Cydne Jasmin Colby is a young artist from Nassau, Bahamas, as she says her art “focuses on identity and ways in which we develop our own personal identity”. It is like a research in which the artist meets various aspect of herself and by doing this she is completely herself. Actually “to be honest” philosophy is what Cydne wants to transmit to her audience.
HELLO CYDNE! HOW WAS YOUR PASSION FOR ART BORN? TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOU
Hi Sara! I’d say my passion was developed at a very young age. Like most children, I’d doodle and make cartoonish illustrations, but as people get older they tend to lose that creative spirit. I was just fortunate enough to be able to old on to it. I’d give a lot of the credit for that to my mother. When she realised that I had a knack for drawing, she made it a point to encourage me, and support my creative endeavours from then on out.
One incident in particular that stand out as influential, was when I first visited the family home of Stan and (the late) Jackson Burnside. Both men are prominent artists here int he Bahamas, and their sister Julia (a talented baker) is really good friends with my mother. So when I went by there house, that was when I discovered that being an artist was a career path, and my mind was set ever since.
YOU ARE FROM NASSAU, BAHAMAS A PLACE IN WHICH THE ELEMENTS OF WATER AND NATURE ARE REALLY IMPORTANT AND WHERE COLOURS ARE A STRONG PART OF THE CULTURE. HOW YOUR NATIVE COUNTRY INFLUENCED THE WAY IN WHICH YOU MAKE ART?
The Bahamas has a major influence on my practice. A lot of what I investigate in my work directly and indirectly centred around this place. My art mainly focuses on identity and ways in which we develop our own personal identity. Environment plays a huge part in identity development, and being that my work is personal, my home will be present in that dialogue.
YOUR ARTWORKS ARE COLOURFUL, HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE RIGHT COLOURS OR THE RIGHT SHADES WHEN YOU REALISE THEM?
I’d say my colour sensibility has naturally developed over time. I’ve been surround by bright colour my entirely life. Geographically, architectural and culturally the Bahamas is a very colourful place. But in terms of how that translates to my art, I’d have to acknowledge the influence of my earliest art teachers, Sonia Isaacs. Being in her studio in the early stages of my art education really informed my understanding and use of colour today.
Before I even knew the term “colour theory” I was engaging and experimenting with colour – understanding how they were in relationship with one another. So this has been a skill I’ve been developing over the past 20 years. Of course there is a formula to using colour, and colour theory explains this, but after so many years it's intuitive at this point.
WHAT IS THE MAIN “PHILOSOPHY”, IF THERE IS JUST ONE, OF YOUR ART? THE CONCEPT YOU WANT TO TRANSMIT TO YOUR AUDIENCE?
I think I have a lot of personal values and philosophies that make their way into my work, but if I had pick just one I would say it would be "to be honest". I paint what I know. I'm very comfortable about being honest with my audience about my personal experiences. I tend to work from photographs because I want to work from actual moments in time.
I also like to use collage as a medium because it's a way of juxtaposing multiple subjects together, and I feel that people and identities are an amalgamation of experiences.I find that a lot of people aren’t what we see at face value. Individuals a memories are layered, and I find that collage is a powerful way to illustrate that complexity.
WE CAN SAY THAT WITH YOUR ART YOU WANT TO FIGHT DISCRIMINATIONS AND MAKE PEOPLE MORE AWARE ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE’S FEELINGS AND SENSATIONS, I MEAN TEACH THE RESPECT FOR EVERYONE THROUGH TELLING STORIES, IS IT RIGHT?
Yes, I would say there's a desire for connection in my work. There is an intimacy in sharing memories with others. In the right setting this kind of exchange has a way of disarming personal guards, and fosters empathy. It’s amazing the unlikelihood of people that have felt “seen” in some of my works. I also have works with the goal of fostering introspection. In my radical candour, I hope to inspired other to have honest discourse with themselves.
WHAT YOUR COLLECTION “A GOD CALLED SELF” IS ABOUT?
This collection is an example of the works that I produce that I hope inspire introspection. This series is about self love, acceptance and adoration. In the works you find me in intimate sexual scenarios with myself. In these dual self-portraits I show version of myself. One version is rendered in my physical likeness, and the other is a collage of body parts of myself through different stages of their lives. In these intimate acts I am showing love affection and admiration for the parts of myself that I normally would it be ashamed of. Instead of greeting these aspects with resentment, I engage them with love and affection.
I entitled the collection of “A God Called Self” not fully in the religious sense, but rather to comment on where I place importance. What would happen if my well-being and needs were the things that I was servant to? What would happen if I was priority in my own life, in a world that tell me that that kind of thinking is taboo? I sought to find out what would that relationship look like for myself, and in turn I found that viewers did that same.
WHAT IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST GOALS YOU HAVE REACHED SO FAR?
I achieved so many goals in such a short period, and I’m beyond grateful and proud for being able to have done so. But if I were to ask my younger self which accomplishment she’s most impressed by, she’d say it was being able to transition into being a full-time artist. This was a dream of mine for a very long time, and there was a moment where I thought it was going to be deferred, but I never gave up on myself and I’m able to do what so many people didn’t believe I could.
ARE YOU WORKING ON SOME NEW PROJECT FOR THE FUTURE?
Yes! I’m going to be doing a residency with the Wassiac Project in March this year. I’m going to be showing at Future Fair in NY and I have a show in Paris with Galerie Julien Cadet. I also have a few other collaborative projects that I can’t announce just yet, but I’m very excited about, so please follow me on instagram (@cydoodles) for future updates!
LAST QUESTION: IN YOUR OPINION WHAT DOES DARE MEAN TO YOU?
A dare to me a is a challenge of bravery. Dares I’m willing to take, are ones in which I bet on myself.
Follow Cydne on Instagram
Images provided by Cydne Jasmin Coleby