Dear Friends, NATC invites you to an evening of technology and art on Tuesday, 14 March at 4 PM (Wednesday is a public holiday) at the NATC office on Randall Street. Come and see art works created in response to the question “Technology: Hurting or Helping?” You’ll have a chance to hear presentations by the artists themselves. The paintings on display at our office are also featured in our 2017 Calendar, copies of which will be available at the Event. Regards, NATC
The art is profoundly contemplative, highly conceptual in its interpretation of the question “Technology: Hurting or Helping?” and also quite rooted in local artistic motifs and scenery. They paintings are not only stunning to look at but also demonstrate a very deep understanding of technology and social media and, how technology is part of urbanisation.
Tom Williams’ painting is a beautiful portrait of a small boy holding a piece of fruit or some object and using it as a telephone. He’s smiling with great, expressive eyes and, is seemingly relaxed in his environment. In the background you can see buildings, a tower, a couple of market women with goods balanced on their heads and red dirt roads.
Duke Appleton’s painting is actually the winner from the 2015 Art Competition and, was featured as NATC’s Christmas card. This year the format has changed and we have decided to feature several paintings in a Calendar to be distributed to clients and friends. We decided to include Duke’s remarkable painting. It is a highly detailed panoramic view of a city in Liberia, encompassing both the present and future. In the foreground we have a fishing boat, a market woman, a student studying on his laptop, and in the background we have a train in a very modern urban setting.
Michael Michelle has 2 paintings featured in the Calendar and both are quite stylistic. For March, the painting shows an elegant lady standing, holding mobile devices next to a telcom tower. For November, we have some children huddled around a computer in a rural setting. It’s a very stylistic rendering.
Sanoe Karamo’s painting is absolutely stunning: we have 2 girls from an urban and rural setting chatting to each other on a messaging platform across distance and time. They are shown against the Planet Earth and, we have a ground view of the girls as well as a global view of the planet with a satellite helping the devices to communicate with each other.
Using a similar concept, Abu Fofanah’s painting shows the Planet Earth from Africa and then North America and how the two continents are able to communicate with each other. Abu Fofana’s painting is featured for the month of May.
Mansa Mason’s painting is delightful not only for the portrait of a beautiful girl but also for its highly conceptual and complex interpretation of technology. This piece is featured in the month of June. We can see quite a few examples of the way technology can be harmful: from thieves coming out of the laptop’s screen (hacking, cyber crime..?) to how devices are replacing teachers in school (the privatisation of primary education in Liberia, a pilot which was launched in 2016) and, how technology could be replacing jobs. Mansa is extremely skilled and expressive at merging humans and technological devices: a couple of heads coming out of the screen to a hand emerging from an iPad. There’s a lot of imagery and concepts in this painting and, still it manages to be visually striking.
Togar Wilfred’s school scene shows the typical school building one can see in Liberia. The school is in the back while we have wide spaces of grass and field in the foreground. There’s also a small palava hut in the back and a dense forest. And, we know we are in Liberia because of the flag. And don’t miss the telcom tower either. IT’s small but you can see it. The main point of interest is the girl chatting to someone on her mobile phone while a field worker is trying to hand her some books. What do you think this symbolises?
Amos Boyce’s painting was also one of the paintings in our 2015 Art Contest. It’s a beautiful dreamy painting thanks to its strokes of yellow, pink, purple and red. We have a teacher and faint outlines of students. We have a worker climbing up a telcom tower (or is it theft of the LEC?). We have a fishing boat. We have palava huts sporting V-SAT dishes. We have a couple of market women, both on their cell phones. And we have the beautiful Liberian flag. A very beautiful piece indeed!
Brima Wolobah’s piece is featured for September. It’s also a dense and complex painting that is highly conceptual and, you have to spend quite a bit of time studying it. In parts it looks like an optical illusion. It looks like we having a roving magnifying glass moving across the painting. We have internet cables jutting out in the centre, hinting to a hack? There’s an open Messenger pace. We have students and the familiar urban and rural motifs. It’s a very impressive piece.
Edward Blackie’s piece is simple and elegant. It shows one young person sitting on his desk and being able to access Google Mail, Facebook, YouTube, Chrome, Google Plus and Yahoo all from one device! Imagine how far advanced our computers have become and how small and mobile they are.
The last piece is Tumban Tweh’s, who has also written a narrative accompanying his piece. The painting features a hand holding a gun.