Metroparadise: The Future of Kingston

METROPARADISE explores the value of art and its integration with the built environment to tell the narrative of space/place. As may be seen through the underlying infrastructure of its neglected buildings, there is great potential in the aesthetics of downtown Kingston, Jamaica. Focusing on its strengths, this project envisions the city as an area that is welcoming and is a visual representation of local culture and landscape.

Considering present plans for the re-development of downtown Kingston, this concept not only acknowledges physical needs, but tells the story of Kingston through changes in its architecture. The project is a visual narrative of the city’s history prior to the devastating1907 earthquake which destroyed many of the city’s landmark buildings, current state, and a vision for the future based on good design principles.

Tiana Anglin,   Metroparadise (Transitional Installation view),   2018, Emulsion paints on plywood panels.

Tiana Anglin, Metroparadise (Transitional Installation view), 2018, Emulsion paints on plywood panels.

This project has been divided into two sections:

DECONSTRUCTION, which begins with four (4) significant icons of Kingston’s heyday as Jamaica’s administrative captial during the pre-1907 Earthquake period. These are Religion, Politics, the Arts and Commerce, which are each symbolized by a different object of the time. They are followed by the dilapidated state of what exists on their footprints today, in many sections of Kingston.

The PAST

Tiana Anglin,   Kingston Parish Church (Pre-1907),   2018, Emulsion paints on plywood panel. 8’ x 4’.

Tiana Anglin, Kingston Parish Church (Pre-1907), 2018, Emulsion paints on plywood panel. 8’ x 4’.

Tiana Anglin,   Hibbert Headquarters (Pre-1907),   2018, Emulsion paints on plywood panel. 8’ x 4’.

Tiana Anglin, Hibbert Headquarters (Pre-1907), 2018, Emulsion paints on plywood panel. 8’ x 4’.

Tiana Anglin, from left   Kingston Parish Church, Hibbert House, The Theatre Royal   and   Kingston Harbour (Pre-1907),   2018, Emulsion paints on plywood panel. 8’ x 4’ each.

Tiana Anglin, from left Kingston Parish Church, Hibbert House, The Theatre Royal and Kingston Harbour (Pre-1907), 2018, Emulsion paints on plywood panel. 8’ x 4’ each.

The PRESENT

Tiana Anglin,   Sections of Kingston, Jamaica today (from the left Neglect, Chaos and Disorder),   2018, Emulsion paints on plywood panel. 8’ x 4’ each.

Tiana Anglin, Sections of Kingston, Jamaica today (from the left Neglect, Chaos and Disorder), 2018, Emulsion paints on plywood panel. 8’ x 4’ each.

RECONSTRUCTION, further divided into syncretic illustrations showing a concept for Kingston’s future.

Tiana Anglin,  from the left    Kingston Parish Chapel, New House of Parliament, Ward Theatre/Corronation market,    and the    Kingston Waterfront,   2018, Emulsion paints on plywood panel. 8’ x 4’ each.

Tiana Anglin, from the left Kingston Parish Chapel, New House of Parliament, Ward Theatre/Corronation market, and the Kingston Waterfront, 2018, Emulsion paints on plywood panel. 8’ x 4’ each.

Origin... Creationism vs. Evolutionism

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Who are we? Where did we come from? What is our purpose? These are some of the questions ancient philosophers had asked in their search for the origins of the universe and all its inhabitants. Human beings have a gift for pattern recognition and could not help but notice the seemingly ordered movements of celestial bodies as they travelled through time and space. We wandered for many millennia searching and asking deep questions about how we fit in with the planets, stars, moons, landscapes, plants and other creatures which occupies the universe. In this search we uncovered that there must be a metaphysical entity/region, which exists beyond our own powers and understandings that was responsible for creation itself. This is the birth of Creationism which are cosmological notions that describes how the entirety of creation itself, came into being through events of supernatural/divine action. 

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Creationism stands in opposition to Evolutionism, which describes the birth of all things in the universe, from the scientific perspective that is based on observation and experimentation. This opposition is primarily caused by the fact that Evolutionism does not hold any sentient being as the sole progenitor of everything which exists. This divergence resulted in centuries of debate surrounding the truths and falsehoods concerned with the origin of the universe and life.  Although these cosmologies appear to be different and consequently non-compatible, the truth is they include several common notions in their fundamental ideas. For instance, one creationist perspective of our origins from the Judeo-Christian scriptures, describes the emergence of the universe from a single point called a void through divine influence. However, the evolutionist perspective had come to a strikingly similar perspective, of the entire universe emerging from a single point during a period called the Big Bang. It is through these common notions that truth exists, not in the obscurity caused by centuries of humans seeking difference rather than unity.

Leighton J. C. Estick.   Overwhelm and Homine   (From Origin). 2018. Acrylic and Emulsion paints on Plywood panels. 8' x 8'.

