Ivar Wigan, Young Love
"..Wigan’s close relationships with the street kids, hustlers and party girls paints a picture of innocence and vulnerability, and conveys the deep significance of the dancehall scene."...
After spending two years forming relationships with Jamaica’s dancehall communities, in his most recent solo exhibition at PM/AM, Ivar Wigan creates an organic and cohesive narrative, delving deep into the seedy nightclubs, back-yard after parties and endless evenings. Having previously lived in Jamaica with his family, Wigan revisits his Young Love - an island that he has reserved a piece of his affection for as he recalls that, “Jamaica was one of the first places I started travelling to and I’ve always felt that it had an unusually potent culture.” Employing sensitivity to his approach in capturing the youth culture, enables his subjects to become careless and comfortable in his company, resulting in this intimate photographic series.
As the title of the series suggests, the snapshots convey the blind optimism, sexual tension and the pivotal relationships that sew together this young community. Wigan spent two years absorbing the music that holds deep significance to this youth culture, but beyond this he has managed to grasp the hedonism of this somewhat isolated island.
The series is undeniably raw, aiming to break down the misconceptions and unfair portrayal of the island's inhabitants by the media, by showing the ever-changing relationships and universal emotions experienced. Wigan simultaneously portrays the darker side of the antics after sundown and the weary eyed party goers. Instead of depicting the island as violent and criminal-ridden, Wigan’s close relationships with the street kids, hustlers and party girls paints a picture of innocence and vulnerability, and conveys the deep significance of the dancehall scene.
Written by Louise Higgs
Photographs that echo the island’s paralysing natural beauty find themselves situated alongside the contrasting beauty of islands residents. Ivar Wigan candidly captures the island that has been held in a perfect time capsule, preserving this unique dancehall culture - a culture that, despite whether or not church leaders and parents approve, Jamaica’s youth is built on. The result has been a series of endearing photographs filled with youthfulness and optimism, with a hint of seediness.