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Jamaican Artist Oliver Myrie: A Creative Journey Through Vibrant Art

Jamaica, a land rich in culture and history, has produced many renowned artists who have made significant contributions to the world of art. Among these talented individuals is Oliver Myrie, a contemporary Jamaican artist whose works have captivated audiences both locally and internationally. In this article, we delve into the life, inspiration, and artistic journey of Oliver Myrie, exploring the unique elements that make his art stand out and the impact he has had on the Jamaican art scene.

Early Life and Background

Oliver Myrie was born in Jamaica in 1978. Oliver pursued a Diploma in Fine Arts at Edna Manley College, graduating in 2005. He was one of two final year students selected to study at the prestigious University of Contemporary Art in Pont-Aven, France in 2004.


Artistic Style and Influences

During his time at Edna Manley, Oliver left behind realism to explore the world of abstract intuitive art. This decision was largely influenced by his study of Gerhard Richter who himself started in realism but later transitioned to abstraction. Like Richter, abstract art allowed Oliver to explore painting outside of its traditions and develop new techniques that would allow him to work through and more accurately express his deep-felt emotions.

Myrie counts his love for nature and the sea, as well as the work of Jamaican masters Colin Garland, Karl ‘Jerry’ Craig and John Dunkley among his early influences.

Myrie almost exclusively works on canvas using oils and/or acrylics. With an intuitive style, his work is composed of several layers and varying textures but using a unique marking technique that mimics the movement of rain drops in the wind – fluid, random and fragile yet, together, significant and powerful. In many ways, rain reflects the ebbs and flows, strength and softness, creativity and potential destructiveness of human emotions in the ever-present search for peace and contentment within self and 3 with one another. “My work explores emotions and their internal conflicts, their expressions within families, among friends and inside communities, and the unmistakable influence of the divine, if embraced, in resolving such conflicts and purifying such expressions. The extensive layering, use of color and the markings that reveal the hidden layers also reflect processes of self-discovery where even trauma can bring clarity to purpose and where contentment can be attained even when circumstances are not so clearly understood.” 


His latest exhibition, “Neighbours by Emotions” held at Art Bliss Jamaica (Shop 10) at Main Street Rose Hall, Montego Bay brings together two artists, Myrie and Michelle Lee Lambert, for whom the narrative of their work focuses on the human story and in particular the emotional textures of it – textures of love, loss, pain, struggle, liberation, healing, solace, contentment. These works emerge after emotionally challenging periods of life for Myrie. “Neighbours by Emotions” captures the fact that our present circumstances, though often complex, painful, chaotic and troubling do not dull our hope for and ability to find inner contentment which, on the contrary, can be achieved despite them. It also echoes the universal truth that we are interconnected by our emotional responses to shared and distinct experiences – we all feel, and we all need each other.

Oliver Myrie stands as a shining example of the creativity, resilience, and passion that defines the Jamaican art scene.

Come and visit Art Bliss Jamaica (Shop 10) at Main Street Rose Hall and check out some of Myrie’s incredible work, as well as paintings from other Jamaican artists. Take home a beautiful work of art or two to remind you of your time here in Jamaica.  


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