By ALESHA CADET
Tribune Features Reporter
ART enthusiasts joined Nastassia Pratt last Thursday at Popopstudios as she presented her new solo exhibit entitled “Home Sweet Home.”
On display at the gallery were watercolour paintings and architectural models, all created and prepared by the Bahamian artist. Nastassia told Tribune Entertainment she remained focused on residential buildings throughout Nassau, mainly the inner city homes, for her creations.
“When you look at these pieces, you are looking at places like Bain Town, Robinson Road, Nassau Street and Wulff Road. I tried to produce homes that inspire me. I believe that our homes should be a place to escape,” said Nastassia. Nastassia said: “For a long time I could not figure out a name for the show. One day I was on the bus and I was passing the beach and it just came to me as a feeling of being “home sweet home.” I wrote it down and I thought it was fitting for the show.” Nastassia’s interest in art began during her high school studies at St John’s College, particularly in 2003 during the RBC Finco Summer Art Workshop when she was introduced to watercolour painting.
This led to her studies in design at The College of The Bahamas Associate’s Degree in Architecture. She then continued studies in architecture at Ryerson University in 2005 where her interest in model-making began. An ongoing exploration of these avenues has led her to her present position as a Curatorial Trainee at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. As patrons walked in and out of Popopstudios, they viewed more than 20 pieces of Nastassia’s art work in a show scheduled to be on display at the gallery for two weeks. What makes her pieces unique?
Nastassia said: “I like to think that I stayed true to the idea of this being an escape. It is dreamy, it is at ease, and I hope that people can get that feeling when they look at the paintings. I want them to be like ‘boy I get this, and this is really home sweet home.’
“I create watercolour paintings predominantly with architectural structures as the subject matter because buildings tend to tell a story and I enjoy hearing these stories.
“Older, historic residential buildings inspire me and I have found that my watercolour paintings and models are great mediums for continuing the narrative of how a structure functioned in the past, its present use and what it will become. I believe that engaging with the architectural landscape through my art places the responsibility of an architectural historian on my shoulders, a responsibility that I gladly embrace and enjoy.” She said her aim with the show is to seek financial support towards helping her travel abroad to school.
“I studied Architecture in Toronto for a while and I had to come back home for a few years. I had a bit of a break, now I am prepared and organised enough to kind of get back on my feet. I wanted this to be a fundraiser for that so I really hope to get the support,” said Nastassia. She said the feeling of “Home Sweet Home” being her first solo exhibit was a bit intense because she has never in the past planned her own show. “Now I am aware of everything it entails. I work at the gallery and I was still surprised by how much thought to the details I had to put into this. What is good about it is that I think everyone can find something that they can relate to in life with the pieces,” said Nastassia.
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