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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

100 pieces of Havana

Dray walk Gallery, Truman Brewery, 23rd-26th July

Written by Tanya Geddes

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Last Thursday the amelia’s crew (minus one or two members) scampered down to the Dray walk Gallery after work, looking a bit dishevelled (I’m talking about myself not the others- that would be just plain rude!) Ploughing through my emails half an hour to finishing work, one particular email entitled ‘rum and art’ prickled my attention. ‘100 pieces of Havana’ involved 100 artists showcasing their interpretations of Cuba in an 100 hour art exhibition. Hollaring at the others to come and join me in a bit of Cuban fun, plus one or two servings of rum was an easy plea.

Walking in on the open spaced gallery, we were met with an array of exciting art, exhibiting a spirit and vivacity that is so focal to Cuban life. Graffitti, illustration, photography, fashion design, it was all there. Some highlights included Will Tuck‘s goldfish in a bottle, Kate Harrison’s mixed media piece and illustrations by ‘rude’.

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will tuck’s fish!

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kate harrison’s piece

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illustration by ‘rude’

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matthew hawkin’s piece

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‘hedonista’ by billie jean

The only thing that puzzled me was why so much of the art centred on Havana Club bottles. No sooner had I read the press release than I realised that Havana club rum had commissioned the initiative. The release even concluded ‘The iconic logo, strong heritage and vibrant history have made it a sought after brand loved by artists and talent over the world’. Indeed! I didn’t know Cuban life equated to Havana club rum.

Despite this, the exhibition was fun and fresh with a colourful range of art employing different medias. There was always a piece to grab your attention just around the corner. It was a shame that works were limited to selling the brand in a slightly more liberated way to a series of free ad campaigns. Rather than sitting on the side, making art the focus, Havana Club had infiltrated the exhibition, attempting to fuse both brand and art together. Havana club should know they may be able to dull our senses for an evening, but inevitably the sober fact that art will always rein over corporate indoctrination, will arise the next day.

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One Response to “100 pieces of Havana”

  1. Sarah says:

    I’m glad I missed that fish in a bottle whilst I was there… I would’ve got very upset and rung the RSPCA!

    Great closing sentence BTW, you’ve captured exactly how it felt x

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