WHAT WE DO
Punch Creative Arena is a curatorial initiative that aims to showcase and interrogate creative production with a multi-disciplinary focus on local, regional and international art practices.
The arts in Barbados and the region are too often considered dispensable rather than fundamental to the productive exchange of intellectual expression. Punch generates projects that focus on exhibitions, artistic production and research, in an effort to encourage art making and discourse while building community awareness and involvement.
Punch was started in 2013 by Allison Thompson and Ewan Atkinson. We are both independent cultural practitioners and faculty members in the Division of Fine Arts at the Barbados Community College. Perceiving a lack of a supportive infrastructure for artistic practice in Barbados, we wanted to initiate and develop our own collaborative projects as producers. Within the parameters of the college, we wanted to address the gap between ideas generated in the classroom and the ‘real world’ .
We have worked with exhibiting artists to provide critical feedback during production and the conceptualisation of the exhibition, we install and promote the exhibition, and in 2015 we started producing digital catalogues with critical essays.
WHO WE ARE
Allison Thompson (Ph.D.) is an art historian and curator living in Barbados. She is Director / Senior Tutor of the Centre for the Visual and Performing Arts at the Barbados Community College. Thompson has worked with a number of cultural organizations including the Barbados National Art Gallery Committee, the Black Diaspora Visual Arts Project, ICOM Barbados, and was the founding president of AICA Southern Caribbean. She co-authored Art in Barbados: What kind of mirror image and co-edited Curating in the Caribbean with contributions from nine curators, writers and artists working in the region.
Ewan Atkinson is an artist and educator, born in Barbados in 1975. He received a BFA from the Atlanta College of Art and an MA in Cultural Studies at the University of the West Indies. Over the past twenty years he has exhibited in numerous regional and international exhibitions including the 2015 Havana Biennial, the 2010 Liverpool Biennial, and "Infinite Islands", a survey of contemporary Caribbean art at the Brooklyn Museum in New York. Atkinson has been an arts educator for over 15 years and is currently the coordinator of the Studio Art BFA programme at the Barbados Community College.