Carmel Buckley and Mark Harris: Sparrow Come Back Home

Sparrow Come Back Home by British artists Carmel Buckley and Mark Harris takes its title from a 1962 album by calypso singer Mighty Sparrow, which points out the irony of being appreciated only once he had left Trinidad for the US. This exhibition shows representations of Sparrow’s records alongside an archive of printed material relating to his music, revealing the depth of calypso culture. Carmel Buckley and Mark Harris will install their work of 228 ceramic tiles, each approximately the size of an LP, depicting the front and back of record covers from Sparrow’s entire career. The images comprise of photo decals fired onto the tiles, fixing his music into a kind of permanent memorial. The installation of tiles is accompanied by an archive of literature and photographs relating to calypso and Trinidadian social and political issues often addressed by these songs. Besides photographs, posters and records by rival calypsonians from the period, the archive includes poetry by John Agard, Kamau Brathwaite, Lasana Kwesi, Abdul Malik and Derek Walcott who have written powerfully about calypso, Carnival and steel drum music. There are works by Earl Lovelace whose remarkable 1979 novel Dragon Can’t Dance includes a portrayal of a calypso singer clearly based on Sparrow. Also included will be a 1963 book of Sparrow’s lyrics, One Hundred And Twenty Calpysoes to Remember, as well as Gordon Rohlehr’s key publication Calpypso & Society in Pre-Independent Trinidad along with sound and video components to the archive.

Duration 06 December 2016 - 05 February 2017
Times Monday-Tuesday:Closed. Wednesday:12noon–11pm. Thursday-Saturday:12noon–1am. Sunday:12noon–9pm
Cost entry with day membership
Venue ICA
Address 12 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH
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