I choose my materials for their evocative qualities as well as their metaphysical properties. I am drawn to them by the evidence of life I see in their form, growth and decay in cosmic equilibrium.
collecting these materials is an integral part of my process, and I consider long walks spent foraging in the wild, searching and finding unexpected treasures, one of the most rewarding aspects of the job.
I find in the process of peeling away the layers of the tree bark a metaphor for life and I am in essence peeling away layers of myself only to reveal other layers.
I am constantly searching for truth, expressing, growing, changing, evolving .....
NAKAZZI UNMASKED - Article featured in MACO Magazine August 2011
Fascinated by the Female Form, Jamaican sculptor creates angels and mermaids using Found obJects and natural materials
Located at the top of her own personal mountain on the outskirts of the capital of Jamaica, Kingston is the upstairs home and downstairs studio of artist and sculptor Nakazzi .
Famous as being once the home of Bob Marley, this is a place surrounded by a garden of wild bamboo, flowers, fruit trees and Jamaica ackee bursting with red fruit. There is a scattered collection of old cast iron pots filled with plants, koi carp and goldfish, and a pair of caged cockatiels chirping in the gentle breeze. these are indicative of the presence of the artist in residence –a free-spirited young woman in her thirties, with a disarming smile, playful nature and wicked sense of humour, together with a “don’t mess with me if you know what’s good for you attitude".
Nakazzi Hutchinson aka Nakazzi Tafari is a Jamaican-born artist who grew up in Barbados until returning to Jamaica in 1995 to attend the Edna Manley School of Art. Since then she has continued to reside there but with yearly visits to barbados. it seems Barbados could not tame the blue mountain spirit or contain her creative nature. She is the daughter of two iconic figures, legendary Jamaican artist Dawn Scott and trailblazing Barbadian Rastafarian and pan-africanist the late Dr Ikael Tafari. With a legacy of two larger-than-life parents, Nakazzi does not live in their shadows and she has created her own ingenious, indelible footprint.
Nakazzi quickly sculpted a name for herself amongst the hierarchy of Jamaica’s prestigious art world. After graduating top of her class, in 2001 she became the first artist to win both the Juried and public award prize of the Mutual Life artist of the year award. She has exhibited in Europe, USA and the Caribbean and has a piece in the permanent collection in Jamaica’s National Gallery. She is the featured artist whose work has been selected for the newly renovated Norman manley International Airport in Kingston. Inside the house, sculptures and collections of completed works in charcoal, paint and batik compete in a disarrayed space with her trademark hand-painted ceramic masks with their indigenous “hair’’ implants of diverse natural materials.
Her trademark masks represent freedom, as they are art created for the delight of her soul, rather than for sale. “this work represents for me, a leap forward in the spirit of independence and faith,’’ she revealed. “it is work that is created specifically for the expansion of the mind of the viewer and to defy preconceived notions of what art should be.’’ Downstairs is the open-ended studio overlooking the lush garden. this is the artist’s sacred creative space, the place where she works the magic of her craft of reconstruction, the alchemy of transformation. Here Nakazzi is surrounded by a collection of natural materials found on long jaunts and foraging expeditions in the forests, by the rivers and on the sea shores, to be lovingly reassembled, transformed and brought to life. Angelic beings, larger than life, hover and recline in various stages of completion—dismembered torsos constructed from tree bark, twigs, resin or welded metal hang and turn in the light, complete in their incompleteness.
At the end of 2010, she had two major exhibitions simultaneously, in Barbados “Reflections” and in Jamaica ”Vigil of angels”. Natural talent aside, she has worked continuously and assiduously over the years, which is evidenced by the evolvement of a massive body of work. although she is an accomplished portrait artist and is well known for her masks and for the murals and interiors which she co-created with her mother, she seems to find her greatest satisfaction as a sculptor. “I am working on a series of sculptures which are some of my strongest work to date. the process involves welding metal sculptures, which are then covered with plaster and fibreglass resin. i am attempting to make the work more permanent and also weatherproof so they can be installed outdoors".
Nakazzi is still using lots of found materials, from shells and bones, to sea fans and driftwood. her creations have been called angels, mermaids, butterflies. They represent aspects of the feminine archetypes, unfolding and evolving. “They are self portraits, as well as being inspired by my spirit daughters, my sister, mother and friends.” In the new series, she is honing her ideas and perfecting the technical aspects of design—and also peering further into the “realm of the spiritual, the unknown’’.The pieces are often huge four-dimensional installations that cannot be ignored, the making of which involves long, exhausting hours of intensive physical labour, energy, sweat and tears. she is fascinated with the female form—atrophied, incomplete, and disembodied—and the spiritual self seeking expression, recognition. the work has become extraordinary, transcendent, most likely inspired by the recent loss of both parents which brought an awareness of life’s transient nature and the metamorphic process of life after life. as an unconventional artist, Nakazzi challenges her own expectations as well as that of her audience. Referencing writer and anthropologist Carlos Castaneda, who, in A Separate Reality, teaches the “path of a warrior,” Nakazzi concludes: “i chose this path as a path with heart. There is only one choice –to walk the path and take it to the very limits....to push all the boundaries....to travel this course to the very end!"
WRITTEN BY LAURA LYNNE
Nakazzi Raku firing - Gemini the birth of the twins
Raku firing of ceramic heads
Ikael Tafari African Liberation Day Dinner 2008
Dr. Ikael Tafari addresses the Caribbean Historical Society at the African Liberation Day Dinner in the JFK Auditorium UWI,
Trinidad on May 29th 2008
Interview with Dawn Scott 1983, by Rene Romano and Elliott Leib, in Kingston Jamaica, from the Video Project: Rastafari:
Converstions Concerning Women
Dawn Scott - Part1
Dawn Scott - Part2