10 July 2012

Beyond the Frame visits Shotts Prison

Teachers at Shotts Prison, a maximum-security prison for long term adult male prisoners in Lanarkshire recently invited Beyond the Frame organisers to the prison education centre to discuss the exhibition with their students as part of a series of art lectures at Shotts. About twenty men attended the meeting and there followed a lively debate about Cuba, Cuban art and the Miami Five campaign with contributions from the prisoners. Following the discussion and using the Beyond the Frame catalogue, the prisoners will review the exhibition in the next edition of their new prison arts magazine, STIR. It will also feature some of the artwork created by prisoners in response to The Beyond the Frame teaching pack which the teachers at Shotts have been using as part of their creative arts programme.

STIR is created and edited by prisoners, in partnership with Motherwell College, with three editions a year. Funded by the Lottery Awards for All and Creative Scotland, the magazine aims to provide prisoners with a new high quality outlet for their creative writing and visual art. Each of the seven participating prisons has an editorial board, with the main editorial board based at HMP Shotts. Each issue also highlights the work of a community-based arts organization to raise awareness among prisoners of opportunities for pursuing their interest in the arts on release. Steven one of the prisoners at Shotts has written about the magazine here:

Copies are available from

12 June 2012

Jan Fairley

We are very sad to learn of the death of Jan Fairley who we were honoured to have as a patron of Beyond the Frame. She died peacefully at her home in Edinburgh on Saturday, 9 June surrounded by her family. 

Jan was an experienced and passionate ethnomusicologist. She had a varied career working as as a music/culture journalist contributing to The Guardian, The Independent, the Sunday Herald and the Scotsman. Between 1995 and 1997 she was an innovative Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival and brought Jon Lee Anderson to the Festival, author of what many believe to be, the definitive biography of Che Guevara. Jan was also a radio presenter and producer. She made cultural documentaries for BBC World Service and pioneered World Music on BBC Radio Scotland and made many music/cultural series and documentaries for BBC Radio. A fluent Spanish speaker she frequently travelled and worked in Latin America, notably in Chile where she was living at the time of the military coup in 1973. Since 1978 she also spent periods of time living and working in Cuba and became a recognised expert on Cuban music and Cuban culture. She recently downloaded interviews she conducted a few years ago with several Cuban women musicians for a book she was planning.

Even though she was seriously ill when we asked her to become a patron last year, Jan agreed to support us and was excited and enthusiastic about the project. She was inspirational and full of ideas, had she been well she would have been a pleasure to work with. We are pleased that she was able to keep in touch by email and that she could follow our progress on the BTF website.  A week before we opened at The Lighthouse we were able to visit her and to give her the exhibition catalogue, always generous in her praise, she thought it was wonderful. Sadly she was too ill to be at the launch party but she sent her good wishes and said she would be with us in spirit. She was always so supportive and encouraging. Jan will be sadly missed by all those who knew her and by many more worldwide who enjoyed and appreciated her work.

Below is her obituary in The Scotsman and a tribute to Jan which appeared in The Herald from Mike Gonzalez who was Professor of Latin American Studies in the Hispanics Department of the University of Glasgow.

2 June 2012

Beyond the Frame team extends welcome to all at upcoming Fundraising Dinner

Join with the Beyond the Frame team on Saturday 16 June at a celebratory dinner with wives of the Miami 5 and other special guests in attendance. Limited numbers of seats so book now on 0208 800 0155 or email


1 June 2012

Exhibition Catalogue and Poster

Not able to see the exhibition in London or Glasgow?

Get your copy of the beautifully designed 64 page catalogue for the complete exhibition, plus the A2 full colour poster based on one of the works in the show by Cuba’s foremost engraver Eduardo Roca Salazar (Choco). 


PRICE  £10 plus £4 p&p  from

or to pay by credit/debit card over the phone  020 8800 0155

9 May 2012

Cross Party Cuba Group meeting discusses historic debate in Scottish Parliament

Tonito Guerrero, son of Antonio Guerrero one of the Miami 5, addresses a meeting of the Cross Party Group on Cuba immediately following the debate on Cuba and the Five in the Scottish Parliament.  To his right is Her Excellency Esther Armenteros, the Cuban ambassador, who was in the gallery of the debating chamber to hear the debate. Elaine Smith, MSP and Convener of the group who lodged the motion and made the opening speech, is on the left. The meeting also heard from Rosa Aurora Friejanes Coca, the wife of Fernando González of the Miami 5. She thanked supporters in Scotland and asked them to continue the fight for justice for the Five and not to give up until they were released. The meeting  was attended by John McAllion former MSP who founded the Cross Party Cuba group in 1999, MSPs, supporters of Beyond the Frame and campaigners from the Scottish Cuba Solidarity Committee who all stressed the importance of the debate as a benchmark that must be

used to build support and develop the campaign for the release the Miami Five.

9 May 2012

   Scottish Parliament welcomes Beyond the Frame and calls for justice for the

                Miami Five

On Wednesday 9th May the Scottish Parliament held a historic debate on Cuba and the Miami Five in a motion lodged by Labour MSP Elaine Smith and patron of Beyond the Frame. The debate is believed to be the first time a national legislature outside Cuba has dedicated a whole parliamentary session to Cuba and the case of the Five.

Smith who has called for Scotland to develop more productive relations with Cuba and has campaigned for the release of the Miami Five is the Parliament’s Deputy Presiding Officer and Convener of the Parliament’s Cross Party Cuba Group. She opened the debate by welcoming Beyond the Frame to The Lighthouse in Glasgow, the first large exhibition of contemporary Cuban art to show in Scotland. The motion, she said was ‘inspired’ by Beyond the Frame which had brought together Scottish artists with others to exhibit along side Cuban artists in support of the Miami Five. Explaining their case, Smith told Parliament that the Miami Five had suffered a “miscarriage of justice” and were innocent men being used by the U.S. as “pawns in a political game”. She also called for an end to the 50-year old economic blockade of Cuba, declaring it a “Cold War relic that should be consigned to the dustbin of history”.

