Artist: Don’t be afraid to be different

Di-Andre Caprice Davis
Di-Andre Caprice Davis

JAMAICAN experimental artist Di-Andre Caprice Davis says creating work with the power to educate and inform is important, especially for young people.

The self-described artist said, "I try to create work that grabs the attention, which is where my work includes a lot of features of cognitive psychology – capturing the mental process of creating work."

Horacio Hospedales participates in the formation of part of Davis' installation. His word was AIR converted to decimal. Participants were allowed to choose and use the numbers in any way they chose.

The Kingston-based artist recently had an interactive installation at Alice Yard, 80 Roberts Street, Woodbrook. Entitled Not Your Kind of Artist: Part 1- Influences, it included the collaborative creative energy of art lovers who visited the installation between October 25 and 27.

Davis explained, "I would like to utilise the framework of this title to shed some light on what are often misunderstandings which occur when the viewer becomes more engaged with the artist’s personality and lifestyle – and less with interpretations and experiences possibly generated from the artwork itself."

Jarrod Moore and Niko Brewster of QRC participate in completing a toofprint conceptual piece. In this piece words and expressions are written using numbers, symbols and punctuation marks.

She described her conceptual work as an educational interactive installation, which focuses on her personal influences such as cognitive psychology, mathematics, information technology, science and sound, or music.

"I pay close attention to language use, memory and how people think. Which also embodies concepts of problem-solving, and anything related to the development of a person and his or her mental health."

Davis photographed with Queen's Royal College Students Djavan Osouna, Timothy Pantin, Jarrod Moore and Niko Brewster in what Davis said were "Be yourself photos."

This was part one of a four-part series "which reflects the things that inspire me to create work," she explained.

Abstraction, computer graphics, GIF art, glitch art, photography, surrealism and videography are also included in her practice.

Art is evolving and continues to move away from what is generally considered traditional fine art, and Davis believes the need to label and categorise the artist can result in potentially negative stereotypes that may hinder the creative process.

She said she was happy to gain the involvement of youth, among them students from Queen's Royal College and Holy Name Convent, with whom she enjoyed interacting most, "talking to them about their own development." She said much of the work was said to be thought-provoking art, due to the heavy influence of mathematics, and the amount of thought required by those who attended and participated. The uncommon approach to art and the consumption of art was welcomed by attendees.

Davis and Destiny Dillon (left), Krystal McCarthy, Gianna Robinson, Paige McCarthy, LaShelle Charles, Genevieve de Souza,Faith Rose, Mellisha Rahamut, and Chezza Chan Tack in a 'Be yourself photo."

Their observations, she said, included referring to her as "more of a nerd than an artist," owing to the strong connection of her work to cognitive psychology and mathematics.

Davis has collaborated with educators as she seeks to build bridges between generations.

"I want the more mature audience to get an understanding of how young people think, while also communicating it in a clear and basic way for anyone to understand – without a lot of the terms generally used within the realms of art."

Davis attributes her open-minded approach to art to the artistic environment within which she was raised: her home was "a space where you could be anything you wanted to be." She also said the support of her family, who embraced her changes and innate traits, helped her to develop as a confident artist.

"I grew in an environment that resulted in me being so passionate and pure about whatever I'm doing. Pure mind and a soulful heart."

She would like to inspire people to just be themselves, even if it means being different.

"If you are doing something different, you may be faced with some challenge because people are afraid of things that are different."

She said she enjoys the journey of exploring her creativity. "I am still learning, the world wide web is beautiful. People need to make use of it in a positive way."


"Artist: Don’t be afraid to be different"

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