Art Bytes

The Sacred Nile by Chester Higgins

 

In the last 50 years, Chester Higgins has caught some historical events on camera, like Bob Marley’s final time on stage in 1980, and photographed some important places, many in his latest collection, ‘Sacred Nile’. 

Featured in The Photo Review’s January/February 2021 newsletter, the collection showcases his stunning work, starting with his first visit to Egypt in 1973. Since then, Higgins has captured the past and the present on film from the ruins of the ancient kingdoms that thrived on the Nile’s banks to the people who exist there now. 
Critically, he wanted to show the natural environment that connects the two time periods, which he notes lost its sacredness in the Abrahamic religions that dominate the region today. Higgins speaks fondly of nights in the remnants of Nubia, far from the settlements of today’s Sudan, trying to capture the constellations worshipped by these early civilizations. Of the lack of infrastructure, he says: “That was good, because I wanted to document the night sky. I wanted to photograph sunrise and sunset. Light is most important to me.” 

Higgins also underscores the significance of women in these pre-biblical cultures, something he believes has been lost. “Before the old testament the woman was the top God and Gods and everything else fell under her. The Abrahamic faiths did away with the divinity of the woman. They just took it away from her.” The collection includes images of The Temple of Yeha in Ethiopia, called the Temple of the Woman by the Waaqeffanna priestesses who still use it. 

Always working closely with his wife, writer, editor and linguist, Betsy Kissam, it’s no surprise that Higgins also chose to spotlight another fundamental departure from today's world, i.e., the women who ruled alongside the kings of these ancient nations. Higgins photographed several Nubian artefacts that cemented the significance of the ‘kandakes’ or female rulers of the time. “You saw pictures of queens on the walls...we just wouldn’t know about those female rulers if they had not left behind — in stone — snapshots of themselves.” 

Art Bytes

Jamaican Nari Ward and South African artist Robin Rhode are having a joint exhibition in Hong Kong through June 18th.

CBC Arts names Jamaican-Canadian Clement Virgo one of the architects of Black filmmaking in Canada.

 

Three Jamaican artists will show their work at “The Island Imprint: The Art and History of the Caribbean Community in Broward County”, an art and historical exhibition from June 15th to

Kingston Creative’s monthly Artwalk festival experience goes virtual March 29th, thanks to  sponsors Sagicor, tTech and the Tourism Enhancement Fund.

Developed together with Steve Madden, the collection was designed for warm weather with the use of bright neon colors with rope, rhinestones, and buckle embellishments.

The work of photographer Nadine Ijewere is featured in the March 2020 issue of American Vogue.

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