Artist John A. Beadle answers this week’s 20 Questions.
1. What’s been your most inspirational moment in the last five years? I would have to say, working with artist and blacksmith Tyrone Ferguson in his shop/studio a few weeks ago. It was an absolute wonder to see a slab of metal being transformed through heating and hammering into a work of art… It felt like magic… and I participated in the process. Wow!
2. What’s your least favorite piece of artwork? One of my own works. It is a landscape I painted while I was attending The College of The Bahamas. It was an “Over-the-Hill” scene in the manner of Eddie Minnis. The piece failed on too many levels for me, and I also recognized it was not me.
3. What’s your favorite period of art history? Paleolithic.
4. What are your top 5 movies of all time? 1. Like water for chocolate 2. Reservoir Dogs 3. The Green Mile 4. Drunken master 5. Smile Orange
5. Coffee or tea? Both, but, not at the same sitting.
6. What book are you reading now? “Rosa Lee” by Leon Dash.
7. What project are you working on now? I am still working with the ideas developed around the piece “Mobile Housing Scheme” that’s in the NE6: “Kingdom Come”. I am also investigating concrete as a medium.
8. What’s the last show that surprised you? I would have to say NE6! The majority of the work felt really considered and mature.
9. Saxons, One Family, Valley Boys or Roots? One Family! I answer this way only because you framed the question this way, but Junkanoo, because in its infancy it was a defiant/rebellious creature that did not quietly recoil into the dark. It has been co-opted and packaged as pretty. It has been asked to shed its soul, hold still, remove the mask and smile. Flash! Oh boy, the camera has changed Junkanoo in ways deeper than the masses care to imagine. Even so, the red hot embers of rebellion are still there. You catch it almost as a marginal, peripheral experience. You have to wait long for it and be wide awake ‘cause it’s minor and fleeting but present.
10. If you had to be stranded on one Family Island which one would it be? Andros. It’s big enough for one to have a lifetime of discoveries on those shores and in those bushes.
11. What’s the most memorable artwork you’ve ever seen? Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delight”.
12. Which artist do you have a secret crush on? Belkis Ayón, Cuban printmaker.
13. If you could have lunch with anyone who would it be? Frank Gehry. ‘Cause at one time I wanted to be an architect, and if I’d had the experience of seeing his work at that time, I would have followed that path. He exploded the box and built concrete and steel structures that look malleable. I may have ended up right where I am today, but that could well have been my beginning.
14. Who do you think is the most important Bahamian in the country’s history? Pick any good educator!
15. Who is your favorite living artist? Martin Puryear. His work is brilliant! I love the fact that he does not allow himself, the ‘artist’, to color the audience’s experience of the work.
16. Sunrise or Sunset? Sunrise.
17. What role does the artist have in society? To create imagery/metaphors that offers experiences of critique, wonderment, joy and escape.
18. What’s your most embarrassing moment? Can’t remember… I think I may have been so traumatized by it, I blocked it out but I am due for another moment anytime now.
19. What wouldn’t you do without? Creating.
20. What’s your definition of beauty? Sunrise!
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