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Out of many art unveiled

The four Out of Many Art commissions on display at Jamaica House in Chapeltown, Leeds. (Top L-R) Abundance (Rosanna Gammon), Route to Roots (Natasha Ciunningham), Xaymaca (Malachi Lawrence) and Kayo Chingonyi's retwist poem (bottom left). Photo: David Lindsay.

The work of four talented young artists has been unveiled at Jamaica House in Chapeltown, Leeds.

The stunning artworks, commissioned by Jamaica Society Leeds for the Out of Many Festival, were created as artistic responses to the Jamaican national motto ‘Out of Many, One People’.

Out of Many Art is a collection of four pieces from poet Kayo Chingonyi, digital artist Natasha Cunningham, visual artist Rosanna Gammon and illustrator Malachi Lawrence.

Kayo’s poem ‘retwist’ explores being part of a global family who choose to wear their hair in the locs style associated with Rastafarianism; Natasha’s artwork ‘Route To Roots’ is a digital collage on archival paper inspired by the portraits and contributions of past generations; Rosanna’s ‘Abundance’ is an acrylic and digital collage; and Malachi’s piece ‘Xaymaca’ is a digital illustration on paper, inspired by notable figures, some widely recognised, and others less well known, who have left their mark on Jamaican culture, heritage and sport.

Digital illustrator Malachi Lawrence with his Out of Many Art commission, Xaymaca. Photo: David Lindsay.

Speaking after the event, Malachi said: “It’s an honour to have my work on display here and to see it alongside everyone else’s. And it’s great to see the history of Jamaica being celebrated in Leeds and to be a part of all that.”

Visual artist, Rosanna Gammon, Out of Many Art commission, Abundance. Photo: David Lindsay.

Rosanna, who also attended the launch, said she was honoured to be involved in the exhibition. “Jamaica has influenced popular culture in so many ways, from food to music and the NHS, and I think it’s important we highlight this and don’t just take it for granted.”

Roy McCaulskey (L) and Jamaica Society Leeds Treasurer Theresa Condor view Natasha Cunningham’s Out of Many Art commission, Route to Roots. The digital photo collage includes a portrait of Roy’s late wife Florence. Photo: David Lindsay.

Roy McCaulskey, whose late wife Florence is featured in ‘Route To Roots’, was among those at the launch. Commenting on Natasha’s collage he said: “I think the artwork is fantastic – a fantastic tribute to my wife and the other faces I knew and recognised.”

L-R Poet Kayo Chingonyi, Rev. Dorothy Stewart, chair of Jamaica Society Leeds, digital illustrator Malachi Lawrence and visual artist, Rosanna Gammon. Photo: David Lindsay.

As well as being displayed at Jamaica House, the work of the four artists, who are all under the age of 40, can be viewed on our website from later this month.

Out of Many Festival Director Susan Pitter, praised the four artists. “This festival is all about celebrating and exploring Jamaican culture and the impact it’s had not just in Leeds, but across the whole country and beyond, and we are thrilled by the individual responses from these four talented young artists,” she said.

“Each of them has brought a unique perspective drawing on the past and present to create words and works of art that signify what ‘Out of Many, One People’ means to them and just how important it is to value our heritage and history.”

Out of Many Art is a part of the Out of Many Festival made possible thanks to National Lottery players by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England.