Leighton J. C. Estick. Overwhelm and Homine (From Origin). 2018. Acrylic and Emulsion paints on Plywood panels. 8' x 8'.

Leighton J. C. Estick.   Homine, Ponder, Revival and Absolute   (From Origin). 2018. Acrylic and Emulsion paints on Plywood panels. 8' x 8'.

Leighton J. C. Estick. Homine, Ponder, Revival and Absolute (From Origin). 2018. Acrylic and Emulsion paints on Plywood panels. 8' x 8'.

Origin is a sixteen panel wide transitional illustrative mural, designed in order to show how through harmony both Evolutionism and Creationism can become unified. The reason unification is important is because the age-long separation may have augmented the development of other binary oppositions in society, namely race, class, gender, sex, ethnicity and nationality to name a few. In the contemporary age of equality over inequality so as to create a balanced civilisation, this mural is important in conveying that unity can be achieved by focusing on similarities rather than differences. As such it presents cosmology from both perspectives through the lens of the lifeforms whether animals or plants, which inhabit the planet Earth our home. 

Evolution begins on the left side of the mural from the scientifically proven, earliest known creatures in the history of life such as comb jellies, sea anemones, pikaia and sea sponges. These creatures seemingly evolve and grow in one continuous motion into a reinterpretation of a Megalodon shark based on the likeness of the contemporary Great White Shark. Each animal, plant or even landscape which is visualised is symbolically linked with its physical counterpart as well as an idea of change, and where each fits in within that story fo evolution. The shark does not simply emerge out of nothing for instance, something of lesser complexity and size must have come before such as the comb jellies and pikaia in the previous illustration. Eventually aquatic creatures transform to adapt to life on land by shedding there gills, fins, flukes and in some cases their skin, in place of other physical traits which will better help in their survival. The fourth panel in the serious indicates this metamorphosis clearly with a primeval crocodilian which is caught mid transition between reptile and fish. We can see this transition quite clearly even in today's animal kingdom in frogs and other amphibians which are neither fish nor reptile, but retain elements from both. 

Over time reptilians make way for warmer blooded creatures such as mammals and birds, which have come to dominate almost all terrains. Evolutionism eventually culminates at the centre with the image of a man arm outstretched to bridge the gap between evolutionism and creationism, which begins with his woman counterpart. On the Creationist side of the mural the woman begins the cycle of change, stylised with more metaphysical features such as pupil and iris-less eyes with a swan seemingly emerging out of her body. A throned King-like Panda dominates the adjoining scene, fascinated by something in the sky or within its own mind. Mythological figures such as the phoenix, kukulkan, the black tortoise and a mermaid all take up their respective positions within the mural, illustrated so that they do not seem dissimilar to those creatures depicted over the side of Evolution. This better helps to unify both perspectives visually, contextually and conceptually, as giving them the appearance of creatures we humans accept to be real. The mythological is designed so they themselves can be appreciated as creatures that may exist as well. The mural comes to an end, or beginning depending on your perspective with an object riddled with symbolism.

Leighton J. C. Estick.   Emergence to Breathe   (From Origin). 2018. Acrylic and Emulsion paints on Plywood panels. 8' x 8'.

Leighton J. C. Estick. Emergence to Breathe (From Origin). 2018. Acrylic and Emulsion paints on Plywood panels. 8' x 8'.

Leighton J. C. Estick.   Preserve (detail)   (From Origin). 2018. Acrylic and Emulsion paints on Plywood panels. 8' x 8'.

Leighton J. C. Estick. Preserve (detail) (From Origin). 2018. Acrylic and Emulsion paints on Plywood panels. 8' x 8'.

Leighton J. C. Estick.   Femina (detail)  (From Origin). 2018. Acrylic and Emulsion paints on Plywood panels. 8' x 8'.

Leighton J. C. Estick. Femina (detail)(From Origin). 2018. Acrylic and Emulsion paints on Plywood panels. 8' x 8'.

Leighton J. C. Estick.   Absolute   (From Origin). 2018. Acrylic and Emulsion paints on Plywood panels. 8' x 8'.

Leighton J. C. Estick. Absolute (From Origin). 2018. Acrylic and Emulsion paints on Plywood panels. 8' x 8'.

The final panel features a recontextualised Venus of Willendorf made to be a representation of an Earth Mother figure, while it supports the entirety of creation unified in balance within a fibonacci spiral. The fibonacci spiral is an important symbol in both religious and scientific cosmology, as it indicates movement from one point to the other a crucial aspect in all creation regardless of your vantage point. The Earth Mother also controls the balance between life and death, leading to the possibility that the figure may be a representation of a Creator Deity/God. However, the truth is more ominous as the Earth Mother is but a catalyst for cosmological events to occur whether in a physical or metaphysical manner. Creation is channeled through the figure which serves as a doorway which is anchored directly onto the void. This panel is possibly the most significant as it shows all of creation whether from a scientific or religious perspective, existing on the same plane in unity. Origin does not only exist to dispel the controversy surrounding cosmological truths and falsehoods, but also social inequality. Gender for instance is a target of constant debate as it is socially prescribed and does not exist naturally. Breaking down the boundaries which society created to keep these dichotomies in tact, may inspire humanity to focus on events of more paramount importance such as global warming which has the capacity to destroy us all. Where we are coming from is no longer the cause for debate, as we already know based on these two perspectives, what we ought to focus on now is where we are going.  

