The Haynes Library in Eleuthera started the new year with a display of ten fine-art photographic portraits from The Bahamian Collection.
The Bahamian Collection is the first year’s culmination of the Bahamian Project – a three-year photography initiative, launched in 2012 by Duke and Lisa Wells in collaboration with The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) and Popopstudios.
The Project seeks to capture the spirit of the people of The Bahamas. The body of photographs produced in the first year – “The Bahamian Collection” – comprises over 50 classic black-&-white portraits of Bahamians and made a spectacular debut at the NAGB as part of the Bahamas 40th Independence anniversary celebrations. It is hoped that it will ultimately be adopted as a national series of portraits to be cherished and added to over the years.
Now, as the Project continues into its second year it is planned that, even as more portraits are being photographed, the initial collection will travel – not only to other Bahamian islands, but also to other parts of the world, showing the real faces of those whose lives best portray what it means to be “Bahamian”.
Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera is the first place to which the Bahamian Collection has travelled, and the historic Haynes Library serves as a beautiful venue. The exhibition will be on display until mid-January.
“The Bahamian Collection is a celebration of the good in our society. This Collection has put faces to the spirit that makes us Bahamian – these are but a few of the many Bahamians that reflect that spirit,” said Lisa Wells.
“The project aims to address the long-standing issue of identity and national pride. Our goal is to focus on positive role models. This includes the well-known individuals who have made great accomplishments, but also – and very importantly – the common man, the good, hard-working Bahamians living their lives with moral character.”
Progressing into the second year, the Bahamian Project has opened up to other local photographers so as to increase the number of portraits that will be taken and to broaden the reach into the Family Islands.
As a part of its continued community outreach, The Bahamian Project plans to increase its photography workshops throughout New Providence and the Family Islands, allowing eager young photographers to learn the basics of the craft.
For more information on The Bahamian Collection exhibition at The Haynes Library, please call (242) 332 2877.
Top: Photo of Haynes Library by Matthias Pfau
Side: Photo of Bahamian entertainer Leah Eneas on display at The Haynes Library (photo courtesy of The Haynes Library)