Other Beyond the Frame patrons, Scottish National Party MSP Sandra White and Labour MSPs, Drew Smith and Neil Findlay  also spoke in the debate. Findlay said,
“Last night, the arts community came together to highlight the plight of five Cubans who have been incarcerated in US prisons on trumped-up charges, which, as members said, are an affront to international law and natural justice. It is ironic that the country that is the self-proclaimed leader of the free world and that claims to be at the forefront of the war on terror jailed people whose only crime was to try to prevent terrorism in their homeland.” Jamie Hepburn SNP MSP  also joined the debate and wished Beyond the Frame well, “I hope that it will be successful in raising awareness of the Miami five and will contribute positively to securing their release after 13 long years in captivity as what any reasonable person would define as, in essence, political prisoners.” He noted that  “Amnesty International has pointed out that no evidence was presented against them at trial to show that the accused had handled or transmitted a single classified document or piece of information.”

Brian Adam, the Minister for Parliamentary Business and Chief Whip in winding up the debate made reference to the display of prison artwork of Antonio Guerrero and Gerardo Hernandez that was exhibited in the Parliament. Speaking on the issue of human rights he said “ the Scottish Government recognises that fundamental rights are about more than just criminal procedure. They are about fundamental fairness, which includes the right to fair trial and the right to effective remedy under law.” Echoing Amnesty’s concern of the US’s denial of regular family visits he said that human rights “are also about the treatment of those who lose their liberty, and that not being a licence arbitrarily to deprive those people of further rights.”

The Cuban Ambassador to the UK, Esther Armenteros, was in the Parliament to hear the debate alongside Rosa Aurora Freijanes Coca, the wife of Miami Five prisoner Fernando Gonzalez and Antonio Guerrero, the son of Miami Five prisoner Antonio Guerrero. Rosa remarked that she was “completely delighted” that the issue was debated because it helped take the campaign to a “new level”.

Video of the debate   -

Official Report        -

9 May 2012

Civic Reception at Glasgow City Chambers

On Wednesday 9th. May, Glasgow City Council held a civic reception to welcome the Cuban Ambassador Esther Armenteros on her second visit to the city and to thank the organisers, artists, patrons and sponsors of Beyond the Frame. Hosting the reception, Deacon Convener, Jack Steele spoke about the close links being developed between Glasgow and its twin city, Havana and how culturally the two cities have much in common. He paid tribute to the Cuban Visual Arts Council and artists in Cuba for their contribution to Beyond the Frame and said that Glasgow City Council was proud to sponsor the exhibition through the Lord Provost and International Office, as part of its twinning programme with Havana. Glasgow, he said, was pleased to be able to show to a Scottish audience the range and diversity of artists working in Cuba today, among them Manuel Mendive, Eduardo Roca Salazar (Choco), Alexis Leyva Machado (Kcho) all internationally acclaimed artists whose work hangs in public and private collections around the world. The Deacon Convener also expressed appreciation for Cuban artist Lesbia Vent Dumois who had travelled to Scotland with the exhibition to speak at Glasgow School of Art. He then thanked Scottish artists, Sam Ainsley, Ross Birrell, John Byrne, Alasdair Gray, David Harding and Sandy Moffat who donated work to the exhibition, also other Scottish patrons, Jan Fairley an ethnomusicologist and Cuban music expert who has done much to promote Cuban music in Scotland as well as actor and director, Peter Mullan, actors, Elaine C. Smith, Gary Lewis and David McKay actor and television director who had all lent their support to Beyond the Frame.

The Cuban Ambassador thanked Mr Steele for his remarks and said how delighted she was to be back in the city of Glasgow to attend the opening and see the exhibition at The Lighthouse which provided such a beautiful gallery space. Jan Pietrasik Coordinator of Beyond the Frame thanked Glasgow City Council for their sponsorship of Beyond the Frame and hoped the people of Glasgow would enjoy the wonderful collection of artwork on display. She explained how the exhibition had brought artists together to use their artwork in support of human rights with proceeds from the sale of artwork going to the campaign for justice for the Miami Five. She welcomed Antonio Guerrero Cabrera son of Antonio Guerrero and Rosa Aurora Freijanes Coca the wife of Fernando González and expressed admiration for their strength and determination in continuing their thirteen long battle for justice.

8 May 2012

Launch Party for Beyond the Frame in Glasgow

The organisers of Beyond the Frame celebrated the exhibition’s opening at The Lighthouse in Glasgow with a special launch party on Tuesday 8th. May. The event was attended by the Cuban Ambassador, Esther Armenteros, Cuban artist Lesbia Vent Dumois and Antonio Guerrero Cabrera and Rosa Aurora Freijanes Coca, relatives of the Miami Five. Over 150 guests including artists, sponsors and supporters were able to view and discuss the artwork an
d enjoy a Cuban mojito. Thanks were given to Brian Wilson, Director of Havana Energy who sponsored the evening.

Jan Pietrasik speaking as Scottish coordinator of Beyond the Frame and on behalf of Kath Campbell of the Scottish Cuba Solidarity Campaign welcomed the Cuban Ambassador and thanked all those involved in bringing the exhibition to Scotland. Special mention was given to Dodie Weppler-Grogan who played a key role in steering the UK project and thanks given to Scottish patrons, particularly artists, Sam Ainsley, Ross Birrell and David Harding, John Byrne, Alasdair Gray and Sandy Moffat who all donated work to the exhibition in support of the Miami Five campaign. Speaking further she said,

I would like to thank all our sponsors in Scotland, in particular Glasgow City Council’s International Office who have generously supported us as part of their twinning programme with Havana and Creative Scotland who provided us with funds to an produce online education pack. Many thanks to Scottish Trade Unions and all the other organisations and individuals who have given us financial support. We also want to express our appreciation to the Sunday Herald for reporting the exhibition and helping to break the media silence that has surrounded the case of the Miami Five.”

