Jamaican-born artist Roy Douglas, who combines the industrial elements of Birmingham with Caribbean influences, is displaying a fusion of these two cultures in an exciting new exhibition at Soho House, part of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Using wood, coconut shell and fibre glass resin, he creates individual sculptures which reflect the city’s industrial nature. He blends traditional skills of wood working with methods of moulding gleaned from his experience of the manufacturing industries in Birmingham.
Much of his work is highly personal and reflects his early life in Jamaica, his family and his memories. He also takes inspiration from every day life and his pieces have a practical function.
Examples include the mythical ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’, figures made from coconut shell and fibre glass resin; Roy’s Auntie Celeste in her Sunday best; and a three-foot figure called Smiley!
Says Roy: I really enjoy expressing myself through art and craft work, even though I’ve begun this later in life. After I visited Jamaica in 1988 I had a strong desire to come back to Birmingham and turn my thoughts into something tangible. I’m delighted that my sculptures will be shown at Soho House – I am very keen for people to come and see, touch and enjoy my work.
Roy is self taught and his work includes a range of figures, faces, animals, mythical creatures, containers and functional pieces, such as highly decorated lamps and boxes, inspired by the colours of the Caribbean.
Roy has worked with Soho House Museum in the past, running workshops for children and sharing his unique artistry. This exhibition will enable visitors to see the full range of Roy’s work and talents.
Some of his work has previously been shown at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and at the Ikon but this is the first time that all of his work is to be exhibited at one time.