Sun | Apr 5, 2020

Janine JKUHL off to Bali, Indonesia for creative fellowship

Published:Friday | February 28, 2020 | 12:05 AMKimberley Small/Staff Reporter
Rosina Moder-Ashbourne looks on at the Bali Creative Residents, during Janine JKUHL’s send-off.
From left: Carlyle Grant, Danielle Russell, Janine JKUHL and Joel Moder.
From left: Janine JKUHL, Danielle Russell, Joel Moder and Carlyle Grant.
Janine JKUHL serenades her well-wishers in an intimate ‘send-off’ reception at the R Hotel last week.

Following in the footsteps of past fellows like film-maker Danielle Russell, creative writer Joel Moder, photographer Ishaka Shango and marketing professional Carlyle Grant, eclectic fusion artiste Janine JKUHL is on her way to the vibrant, cultural town of Ubud, for Esirom’s two-month-long Jamaica-Indonesia Residency Programme for Emerging Artists. An honours graduate of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, School of Music, Janine’s fellowship adds a musical dimension to the returned fellows, as she looks forward to learning Balinese music and language, and incorporating the same into her own performance. While confessing that Indonesia is one of her ‘bucket list’ destinations, Janine also revealed that the fellowship seemed meant to be.

“I am very excited, I’m extremely ecstatic. It’s a new adventure and it’s a side of the world I’ve never been to – Asia,” she told The Gleaner. “I hear that they have a very strong reggae culture over there, so I’d like to experience and see that, and connect with people. And I hope to perform over there. It would be a plus for me to try to get people from another country more interested in my sound, and spread my Jamaican music to that side of the world,” she added.

Janine first applied for the fellowship at the behest of her sister – an artist who was researching residencies to participate in herself.

“At the same time, I didn’t realise that Rosina Moder-Ashbourne’s son, Joel Moder, was at this same residency,” she shared.

Moder connected Rosina’s foundation, Music Unites Jamaica with Esirom, with the suggestion to have a collaboration, and recommend a musician or emerging artiste for the immersive experience. “During the time I had sent in my application, Rosina, as well, had sent up my name to participate.”

Then following a Skype interview and an in-person interview, Janine was accepted.

Though a little wary about a 12-hour-long flight across the Atlantic Ocean, Janine is more excited than nervous about the residency. “I hear they’re gentle folk, and it’s a Zen over that’s much calmer than over here,” she said.

Janine is excited to participate, whether as a patron or a performer in one of the many festivals scheduled to take place while she’s there. Most exciting may be the BaliSpirit Festival, where the whole town shuts down – and even electricity is cut off, for a celebration that embodies the Balinese Hindu concept of Tri Hita Karana, living in harmony with our spiritual, social, and natural environments.

Something Janine is a bit nervous about is transportation as a solo traveller. Past fellows Russell, Grant and Moder offered some advice on that front. “I’ve been told that all the residents who have been over there have all rented bikes to get around. But Danielle was the only one who didn’t rent a bike. And her advice was to rent a bike,” she laughed.