The exhibition was formally opened by Elizabeth Cameron, Glasgow Councillor and Executive Member for Development and Regeneration Services who welcomed the Ambassador and other Cuban guests to Scotland. She said she was delighted that the  exhibition had toured to Glasgow as part of the city’s twinning programme with Havana and that the two cities both with a world class art school valued culture and put the arts at their centre. Elaine Smith MSP, Deputy Presiding Officer and Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Cuba Group spoke about the injustice done to the Miami Five and the need to increase efforts to campaign for their release. She welcomed Tonito and Rosa to Glasgow and praised their courage and fortitude in travelling the world to raise awareness and win support for the release of their loved ones. Tonito, speaking in English, read a letter from Miami Five prisoner Gerardo Hernandez. Writing from Victorville Federal Prison in California, Gerardo wrote, “throughout all these years of unjust imprisonment we have received many examples of support to our cause by friends from Scotland”. He went on to thank, “our brothers and sisters in Scotland to whom we extend our deepest gratitude.”

Link to photos from the Launch

6 May 2012

Beyond the Frame features in an article in today’s Sunday Herald


5 May 2012

Beyond the Frame Cuban guests arrive in Scotland

Scottish organisers of Beyond the Frame welcomed Cuban guests of the exhibition upon their arrival in Glasgow on Saturday 5th May. Tonito Guerrero, son of Antonio Guerrero of the Miami 5 and Jan Pietrasik, Glasgow coordinator (back row) and  Rosa Aurora Freijanes, wife of Fernando González of the Miami 5, Kath Campbell and Vicky Grandon of Scottish Cuba Solidarity Campaign and Lesbia Vent Dumois, Cuban artist (front row). The Cubans will be in Glasgow for the opening of the exhibition which runs from 7th. to 13th. May at The Lighthouse. Lesbia Vent Dumois will speak to staff and students at a meeting in Glasgow School of Art and the two family members of the Miami 5 will attend a debate on Cuba and the Miami Five in the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

5 May 2012

Beyond the Frame Education Pack published and available for download

This excellent Teachers’ Resource Pack is intended as an introduction to the Beyond the Frame exhibition.  The pack illustrates and explores 6 of the key Cuban works of art from the exhibition and includes a selection of ideas and points for discussion. The activities are suitable for all ages and can be adapted to your needs.

This pack has been made possible due to an award by Creative Scotland.

A pdf of the pack can be downloaded from this link:

Beyond the Frame Education Pack

5 May 2012

Successful programme for the Miami 5 in Manchester

Cuban artist Lesbia Vent Dumois participated in a highly productive visit to Manchester including a successful meeting for the Miami 5 on 4th May.  Associated with the Beyond the Frame exhibition in London, the first showing of the new travelling exhibition of art by Antonio Guerrero and Gerardo Hernandez, two of the Miami 5, was mounted by the local Manchester Cuba Solidarity Campaign group. The exhibition in the afternoon was followed by an evening meeting.  Two family members of the Miami 5 were the keynote speakers – Tony Guerrero (Antonio’s son) and Rosa Aurora Freijanes (wife of Fernando Gonzalez). 

The Manchester CSC group designed a dramatic frontage for the Anthony Burgess Centre, the venue of the travelling exhibition and the public meeting. Lesbia Vent Dumois is on the left of the photo.  Eighty people came through the doors of the centre during the day to look at the work of Gerardo and Antonio and to pick up information about their case.

The public meeting was attended by 90 people and was addressed by Father Geoff Bottoms, Rosa Aurora Freijanes (left on platform), Tony Guerrero (speaking) and Lesbia Vent Dumois. Also on the platform are two interpreters. The audience engaged with the speakers. There was a tremendously positive atmosphere that showed how useful the travelling exhibition can be in winning support for the Five.

                                                                                                          3 May 2012

Miami Five artwork shows to MSPs in Scottish Parliament

Before opening in Glasgow, a section of the Beyond the Frame exhibition featuring the prison artwork of Antonio Guerrero and Gerardo Hernandez was shown to MSPs in the garden lobby of the Scottish Parliament. The exhibition to raise awareness amongst MSPs about the miscarriage of justice suffered by the Miami Five was sponsored by Elaine Smith MSP and Convener of the Cross Party Cuba Group seen here with Jan Pietrasik Coordinator of Beyond the Frame in Scotland. MSPs were able to view the artwork and receive information about the Five’s case in advance of the debate on The Beyond the Frame motion lodged by Elaine Smith.

Scottish Parliament Motion S4M-02573 Text:
Elaine Smith, Coatbridge and Chryston, Scottish Labour

That the Parliament welcomes the Cuban art exhibition, Beyond the Frame, which is scheduled to be held at The Lighthouse in Glasgow from 7 to13 May 2012; understands that this will be the first time that such a large exhibition of contemporary Cuban art will be shown in Scotland and that some of the exhibits are also expected to displayed in the Parliament; understands that all of the exhibition's proceeds will go to the campaign for justice for the so-called Miami Five, a group of Cuban citizens that have been imprisoned in the United States since 1998 and for whom Amnesty International has raised serious doubts about the fairness of the proceedings that led to their convictions; recognises that the city of Glasgow is twinned with Havana and notes that a number of bars in Coatbridge have achieved "Cuban-friendly" status by offering their customers the opportunity to buy Havana Club rum, which, it understands, helps boost Cuba's economy; believes that, given the 50-year economic blockade of Cuba by the United States, this is particularly important; understands that there is almost universal opposition to the blockade by the international community and that it is considered to have a severe impact on the living standards of the people of Cuba; wishes the organisers of the exhibition every success, and hopes that it will lead to more cultural, economic and political cooperation between Scotland and Cuba.

The motion received cross party support from: Neil Findlay, Roderick Campbell, Anne McTaggart, Bill Kidd, Richard Lyle, Hugh Henry, Gil Paterson, Drew Smith, Jackie Baillie, Kevin Stewart, Alison Johnstone, Mike Mackenzie, Joan McAlpine, Dennis Robertson, Jim Eadie, Annabelle Ewing, Sarah Boyack, Jamie Hepburn, Adam Ingram, Jean Urquhart, Dave Thompson, Sandra White, John Finnie, Rob Gibson, Gordon MacDonald, Claudia Beamish

2 May 2012

University of York events for the Miami 5 with Cuban artist Lesbia Vent Dumois

As a lead up to the University of York public meeting addressed by Lesbia Vent Dumois and Beyond the Frame patron and curator Professor Dawn Ades, students organised a May Day celebration to welcome the artist.

