Cypher Art Collective of Grenada

Oliver Benoit, Grenada, lives in Grenada
Billy Gerard Frank, Grenada, lives in USA/Grenada
Ian Friday, USA, lives in USA/Grenada
Asher Mains, USA, lives in Grenada
Susan Mains, USA, lives in Grenada
Angus Martin, Grenada, lives in Saba, Dutch Caribbean
Samuel Ogilvie, Jamaica, lives in Grenada

Ian Friday & Sam Ogilvie: A Syncretism in Kayryouacou


The Cypher Art Collective of Grenada is a gift of the pandemic. The usual process for choosing artists for the Grenada National Pavilion at Biennale di Venezia was an open call, an exhibition, then a distilling process to meet the theme set by the Biennale.

The pandemic made all of this quite difficult, so a group of mature artists were put together, and for over a year met regularly on zoom. Grenadians living in Brooklyn, Boston, Saba in the Dutch Caribbean, and of course Grenada met to discuss the very unique ritual of Shakespeare Mas from the tiny island of Carriacou. The resulting art is not an anthropology, but a springboard for a film, a performance, paintings, installation, sculpture and an historical text.

The name of the group is derived from hip hop culture, where a cypher is a circle of participants, each free to join the dialog.

While the beginning of the group was for the purpose of the Grenada Pavilion in Venice, their intention is to stay together, and explore other aspects of Caribbean culture to share with the world.