Bahamian Visual Artist Matthew Wildgoose is on a mission to unite his community through Art. His art gallery, which is cleverly called "It Is What It Is (IIWII)" is located in the Port Lucaya Marketplace on Grand Bahama Island in The Bahamas, quickly became the hot spot for up and coming visual artists, poets and musicians, and art lovers of all ages since opening back in 2019. The gallery hosts weekly "Sip & Paint" sessions, where couples, families and friends can be found laughing, sipping and painting in the gallery's warm atmosphere under artistic tutelage of Wildgoose.
CEM wanted to get to know a little bit more about Matthew Wildgoose, so we asked him ten interesting questions.
Which word you wish people would pronounce properly?
This may sound strange but I don't want people to pronounce any word properly. I think as we grow, we develop a way to communicate. I mean what is "properly"? Who defined what is "proper" and why are they correct? If you understand what I'm saying then we have good communication. Now, I would like us to change our pronunciation of the word "children" to "chirren" the way say it in The Bahamas (laughs). I think that represents us as Bahamians.
What is your favorite action film?
“Breaking Bad". It’s not an action film, it's a television show that has a great mix of everything - action, drama, tragedy and comedy, it's one of the best shows I have ever seen. I've watched it about 30 times, I liked it so much I bought the DVD's. What color is your favorite to use to bring your paintings to life?
Every time I paint, I notice different shades in colors and I discover slightly different ways I can use them to drive the message of the painting home and show off technique. It's hard to choose one color as my favorite because depending on what I'm doing or what message I'm trying to convey I gravitate to specific colors. If my message is passionate and I want to evoke those feelings, I'd start with shades of red and orange, if I want to convey a cool and calming message I'll use shades of blue. It depends, I don't have a favorite. I think all colors are amazing. If you were an Athlete, what sport would you play?
I'd play American Football. It’s a thinking sport and so many pieces have to work together to make a play successful, to stop the opposing team. I like the fact that the players on the team have to be on one accord in order to do the job effectively. When the team is working together they’re unstoppable. I like sports where the team has to work together to create one force.
What show have you found yourself watching a lot lately?
I haven't been watching any show lately I've been busy with artwork. But if I was watching a show it would be “Breaking Bad” for 79th time (laughs).
When was the last time you climbed a tree just for fun?
For fun? The last time I climbed a tree for fun I definitely when I was child. When I was a child I'd go up in tree just to see how high I could climb and how far I could see. Now, I fly in planes and I sky dive, so I don't need to go up in trees anymore (laughs).
What is special about the place you grew up?
I grew up in a settlement called Holmes Rock on Grand Bahama Island in The Bahamas. It was special because it was rural and I liked that it had a kind of "back of nowhere feel". When I was growing up only 5 families lived on a one mile strip, we had the beach behind us, a grave yard, a park and there were ponds in the bushes surrounding the neighborhood. My friends and I watched crabs crawling out of holes, went diving in the ponds and picked fruit off of trees. There was a lot of excitement in the neighborhood. It was safe and private. We weren't restricted, we were free.
What’s something you like to do the old-fashioned way?
Getting to know someone. I like getting to know someone the old fashioned way - meeting in public, sitting down for a drink, have something to eat, going for a long drive and walking on the beach. I'm able to their read body language and facial expressions and they're able to do the same with me. Getting to know someone this way is dying in our community.
Where would you spend all your time if you could?
Not in one place, I'd spend it everywhere (laughs). It wouldn't be in one place because I'd get bored! I'd spend more time on stage acting, I'd spend time on the beach at Lighthouse Point on Eleuthera, or Gordon's Beach on Long Island or on one of the Exuma Cays, or I’d be in a boat on the water fishing. I'd spend time in Cuba, walking around learning about the culture. If I really had to choose I would spend all my time on an island, growing my own food, cooking my own food and raising animals.
What hobby would you get into if time and money weren’t an issue?
I would fly planes. That's something I would definitely like to be doing. I've done it before but If money wasn't an issue, I'd get a plane, fuel up and fly! I'd be up in the air (laughs)
Photo credit: Marv Lamar Photography