 Over 100 students and staff crowded the light and airy space of the Norman Rea Gallery (above) managed by the students. The gallery was where they curated the travelling exhibition of the work of Antonio and Gerardo. Their team was led by Louis Boyd who authored an article in the student newspaper, ‘Painting Liberty in Cuba’, featuring the painting ‘Caribbean Dream’ by Cuban artist Eduardo Roca Salazar (known as Choco).


The Norman Rea Gallery has regular exhibitions curated by students from the Department of Art History. This was the first time the work of the Five has been featured.

As part of the May Day celebrations, the students made Cuban mojito cocktails in the ‘Courtyard’ bar and collected in support of justice for the Five.

Students took the opportunity to speak to Lesbia Vent Dumois about the case of the Five. The artist congratulated the students on their achievement and agreed to be interviewed on a student radio programme. 

The next day 60 people attended the public meeting on campus.  It was opened by Dr Michael White and Professor Dawn Ades, an expert in Latin American Art facilitated the dialogue. Vent Dumois explained how artistic creativity in Cuba has always been associated with the political processes on the island. Cuba had the first Academy in the Caribbean – based on classical painting from France, Italy and Spain.  Explaining the role of José Martí as a source of inspiration for Modernist artists (the ‘Minority’) who staged an important exhibition in 1927, she also outlined the profusion of diverse creative activity that came with the revolution in 1959. Amongst many other points, she noted that the establishment of the Casa de las Américas and the Havana Biennial (since 1984) were two initiatives that have ensured Cuban people continue to look outward, not just inward.

All photos courtesy of Darryl Hillgrove

28 April 2012

Birkbeck Patron hosts Conversation with Cuban artist Lesbia Vent Dumois

An overflow room was needed as Birkbeck’s cinema filled up with visitors who came to the University on 27th April to hear about the visual arts in Cuba from Lesbia Vent Dumois, a renowned cultural figure and artist. A second artist who was scheduled to speak, Gustavo Diaz Sosa, was regrettably unable to attend due to problems with his application for a visa to travel to London and which the authorities ultimately rejected more than a fortnight after Gustavo was due to appear in the UK. 

In addition to students and staff from the Slade, Goldsmiths, the Courtauld Institute, University College London, the Centre for Latin American and Iberian Studies and other academic institutions, the Birkbeck event attracted viewers who had picked up flyers from the Cork Street gallery as well as campaigners in support of the Miami 5. Professor Annie Coombes, on behalf of Birkbeck’s department of the History of Art and Screen Media, welcomed everyone and explained the campaign for justice for the Miami 5, a case backed widely by organisations like
Amnesty International. Doreen Weppler-Grogan, a PhD student of Professor Coombes and the coordinator of Beyond the Frame, reported on the enormous interest that the exhibition was generating.

Following film clips about the artistic practice of four of the artists exhibiting in Beyond the Frame, Vent Dumois answered questions about the place of culture in Cuban society, the treatment by artists of themes such as homosexuality and racial prejudice, the diversity of creative activity in Cuba and the lack of socialist realism as a dominant aesthetic, as well as other issues. The discussion continued after the formal presentation as participants enjoyed Havana rum.

28 April 2012

A week long exhibition - Beyond the Frame at Cork Street in London

The gallery overflowed with viewers at every event staged each evening during the week of the exhibition in London. The number of visitors to the gallery during the day also surpassed the number usually expected on Cork Street. The gala opening on Monday was followed the next day by a special view hosted by trade unions. On Wednesday a special view for supporters and donors was followed by an event hosted by a lawyers firm on Thursday evening.


Carlos Acosta, the renowned Cuban dancer and chorerographer (centre)

with Maruchi Guerrero, sister of Antonio Guerrero of Miami 5 (left) and

her mother Mirta (right). Cuban artist Eduardo Roca Salazar - Choco (behind)

Link to more photographs of events at Cork Street Gallery

24 April 2012

Members of Durham Miners Association visit Beyond the Frame

Volunteers staffing the Beyond the Frame exhibition at Gallery 27 in Cork Street were delighted to welcome a group of trade unionists from Durham just after opening the gallery doors on Tuesday 24th. April.  Members of the Durham Miners Association had travelled down from the north east of the country especially to see the exhibition.  The union has been a stalwart supporter of Cuba for many years and all of the members who travelled to London considered that the exhibition was an excellent way to raise the profile of the Miami Five. Their view on the art on display? The member of the group who serves as their art expert judged it first rate.  

24 April 2012

Actors and artists attend the opening of Miami Five Art exhibition

"I can not express the honour I have to see my son's humble work
, painted from his prison cell, exhibited here, alongside the work of such great Cuban and international artists." Mirta Rodriguez, mother of Miami Five prisoner Antonio Guerrero, was speaking to the hundreds of guests who packed the prestigious London Gallery 27 last night at the opening gala of Beyond the Frame.
Many pieces of artwork were sold on the first day of the exhibition, which aims to raise funds and awareness for the Miami Five campaign and showcase the rich cultural heritage of Cuban art. Eduardo Roca Salazar and Lesbia Vent Dumois, two of the artists exhibiting, were at the opening alongside Mirta and her daughter Maruchi Guerrero, sister of Antonio. British and international personalities from the arts world were present to buy work and show their support for the Five, including ballet dancer, Carlos Acosta, human rights campaigner, Bianca Jagger, actor, Roger Lloyd Pack, poet, Benjamin Zephaniah, artist and writer, Rasheed Araeen, curator, Andrew Dempsey, artist Robert Ballagh, curator Dawn Ades, and many more.
Cuban Ambassador, Esther Armenteros, and Ambassadors and diplomats from other Latin American countries also attended the exhibition.
Exhibition coordinator Dodie Weppler-Grogan urged people to visit the exhibition and to support the campaign for justice for the Miami Five.
The exhibition is open from 10am-5pm Monday – Saturday this week before transferring to Glasgow 7-13 May.

21 April 2012

Visit to York by Cuban Artists

Cuban Artists Lesbia Vent Dumois and Gustavo Díaz Sosa will speak at a public meeting hosted by the History of Art Department at the University of York on Wednesday 2 May 5.00 – 7.00pm, in the Bowland Auditorium, Berrick Saul Building. This event is open to all. The meeting will be chaired by Professor Dawn Ades from the University of Essex, the UK’s foremost scholar of modern Latin American Art.

