It’s International Women’s Month and we are dedicated to highlighting women in art for the month of March in our #Throwback Thursday series and once per week in our Insta Stories.
Today’s throwback features works by intuitive artist, Elijah (Geneva Mais Jarrett) from the ‘Spiritual Yards’ Exhibition, a selection from the Wayne & Myrene Cox Collection. Spiritual Yards explores how many of the self-taught, popular artists – or “Intuitives,” as they are now conventionally called in Jamaica – have their roots in religious and spiritual practices such as Revival and Rastafari. Several of these artists have produced or contributed to so-called “spiritual yards,” or sacred spaces that feature ritual and symbolic objects and images that are meant engage or represent the spirits, which was either the start of their artistic practice or remained as its main focus. As Wayne Cox has rightly argued, these spiritual yards are often their most outstanding works of art and their cultural significance in the Jamaican context warrants further exploration.
Geneva Mais Jarrett became ‘Elijah’ when she was baptized as a young adult. Elijah took on the role of preacher and prophetess, creating the Elijah Tabernacle in her home in the community of Rose Town, Kingston. She consecrated the area by painting most of the outside surfaces of the building, gate and zinc fencing with mural scenes of angels and events of the bible. She consecrated the area by painting most of the outside surfaces of the building, gate and zinc fencing with mural scenes of angels and events of the bible. She also hung painted banners and seals, as well as set up revival basins. Her yard became a safe haven in tough times.
To read more, visit: https://nationalgalleryofjamaica.wordpress.com/2016/12/30/spiritual-yards-gallery-4-part-2-elijah/
Left: The Angels of Deliverance and Light, 1996
Right: Elijah – Noah Warns the Nation of the Coming of God (1996), Wayne and Myrene Cox Collection
Elijah – The Conquering Lion Shall Loose Every Chain (1996), Wayne and Myrene Cox Collection.