The Current: Baha Mar Gallery and Art Center, Nassau

Lynn Parotti is preoccupied with the environment in all its multifaceted connotations. She has a consuming passion for the natural landscape of the Bahamas where she was born, particularly the intoxicating world of the ocean. But she is equally concerned with the social geography of place; the human experience and relationship to these locations, the historical traces, the economic and environmental impact and consequences. Her sensuous reveling in the beauty of nature is increasingly counter-balanced by a politicized awareness of its imperiled state due to climate change and the attendant crises of rising sea levels, the depletion of natural resources, the consequences of coral bleaching, the availability of clean water. She also references the human toll through allusions to migration, coastal communities, subsistence fishing and poverty.

People who live between two homes often possess a heightened awareness of the intricacies of those spaces they leave and return to. While based in London, Parotti is particularly attuned to the vulnerability of small island developing states. Her restless landscapes speak to the sublime beauty and eroding forces of nature but also their precarious condition. The push and pull of oil paint, its malleable and viscous potential and heightened colour, conveys an energy which is both sensuous and unsettling, a duality which references the uncertain condition of our contemporary existence in this world, but also the potential for renewal.

Lynn Parotti studied painting at the State University of New York at Purchase where she received a BFA in 1990. She participated in the Artist’s Residency, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine in 1992 and subsequently completed an MFA in Painting and Printmaking at the Virginia Commonwealth University in 1993. From 1995 to 2007 she was Artist in Residence at The Chelsea Children’s Hospital School, London. 

Early exhibitions include When the Bough Breaks at the Chelsea Arts Club, London (2007); Limit, a joint exhibition with her sister, artist Holly Parotti at Popop Studios International Centre for the Visual Arts in Nassau (2008); and The Force that Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower at the Imperial Wharf in London (2009). Parotti was one of five Bahamian artists included in the Caribbean Pavilion along with artists from Barbados and Martinique where her installation The Space Between Want looked at the disparity between Caribbean identity and Imperialist hangover-rhetoric via religion, love and money. Curated by David A. Bailey, the exhibition formed part of City States, staged at the Contemporary Urban Centre in conjunction with the Liverpool Biennial in 2010. 

During 2015-16 Parotti’s work was exhibited in Nassau Calling: Art in the Bahamas (re)-visited at HilgerBROTKunsthalle in Vienna, curated by Amanda Coulson and Ulrich Voges. The following year, she showed in Overseas: Cuba and the Bahamas. Contemporary Art from the Caribbean, curated by Holly Bynoe and Antonio Eligio (Tonel) at Halle 14, Spinnerei Galleries in Leipzig. Both composites Slave House and Inheritance dealt with the residual aftermaths of Abolition in the Caribbean and the lack of rights which followed.

Her work was also included in the Getty funded Pacific Standard Time LA/LA 2017: Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago curated by Tatiana Flores and exhibited at the Museum of Latin American Art in California, and subsequently at the Wallach Art Gallery in New York and the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum in Miami (2017-19). Slave House and Microatoll are currently exhibited in Arrivants: Art and Migration in the Anglophone Caribbean World, curated by Veerle Poupeye and Allison Thompson at the Barbados Museum 2018-19).

Parotti’s work has been exhibited frequently at the National Gallery of the Bahamas, including in the annual National Exhibitions since 2012 (NE5, NE6, NE7, NE8) in works titled Tar Baby, Piceus, Slick and Slave House. She is represented in a number of private as well as public collections including the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas.

Upcoming solo exhibitions include Time Under Tension at the D’Aguilar Art Foundation in Nassau, The Bahamas, (February 7-March 1, 2019) and  END OF, Island House, Nassau, The Bahamas (dates TBA). 

— Allison Thompson, PhD, Barbados, 2019 

Lynn Parotti, Montipora 1, 2018, Oil on canvas, 20 x 24 inches
Lynn Parotti, Montipora 2, 2018, Oil on canvas, 20 x 24 inches
Lynn Parotti, Epitaph (detail view), 2019, Oil on canvas, Each 17 x 20 inches, composite 72 x 183 inches
Lynn Parotti, Birdsnests’ Ensemble, 2019, Oil on canvas, 72 x 90 inches
Lynn Parotti, Lullaby, 2019, Oil on canvas, 29 x 36 inches
Lynn Parotti, Meltwater, 2019, Oil on canvas, 42 x 66 inches
Lynn Parotti, Keepsake, 2019, Oil on canvas, 50 x 91 inches