The artists will speak about their contribution to the exhibition, Beyond the Frame, and the human rights campaign on behalf of the Miami 5. They will also explore the significance of cultural life in Cuba today and the role of Cuban artists in social and political discussion, followed by questions. There will be an opportunity to make voluntary donations to the Miami 5 Campaign at the end of the meeting.

There will be a travelling exhibition at the University of York (Norman Rea Gallery, Langwith College) about the Miami 5 including prints of some of the paintings and cartoons they have created while in prison. There will also be a limited number of original prints for sale at affordable prices by the internationally renowned Cuban artist, Eduardo Roca Salazar (Choco) and by the Cuban artistic duo Liudmila Ivella Velasco and Nelson Ramírez de Arellano.  Viewers will be able to purchase the Beyond the Frame exhibition catalogue and specially produced high quality posters.

The exhibition will be run by students, who are also holding a May day event at the Gallery on Tuesday 1 May 7.00 – 9.00pm to raise funds for the Miami 5, and attended by Lesbia Vent Dumois and Gustavo Díaz Sosa.

Wednesday 2 May 5.00 – 7.00pm

Bowland Auditorium

Berrick Saul Building

University of York

21 April 2012

Opening of Beyond the Frame in Scotland

The Lighthouse 11 Mitchell Lane

Tuesday 8th. May 6.30 p.m. - 9.00 p.m.

Preparations are underway for the gala opening of Beyond the Frame at The Lighthouse in Glasgow and the first large scale exhibition of contemporary Cuban art in Scotland.

Glasgow is a city that values the arts, it invests more per head of population on culture than any other UK city. It has a vibrant arts scene with many beautiful galleries, as well as numerous artists studios and community art projects plus a world renowned art school. All of which it shares in common with its twin city of Havana.

‘We are delighted that Beyond the Frame will show at The

Lighthouse and that Glasgow city council was able to sponsor the exhibition as part of its twinning programme with Havana,’ said Glasgow coordinator Jan Pietrasik. ‘We are also pleased to have Bailie Elizabeth Cameron, executive member of Glasgow’s Development and Regeneration Services to formally open the exhibition and welcome the Cuban Ambassador, Esther Armenteros Cardenas who will be making her third visit to the city to attend the opening.’

Other special guests will include exhibiting Cuban artists, Lesbia Vent Dumois and Gustavo Diaz Sosa as well as Beyond the Frame patrons and sponsors. Elaine Smith MSP and convener of the Scottish Parliament’s cross party Cuba group will be there also to introduce members of the Miami Five’s family, Antonio Guerrero Cabrera, son of Antonio Guerrero and Fernando’s wife, Rosa Aurora Freijanes Coca.

Beyond the Frame is grateful to Brian Wilson and Havana Energy for their generous support and sponsorship of the evening. Havana Energy is working in partnership with the Cuban Government and with Scottish scientists to develop renewable energy resources.

20 April 2012

Gallery 27 doors ready to open on 23rd April as interest in purchases mounts

‘Everything is now in place for a successful exhibition of a rich variety of art created in Cuba and abroad. I am confident that Beyond the Frame will help to break the media silence around the case of the Miami Five and I look forward to both the week in London as well as the opening in Glasgow on 7th May,’ said Beyond the Frame co-ordinator, Dodie Weppler. Forty-six outstanding artists have come together in a common cause to help raise awareness about the injustices in the case of the Miami Five. Their donated artwork has now all arrived in London. In addition to exhibiting artists living in Havana and elsewhere on the island, others have come from Ireland, Spain, USA, as well as the UK.

    Thanks to hours and hours of volunteer help throughout the last two years, when the doors open on Monday at Gallery 27, visitors will be rewarded with a wonderful display of art of many different styles, themes and media.  And, according to Carole Regan, the exhibition Sales Coordinator, the interest in purchasing art in support of this important cause has increased noticeably since the Guardian article appeared. ‘I am asking everyone who has downloaded the sales brochure (see below) and is interested in any of the works to arrive at the exhibition first thing on Monday, or else consider a purchase over the telephone at that time. If you wait, you may be disappointed.’ 

    The brochure has only a small selection of the exhibition’s works of art.  A fully illustrated catalogue of the more than 60 exhibits is available from the gallery.  Also available is a new high quality exhibition poster based on one of the works contributed to Beyond the Frame by the renowned Cuban engraver Eduoardo Roca Salazar (Choco). These two items purchased together are available at the gallery for only £10.

Any queries about purchasing artwork to Carole Regan, (tel. 07816 822 964 or 07958 169 627)

or Cuba Solidarity Campaign, 020 8800 0155.

19 April 2012

Antonio Guerrero’s mother and sister at gallery events

María Eugenia (Maruchi) Guerrero and Mirta Rodriguez, sister and mother of Antonio Guerrero who are now in the UK will take part in a number of events associated with the exhibition. Antonio Guerrero is one of the Miami 5 who has taken an interest in art while in prison for the last 13 years. A selection of his growing body of artwork will be exhibited at Beyond the Frame. His relatives are pictured above upon their arrival in the UK with a copy of the Guardian article on the exhibition (see below), as well as the fully illustrated catalogue that is available from the gallery.
    Welcoming the exhibition, they said:  ‘It is very important that we are here to take part in this exhibition to share the paintings of Toni and the cartoons of Gerardo, and the work of other Cuban and international artists. We believe that through art people can understand the human courage of these five men imprisoned in the US for almost fourteen years. In spite of this injustice, through their art they have been able to express their love of their country, their family and friends and feelings of peace and hope. We thank the Cuba Solidarity Campaign and all the friends who made this exhibition possible and the strength of their support in the fight for justice and freedom for the Five.’

For details of other activities of these family members while they are in the UK see

19 April 2012

Lesbia Vent Dubois – Foremost Cuban artist arrives in UK for exhibition

The Cuban artist, Lesbia Vent Dumois, has arrived in the UK. She is one of three exhibiting Cuban artists who have been invited to participate in the many events surrounding the exhibition.  Lesbia will also be travelling to Scotland where the exhibition opens on 7th May. She will speak at public meetings in London, Manchester and York (see details below).

