden is by far one of his largest commissions since starting out in the marine fabricating business some three decades ago.
The exhibition is open to the public from 5:00 until 9:00pm in the studio located on 39 Falaise des Oiseaux 39. Live music, snacks and drinks will add to the evening’s exploration into the perception and reality, words and brush strokes. For further information or directions, call +590 690 100 970.