Creating from many sides - Limited Art Edition 2016
from many sides, selected still 31, Davidoff Limited Art Edition, 2016

October 2016

Olivia McGilchrist (b. 1981, Kingston) is a French-Jamaican visual artist exploring translocation and issues of Caribbean cultural identity by proxy of her alter-ego ‘whitey’s’ placement in the Jamaican landscape.

Questioning the shifting categories in which she belongs, from the female body in a postmodern space to a visibly white postcolonial creole identity, whitey questions the role of racial, social and gender based categorization, classification and discrimination in the contemporary Caribbean space.

Most recently, whitey has not always been present, although the work still focuses on masked figures and the act of masking in Caribbean centered practices.
By juxtaposing parallel realities through photographs, video installations and more recently with virtual reality, elements of the tropical picturesque are re-appropriated, and remapped in the search for her cultural identity.

Creating from many sides - Limited Art Edition 2016

from many sides highlights intuitive connections to the Caribbean island space; to it’s rich hues, strong contrasts, darkness and light. Portraying these sites of memory, blending stories and myths of a complex and hybrid past, the layered sequences allow the figures, trees and water to transform, merging with the surrounding land.


I am aware of the two strands of privilege I am privy to: the access to new media technology, scholarship and exposure and the insider / outsider position afforded to me by the color of my skin, as well as my gender. The challenge here is to create within yet beyond these constraints, both aware and au fait with these loaded and potentially dangerous situations, aspiring to overturn as many expectations as possible though the content, presentation and substance of the work presented in a Caribbean centered multi-media arts practice.

A staged sequence of a contemporary River Mother (or Mermaid) evokes profound connections across the region by referring to the presence of this shared mythical figure embedded within the region’s cultural space.
The elemental, cyclical ebb and flow of Caribbean waters sifts through layers of inherited histories, painting the physicality of time through light, colors, textures and sounds from nature. This ephemeral audio-visual blend offers an immersive experience in the liquid and fantasy space of the screen.

Creating from many sides - Limited Art Edition 2016
from many sides’, selected stills 11. Davidoff Limited Art Edition, 2016
Creating from many sides - Limited Art Edition 2016
from many sides’, selected stills 08. Davidoff Limited Art Edition, 2016
Creating from many sides - Limited Art Edition 2016
from many sides’, selected stills 10. Davidoff Limited Art Edition, 2016
Creating from many sides - Limited Art Edition 2016
from many sides’, selected stills 31. Davidoff Limited Art Edition, 2016