Work by Lesbia includes illustration, painting and engraving.  She studied at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas Leopoldo Romañch in La
s Villas, and in 1961 she won a fellowship from UNESCO to study lithography in Prague. 

She has served as Director of Fine Arts at Casa de las Américas in Havana and as curator of its Colección Arte de Nuestra América Haydee Santamaría. She was a founding member of the Escuela Nacional de Arte, and her drawings and engravings can be found in books used in its first preparatory courses for art instructors. Lesbia has also taught and sat on the examination board at the Escuela de Artes y Letras de la Universidad de la Habana and the Instituto Superior de Arte.

She has participated in many conferences within Cuba and across Latin America and Europe. In 2010, Lesbia became an Emeritus member of the Cuban Writers and Artists Union, of which she was a founding member.  Amongst various other positions both in Cuba and more widely in Latin America, Lesbia is an executive member of the Asociación de Artes Plásticas and of UNESCO’s Comité de la Asociación Internacional de Artes Plásticas in Cuba, and has been vice president of the Executive Committee for the Latin America region. 

Lesbia has had many solo exhibitions and group exhibitions throughout Latin America and the world including in Portugal, United States, Japan, Russia, Poland, Italy, Jamaica and Canada and her works are held in collections worldwide. Her awards and prizes include the Distinción por la Cultura Nacional (1988), and the Medalla Alejo Carpentier (1996) and the Orden Juan Marinello (1996) both awarded by the Council of State.  In 2001 she was awarded the Diploma al Mérito Artistico by the Instituto Superior de Arte.

19 April 2012

Beyond the Frame features in an article in today’s Guardian



18 April 2012

Beyond the Frame events in the Scottish Parliament

A small exhibition of work by by Antonio Guerrero and Gerardo Hernandez, two of the Miami Five prisoners will show to MSPs in the Garden Lobby of the the Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh. Starting on Monday 30th. April, the week long exhibition will give MSPs the opportunity to see how the two men have used art to help them endure their long term of imprisonment. Gerardo developing his skills to produce a collection of amusing political cartoons and Antonio Guerrero becoming an accomplished painter.

In a recent letter to the organisers of Beyond the Frame, Antonio wrote,

“The long imprisonment hasn’t been able to destroy any of the principles on which we were formed. The long imprisonment has been defeated by love and by art......even inside the gloomiest prison cell we Five have been free men, for no one can imprison thought.”

MSPs will also receive information about the Five’s case and their trial, widely condemned in the US and throughout the world by lawyers and human rights organisations including Amnesty International, The United Nations Human Rights Commission and twelve Nobel prize winners. MSPs will be asked to add their voice to further the Five’s campaign for justice and to support the Five’s request in the light of previously undisclosed evidence, for a new appeal to be held as soon as possible.

Antonio and Gerardo’s exhibition is sponsored by Beyond the Frame patron Elaine Smith MSP and convener of the Parliament’s Cross Party Cuba Group. A public meeting of the group will take place in the Parliament at 6 p.m. Wednesday 9th. May. Antonio’s son also called Antonio and Rosa, wife of Fernando will speak to give news of the Five and report on the latest developments in their case. We are pleased that the meeting will be attended by the Cuban Ambassador, Esther Armenteros as well as other MSPs and Beyond the Frame patrons, Neil Findlay, Drew Smith and Sandra White.

14 April 2012

Growing interest in sale of exhibition artwork

The publication of a sales brochure for the exhibition has given potential buyers a taste of the range and calibre of artwork being exhibited in Beyond the Frame.  ‘Even though people have only seen 10 works of art that were selected for this brochure, we have had many enquiries about these works. And once viewers see the full range, I am sure even more interest will be generated,’ according to Carole Regan, Sales Coordinator. The fully illustrated exhibition catalogue contains images of every work on display and

will be available at the gallery during the exhibition in London and Glasgow at the cost of £4. 

Given the high level of interest, anyone considering buying a work of art should make plans to be at the gallery when it opens. Purchases can be made in person or over the phone and paid for by debit or credit card, or electronic transfers.  Payment at the gallery can also be made by cheque.

Because the exhibition travels to Glasgow from 7-13 May, it will be possible for buyers in London to collect any purchases only after it returns to the capital. Buyers will be advised of the date for collection of their purchases in London.

10 April 2012

Exhibition Patron to host event at Birkbeck College

Exhibition organisers have announced that an event with artists from Cuba who are exhibiting in Beyond the Frame will be hosted at Birkbeck College in London. It will include a film screening and an Artists in Conversation session with Birkbeck’s Professor of Material and Visual Culture, Annie E. Coombes. Cuban artists participating will be Lesbia Vent Dumois and Gustavo Díaz Sosa. They will talk about the significance of cultural life in Cuba. The event is featured on Birkbeck College’s home page.

The evening is being organised in association with the exhibition and in support of the Miami 5.  Free entry but donations will be welcome. Question and answers, followed by drinks and informal discussion. (Seats available on a first come basis.)

Download the Flyer for this event.

6.30pm Friday 27th April 2012

At the Cinema, Birkbeck College,

University of London, 43 Gordon Square, WC1 0PD

9 April 2012

Manchester supporters to host public meeting with artists

A special one day exhibition featuring original artwork by top Cuban artists will be staged in Manchester on Friday 4th May from 12 midday. It will also include a new touring exhibition of art by two of the Miami 5 - Antonio Guerrero and Gerardo Hernández. The exhibition will be at the Anthony Burgess Centre (IABF), 3 Cambridge Street, M1 5BY.The Cuban artists whose works will be for sale are Eduardo Roca Salazar (Choco), Cuba’s foremost engraver, and  the artistic duo Liudmila Ivella Velasco and Nelson Ramírez de Arellano. These works are part of the larger exhibition being staged in London and Glasgow. There is free entry to the exhibition.

At 7pm a public meeting will be held at the Centre. Both the exhibition and the meeting are associated with Beyond the Frame. Speakers will include Cuban artists Lesbia Vent Dumois and Gustavo Díaz Sosa.  Lesbia has been Director of Fine Arts at Casa de Las Americas in Havana. Gustavo’s art is currently exhibiting in Madrid. They will speak on culture in Cuba’s revolution and also on the case of the Miami Five.

