We had the good fortune of connecting with Jordan Harrison and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jordan, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I always had an interest in the arts from a young age; it started from trying to replicate/ recreate my favorite animation characters as a child to creating more realistic/ representational art. This passion for the arts grew as I began high school through the guidance of my art teacher and friend Steffan Harriott. Even though I was passionate about art a new passion came into the equation this passion that I speak of was accounting. Throughout my high school journey, I manage to balance the two effectively. Being excellent at both I had decided from then that I would pursue both careers during my lifetime.
After completing my studies in high school I decided to further my education in accounting, but things didn’t go as plan and I made the decision to pursue a career in art first. Since making that crucial decision I have no regrets. Art has created a platform for me to escape the daily pressures of life while allowing me to meet new people, visit other locations outside of my country, and overall impact others daily.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My paintings mainly focus on social, economic, and political issues that rarely get the attention that they deserve. Currently, my art creates the necessary platform to advocate for the most vulnerable individuals who find it strenuous to communicate their daily struggles. Since recently, I have been exploring the complexities of rape trauma and the negative psychological implications faced by victims of rape and society. My pieces are usually vibrant in color and relatively large; this approach allows the unsuspecting viewer to gradually get emersed into the mental space of victims of rape.
Two things that differentiate me from others are the issues addressed and my artistic approach towards such sensitive subject matters. My paintings are vibrant in color and usually encapsulates the peak of masculinity while also demonstrating how rape trauma may impact the victim negatively. My paintings embody how victims of rape often create a façade to avoid the extra attention attracted from friends, family, and the wider society. On the surface, everything appears to be perfect with the victims of rape, but with further investigation, a gloomier side begins to unravel.
I am excited about the future opportunities that my art career has in store. Base on my involvement in a recent mural commissioned by the Ministry of Sports, Culture, Entertainment, and Gender Affairs here in Kingston, Jamaica, I am optimistic that there will be more opportunities in the future. My works on male rape are also getting the recognition that it deserves, and with that said, only bigger and better things are ahead.
A part of my success as a professional artist is made possible through hard work, dedication, perseverance, and trust in my capability. My journey was not necessarily a smooth one; I have faced multiple challenges along the way, but I learned to navigate those temporary roadblocks. It is also crucial to build long-lasting relationships with as many individuals as possible. As creatives, we must remain focus while being open to the possibilities that life has to offer. Often, we ignore beneficial opportunities because it doesn’t seem to relate to our task at hand.
As an artist, I would like people to know that I see myself and my art as a voice for the voiceless who have become victims of rape. The aim is to bring awareness of this pressing issue to reduce or eliminate rape cases, provide the necessary facilities to assist victims of rape and the trauma that may emerge, and hold perpetrators accountable for their actions.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If they are into reggae music, we would absolutely have to visit the home of reggae legend Bob Marley and get emersed in the rich history that the museum holds; we could later get some delicious Jamaican food and drinks at Sky dweller or Tracks and Records where the ambiance is exquisite. If they are into a more relaxed type of dining and love Mexican food, we could also visit Chilitos. At Chilitos, you get to experience a fusion of Jamaican and Mexican flavors whether you are a vegan or meat-eater. If they crave adventure as I do, some heart-pumping Go-Kart racing by the seaside at Zoom Karting is the way to go.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
An integral part of my success is made possible through the continued support from family, close friends, mentors, and Rubis Mécénat. My mother (Almanda Harrison) and my father (Vincent Harrison) have made countless sacrifices throughout the years to allow me to pursue my dream as a fine artist. I can recall starting my first semester of art school without knowing where the funding would come from; my mother and I agreed that despite the situation, we would find a way through, we did. We accumulate enough money for the first semester and later received assistance from my aunt (Joan Graham) and my late grandmother (Bernice Harrison). In the later part of college, my dad made every effort to ensure that I was financially stable while providing motivation occasionally, and for this, I am grateful.
I want to give a special shoutout to Rubis Mécénat and the entire team who have been a part of my artistic journey since 2015. Rubis Mécénat has provided multiple opportunities for myself and other individuals from then till now. Most of which has allowed me to grow as an artist and as an individual.
Tiana Anglin and Deandra Young sang