In her series titled ‘Gather Round the Story Tree’, Yvadney Davis is retelling traditional folk stories, as an act of maintaining history, protecting legacy and building community.
Caribbean folk tales and songs lean on the rich oral traditions of the cultures that have made up the islands over hundreds of years. These are tales of caution, magic, triumph over oppressors and tragedy. Many of the characters, such as the cunning Anansi depicted in the middle, predate the Transatlantic slave trade, and yet in the 75 years since the arrival of the Windrush Generation, these stories have stopped being told. Through her series Davis is readdressing the loss of oral tradition being passed on.
Yvadney Davis (b.1981, UK) is an award-winning London-based portrait artist championing her British Caribbean experience.
Davis' work is inspired by the connection of nostalgia and joy between the Windrush Generation of Caribbean post-war immigrants to the UK and its descendants. She wants to hold onto the memories and dreams of those that came before her, but also to celebrate the everyday of her community - anything from parenthood, creating music, friendships and rest.
Using acrylic paint, Davis builds up thick layers and movement on her work to play with texture. One key element of her practice is found in the use of iconic design elements referring to Windrush's generations homes, such as vintage wallpaper or soft furnishing.
Yvadney Davis has recently participated to Artist of the Year on Sky Art TV. Her work has been shortlisted for the John Moore's Painting prize, a prize part of the National Museum of Liverpool. She has also been shortlisted by the Royal Academy of Art and ING Discerning Eye; her work has been in publications and podcasts including Create!, Seen Magazine, Women Who Rebrand and the Evening Standard. She has participated in numerous exhibitions, such as Casild Art and M&C Saatchi x Harrods. In 2022, she was awarded with the Art United Painting Prize.