Admission £5, £3 cons. including buffet reception from 6 p.m.

Friday 04 May, 7pm

Anthony Burgess Centre (IABF)

3 Cambridge Street, M1 5BY

Further information about the event:  Manchester Cuba Solidarity, . Telephone : 07951-312914

To book the touring exhibition of Miami 5 artwork:  Cuba Solidarity Campaign, 020 8800 0155

15th March 2012

Artist in Beyond the Frame opens first solo show in Istanbul

You Are Still Here, by Mona Hatoum, is the first solo show in Istanbul by this Palestinian artist, who works in a wide variety of media including installations, sculpture, video, photography and works on paper. The pieces in You Are Still Here, as often with Hatoum, consist of everyday objects with sinister overtones, such as 1993’s Jardin Public, a slightly crooked chair made out of ‘painted wrought iron, wax, and pubic hair’’ or 1996’s Deep Throat, in which a dinner plate doubles as an endoscope.   Emre Baykal, the show’s curator, describes one of her most recent works on display in the exhibition:

‘The carpet entitled Shift (2012) echoes an alarming danger of epic proportion or a global catastrophic risk that resonates through the entire world rather than a specific location. Reminiscent of seismic movements, the whole map is fractured and its topographical integrity destroyed. Alongside its associations with the globally threatening environmental challenges of our day, the work depicts the whole world as a shooting target that could be aimed at and destroyed at any moment.’

This show at Beyoğlu’s Arter, representing two decades of Hatoum’s work, should not be missed.

2nd March 2012

Beyond the Frame presents unique opportunity to purchase Cuban Art

With work by some of Cuba’s most renowned artists on sale, Beyond the Frame  viewers will not only have the opportunity to see the range and diversity of creative activity on the island today, they will also be able to consider a purchase.  There will be a selection of works from over 20 Cuban artists and photographers, many of whom regularly exhibit and are represented in collections internationally. Numerous new works, not previously seen in the UK, have either been selected or created for this exhibition. It is a rare opportunity for collectors, art lovers and those interested in Cuban culture to purchase. Visitors to the gallery will enjoy the artwork and will be contributing to an important cause at the same time.

Interest in Cuban art continues to grow internationally and with few sales in the UK, this exhibition is a unique occasion where public and private buyers will find considerable choice. The artworks on sale will suit a variety of buyers, not only those who want to develop their collections. The Cuban pieces are all two dimensional with proportions appropriate for most working and domestic spaces. The selection includes pieces for different levels of investment and all will bring enjoyment.  There is a considerable range in the price of the works of art: from around £150 to £12,500. The exhibition poster and catalogue will also be on sale at a modest price.   In addition to the original works, a number of limited edition lithographic prints will also be available.

Works by renowned artists based mainly in the UK who have generously donated their work to the cause of the Miami Five will also be on sale.

In order to assist potential buyers of the art, Beyond the Frame Sales Coordinator Carole Regan has announced that a Sales Brochure is now available.  The brochure includes a short introduction to the art as well as images of a selection of the pieces on sale, including a brief profile of the artist. ‘This pack will really will assist potential buyers to decide which work they may wish to purchase,’ Regan explained.    ‘A fully illustrated exhibition and sales catalogue will be available by early April which will display the entire exhibition, but in the meantime this pack will be invaluable’.

Download the Sales Brochure.

27th February 2012

Show opens in Boston of Beyond the Frame exhibitor Eduardo Roca Salazar (Choco)

Eduardo Roca Salazar, known as Choco, is one of Cuba’s leading artists and an exhibitor in Beyond the Frame.  In the same week as Beyond the Frame opens in London, an exhibition of his work is taking place in the USA, ending on 31st August.

Entitled Retazos del Sol, the exhibition opens at the Latin Arts Space in the Muliticultural Art Center, 41 2nd Street, East Cambridge, an area known as Boston’s ‘left bank’. The gallery, founded by Cuban born Astrid Martinez-Jones, exhibits contemporary artworks, especially from well known and emerging Cuban and Mexican artists.  Its website  is displaying a series of Choco’s paintings on the home page and gives a good idea of the nature and quality of his work.  Check it out for a taste of what to expect in Beyond the Frame!

                                      27th February 2012

Special guests from Cuba to attend exhibition and associated events.

Beyond the Frame organisers have received confirmation that seven special guests from Cuba plan to travel to the UK for the exhibition. The presence of three Cuban artists as well as four family members of Antonio Guerrero and Gerardo Hernández, two the Miami Five whose artistic work is to be shown, will greatly heighten the impact of the exhibition. The Havana Visual Arts Council has confirmed that the artists will be Eduardo Roca Salazar (Choco), Lesbia Vent Dumois and Gustavo Díaz Sosa. They will participate in a series of events associated with the exhibition along with the family members.

Not only will the exhibition be the largest ever display of contemporary Cuban art in the UK, but it will be the vehicle for wide-ranging discussions with the visiting Cubans. A range of associated events will be staged throughout the exhibition, including when it travels to Glasgow. ‘These events are bound to attract many people with a variety of interests in different aspects of the project: from the themes treated and techniques used by the exhibiting artists; the historic role of culture in the revolutionary process; the significance of culture in Cuba today; the links between Cuban artists and the Miami Five, to the international struggle for justice for the Five,’ according to Jo Hillgrove who is organising the associated events in England.

‘These weeks during April and May will be a non-stop period of activity in support of the Miami Five,’ says Rob Miller, Director of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign in London.

Watch  this space.

17th February 2012

Beyond the Frame patron Alasdair Gray performs in Glasgow            

Fleck at Oran Mor, Byres Road, Glasgow, Sunday 26th February 2012, 7pm

Glasgow artist and writer and Beyond the Frame patron, Alasdair Gray presents his play Fleck (a 21st century Faust) in a read-through format at Oran Mor.  Òran Mór, which means 'great melody of life' in Gaelic, is a cultural centre and meeting place in a beautifully converted church in Glasgow's West End. The reading will be performed in the magnificent setting of the auditorium painted by Gray with glorious golden stars, moons and signs of the zodiac. Performers include Alasdair Gray, Alan Bissett, Allan Wilson, Zoe Strachan, Louise Welsh, Chiew Siah-Tei, Rodge Glass, Carl MacDougall and a host of special guests from the world of theatre and literature.


