Nadia Huggins, was born in Trinidad and Tobago and grew up in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, where she is currently based. Huggins has been exhibited in group shows in Canada, USA, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Barbados, Ethiopia, Guadeloupe, France, and the Dominican Republic. In 2019, her solo show Human Stories: Circa no Future took place at Now Gallery, London. Her work forms part of The Wedge Collection in Toronto, The National Gallery of Jamaica and The Art Museum of the Americas in Washington DC. Her work has been included in several publications. She is the co-founder of ARC Magazine and One Drop in the Ocean, an initiative that aims to raise awareness about marine debris.
This conversation between Nadia Huggins and the Dominican curator and researcher Yina Jiménez Suriel was carried out, as Jiménez describes it, “going in and out of the water”, in order to “exercise the amphibian element in our bodies.”
Yina Jiménez Suriel: I began to relate to your practice in 2016 when you did the Fighting the Currents exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in Santo Domingo, as part of the Photoimagen photography festival. What you put forward in the works that were in that exhibition made me wonder how you arrived to art.
Nadia Huggins: It started off in a very organic way, I began noticing that within my own practice I had not yet explored aspects of the sea underwater with a camera and wanted to investigate that a little deeper through my lens. I purchased a point and shoot underwater camera and I would swim everyday and just try to capture different aspects of the sea and my own body through this experience. Over time I started building up a repetition of images that helped me to formulate a narrative that I was then able to work from. I found that the metaphor Caribbean parents would use, “Don’t fight a current, just go with the flow”, spoke to the idea I wanted to convey in my work. So I began building a project off of that idea – I was able to organically merge two images together to create the Transformations series based on hundreds of images I was mixing and matching to create the final 11 pieces.