Arrivants: Ewan Atkinson

Ewan Atkinson – Peregrination, A Playable Reproduction (2018), the board game – photo: courtesy of the Artist, all rights reserved

Peregrination, A Playable Reproduction (2018)
Game components: digital reproductions of the game board and five game pieces, five wooden stands, a pair of dice, ninety-one buttons as counters.
From the players’ pockets: a wooden shoe, a Vape mat, a dried passion fruit, a peanut-candy wrapper, the key from a can of corned beef, a plastic toy, and a commemorative pin.

Ewan Atkinson was born in Barbados, in 1975, and is based there. He graduated with a BFA from The Atlanta College of Art, in Atlanta, Georgia, USA (1998) and an MA in Cultural Studies, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados (2014).

Apart from solo and group exhibitions in Barbados, Atkinson has shown in international exhibitions including; Infinite Island, Brooklyn Museum, NYC (2007); The Caribbean Pavilion (Liverpool Biennial 2010); The 12th Havana Biennial (2015); Caribbean Queer Visualities, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast, Northern Ireland (2016); and most recently Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago (2017-18).

Atkinson is currently the coordinator of the Studio Art BFA programme at the Barbados Community College and co-founder of Punch Creative Arena, an artist led curatorial initiative.

Ewan Atkinson – Peregrination, A Playable Reproduction (2018), installation view in Cunard Gallery, Arrivants exhibition – photo: courtesy of the Artist, all rights reserved

Artist’s Statement

The Neighbourhood Project investigates the development of persona and character within the social boundaries that might define or confine a community. Using The Neighbourhood and its inhabitants as objects of study, I examine the production of meaning and how it might create or hinder an individual’s sense of self.

For over a decade I have been studying artifacts from The Neighbourhood.

Peregrination, a board game reproduced and presented “in play” for Arrivants, is a very recent discovery.  Seemingly intended as educational entertainment (much like early European and North American 17th or 18th century games), promising advice on how new residents might acclimate to this community and eventually attain acceptance and “prosperity”.  This important find has cast some doubt on many of my earlier suppositions about the history of technological and social development in The Neighbourhood.  The era suggested by the apparent age of the game is in conflict with much of it’s content. I am left to wonder if time might operate differently in The Neighbourhood. Was it indeed created by the “much respected” Nelson Brothers? Are they ageless? It is a puzzling conundrum.

My attempts to play the game have been futile.  In fact, the game may be entirely “un-winnable”.  The game may have been produced as part of some elaborate ruse.  More research is required.

Ewan Atkinson – Peregrination, A Playable Reproduction (2018), the Interlopers – photo: courtesy of the Artist, all rights reserved

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