Designer: Leighton J. C. Estick
Date: 2017 - 2018
Genres: Illustration, Muralism, Installation art, Exhibition design, Land art.
Medium: Acrylic and emulsion paints, plywood and pinewood lumber.

Enigma: A Message in the Stars

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Let's stop for a second. Let's think about all the perceived technological, industrial, rational, societal and intellectual advances the human race has experienced over the past 2000 years or so. These advances helped us to mould into being the efficient, well-oiled and connected contemporary societies humans live in today which is good, no? However, according to John Green "with every choice, something is gained and something is lost". What had we lost to make possible all these perceived advancements by humans?

Enigma is a visually communicated project which shows that with the advent of modern society through industrialisation, capitalism and secularisation in some instances, human beings became disconnected from the cosmos. The cosmos refers to the expanse of time and space which surrounds us giving physical substance to existence, found in planets, stars, moons as well as the spaces in between. Prior to modern society humans gazed into the unknown, and lived in unison with nature as a part of a larger system which comprises the entirety of the cosmos. Enigma cites this detachment from the cosmos and the resulting natural world, as the source of the depletion of natural resources which plagues modern societies and cultures. Humans have become pleasure-seeking and presently consume natural resources on an alarming scale, many times for personal gains such as wealth, power and influence.This self-indulgence forms a paradox in the story of the human, as an intelligent species capable of logic and reason the two being corner stones of modern society. 

Sade A. Hylton.   Cosmos   (From Enigma). 2018. Metallic flaked Acrylic and Emulsion paints on Plywood panels.

Sade A. Hylton. Cosmos (From Enigma). 2018. Metallic flaked Acrylic and Emulsion paints on Plywood panels.

This problematic paradox is addressed by Enigma first with the illustrating of who we were as a species, creating great civilisations which were based on cosmologies or notions of self within the universe. The ancient Egyptians believed the Sun-God Amun-Ra was the creator of their civilisation and as such worshipped the sun and created vast edifices such as the Pyramids of Gizeh in honour of that cosmic entity. The same is true for the ancient Chinese who saw timed patterns in the movements of the universe around us, which could be tracked and recorded to design the first compasses and calendars. Civilisations thrived while remaining in sync with nature, until the Renaissance when it became evident that there is a larger cosmos outside of what our naked eyes could perceive. Somewhere in the future we became masters of our own fate through advances in technology, aided by a millennia long observation of the celestial plane. With every action there is an equal and opposite reaction said Sir Issac Newton, and this is where the separation begins.

Sade A. Hylton.   Initiation   (From Enigma). 2018. Clear adhesive print on Acrylic glass.

Sade A. Hylton. Initiation (From Enigma). 2018. Clear adhesive print on Acrylic glass.

Posters printed on glass reveal the extent to which humans had become disconnected, showing our innocence at our initiation identical to that of a star going supernova, awakening to create the substance of new life. We grow older and begin to mutate the planet and ourselves through socialisation, whether it may be working for work's sake, acting out in violence, abusing oneself and others for gratification or destroying the Earth to ensure future generations would not survive. During this period of self-indulgence, the universe continues to form order from chaos, while humans form chaos from order. Eventually we all must die whether as a planet or the human which occupies, but not before we humans annihilate everything around us leaving nothing but decay and misery. The end result is a universe as well as ourselves which have disintegrated into nothing, and nothing can be formed from nothing.

We humans have stopped looking up and depending on the cosmos as a guide in our daily lives and actions. Becoming out of sync with nature spells chaos as everything no matter how big or small must exist in an equilibrium, as everything has a purpose. Equilibrium is necessary in order to ensure the survival of our entire ecosystem, as we humans require the cosmos to exist but it does not need us to continue to flourish and grow. We exist at the mercy of the universe which allows us to live, breathe, reproduce and grow, so it deserves our utmost respect before it is too late. Humans should be aware of their own unknown.

Designer: Sade A. Hylton
Date: 2017 - 2018
Genres: Poster Design, Exhibition Design, Illustration, Sculpture, Light Art, Installation art.
Medium: Acrylic and emulsion paints, acrylic glass, wooden dowels, spray paint etc.

Sade A. Hylton.   Equilibrium     (From Enigma). 2018. Acrylic glass, wooden dowels and industrial adhesive.

Sade A. Hylton. Equilibrium (From Enigma). 2018. Acrylic glass, wooden dowels and industrial adhesive.