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Alanis Forde is a contemporary Barbadian artist who specialises in expressionistic realism through portraiture. Primarily using oil paint and collage, she questions black female identity in an ‘idealised and exotic Caribbean space’ often illustrating the Caribbean Gyal way of life. Her work is introspective as she often uses self portraits to play with the meaning of escape and archetypal paradise.

C – Who is Alanis Forde? Where do you come from ? Barbados ? Tell me about yourself…

A – I’m a contemporary Barbadian artist who specializes in expressionistic realism portraiture. I work mainly with oil paint and collage. I attended the Barbados Community College and just completed my Bachelors in Fine art.

« My recent works explore the conflict between my mental and physical state within an oppressed space. »

C – I feel like you share with the world a part of our identity. What inspires you? What is your main art inspiration?

A – In the 5 years Iʼve been creating, my concepts have been based primarily on the black female identity in an idealized ‘exoticʼ Caribbean space. My recent works explore the conflict between my mental and physical state within an oppressed space.

Iʼm examining the letting go of control and allowing feelings and emotions towards external spaces to come forth through painting.

C – What are your main creative tools?

A – My main tool is oil paint. Iʼm experimenting with digital Collage at the moment.

C –  How the Caribbean culture influences your artwork

A – I donʼt believe Iʼm Influenced by the Caribbean. I am from the Caribbean so Iʼm constantly submerge in this space. Everything I create will be “Caribbean”.

« This series stages an exploration of the process of cultural and social ‘othering’. »

C – What about the” Self-Discovery through Dancehall ” serie ?

A – This series stages an exploration of the process of cultural and social ‘othering’. Taking its point-of-departure in my own sense of intimidation and alienation from dance-hall culture, it represents an external process of representation and internal process of self-discovery. 

C – What advice would you give to an artist just starting out ?

A – Keep speaking even when it feels like no one is listening.

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