Tickets are £12 and available from, The Arches Box Office Tel: 0141 565 1000, or behind the bar at Oran Mor.

The event is part of the 2012 Margins Book & Music Festival.

16th February 2012

 Cuban Band rated by Beyond the Frame supporters in Edinburgh            

 Sierra Maestra, The Jam House,  5 Queen Street, Edinburgh,

 Wednesday 7th March 2012, 8.00pm - 1.00am.


When the Cuban band Sierra Maestra performed at the Queen's Hall in Edinburgh last year, Beyond the Frame patron Jan Fairley described the concert in a review for The Scotsman as 'a night of pure pleasure.'  She wrote,  'However much Sierra Maestra have performed around the world they retain the hallmark of all top Cuban bands: a capacity to entertain with quality music while obviously enjoying themselves on stage, celebrating each others talents and fuelling each others solos.'

Another Beyond the Frame supporter, Edinburgh company Caledonia Languages is bringing the famous band back to give a concert at The Jam House. This top Cuban band play salsa and son, as well as many other Cuban styles. 


Visit Caledonia Facebook for information or for tickets call 0131 621 7721 or email 

Tickets also available from

3rd February 2012

Beyond the Frame supporters and exhibitors feature in London shows          

Several of Beyond the Frame’s distinguished participants are currently featured in exhibitions in London. 

Derek Boshier’s new suite of etchings can be viewed at Huguenot Editions Original Print Studio and Gallery until 25th February at 8 Huguenot Place London SW18 2EN  Tel. 0208 874 9138.

Catherine Lampert, the former director of the Whitechapel Gallery in London, has curated an exhibition at the Haunch of Venison gallery at 103 New Bond Street London W1 until 18 February. Entitled The Mystery of Appearance the exhibition features work by 10 British post-war painters who revived portrait and landscape painting at a time when abstract painting dominated. Included are works by Francis Bacon, Euan Uglow, David Hockney, Leon Kossoff, Richard Hamilton, many of them friends of Lampert’s (she sat for Frank Auerbach).

Rasheed Araeen has five works exhibiting in the recently opened exhibition at the Tate Britain. Entitled Migrations, the exhibition will continue until mid-August.  Exploring British art through the theme of migration from 1500 to the present day, Migrations reveals how British art has been fundamentally shaped by successive waves of migration through 500 years of history.  The exhibition will include works by artists from Van Dyck, Kneller, Kauffman to Sargent, Epstein, Mondrian, Bomberg, Bowling and the Black Audio Film Collective as well as recent work by contemporary artists including Araeen. Araeen has generously donated two works to the Beyond the Frame and has also given 15 copies of two books he has authored to be sold in aid of the campaign for the Miami 5.

Iwan Bala, an exhibitor in Beyond the Frame and a National Eisteddfod Gold Medal-winner has worked for the past year with the award-winning poet Menna Elfyn preparing for a recently opened exhibition in Carmarthen in Wales. The exhibition, Field- notes, has brought together two of Wales’ biggest names from the visual arts and writing worlds.  Forty works – 25 of them large scale – are currently on display at Oriel Myrddin, with plans to tour to other venues later in the year. In this exhibition, Bala - who is the Welsh Artist of the Year judge - says that he has tried ‘to capture the process of writing poetry as much as anything else. The paintings have been made to look like field-notes (the title of the exhibition) so they look like pages from a notebook in a sense …I found it interesting reading Menna’s poetry and also reading translations of the poems from Welsh to English and how different they were. These things all went into the cauldron.”

3rd February 2012

Unfinished Spaces Showing in London and Glasgow            

Unfinished Spaces has its first screenings in the UK this month. It shows in London at Richmix (Bethnal Green Road) on Thursday 16 February  8pm (plus post screening talk) and in Glasgow as part of the Glasgow Film Festival on Sunday 19 February at 1.45

Directed by Aylsa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray it is a film Beyond the Frame followers will want to see.

"In 1961, Fidel Castro commissioned Ricardo Porro, Roberto Gottardi and Vittorio Garatti to design ‘the most beautiful of art schools in the world’. They succeeded beyond his wildest dreams with the National Art Schools built in the grounds of a lavish golf course previously frequented by the rich and privileged. The spectacular, futuristic school became a centre of artistic excellence until 1965 when the revolution changed, the construction was halted and the trio went into exile. Unfinished Spaces reunites the three architects forty years later for emotional recollections of what happened and beautiful images of decaying buildings that deserve to be preserved. A masterful mixture of archive history, politics and hope."

For more information about the film and to see the official trailer go to

Book tickets at


27th January, 2012

Beyond the Frame exhibitor Gustavo Díaz Sosa opens show in Madrid

Gustavo Díaz Sosa, an exciting young artist and exhibitor in Beyond the Frame has a new show opening in a fortnight in Madrid.   Purgatorio will feature the distinctive work of Gustavo Díaz Sosa in Galeria BAT – Alberto Cornejo. Díaz Sosa will not only participate in Beyond the Frame, he will also be in the UK for the duration exhibition in April and May.  Alongside Cuban artist Lesbia Vent Dumois, he will participate in numerous associated events at different venues in the UK including York, Manchester and Glasgow.

Exhibition notes from Purgatorio comment that Diaz Sosa will display paintings, drawings and sculptures. His work recreates scenarios in which man, on behalf of society, is tried, tortured and condemned. It is a metaphor that addresses the world situation as experienced in recent years. In the exhibition, viewers will find large open spaces and rooms without ceilings or walls and just furniture enough to lash the prisoner. Empty chairs and stairs try to reach the sky, but end halfway. There are windows that do not lead anywhere. The works bring to mind watches created by Salvador Dalí but in this case they are more Kafkaesque: closed doors, wire, picks, tables and empty chairs ... These are the elements that form the isolation and condemnation seen in work by this artist. All of this is wrapped up, in characteristic black spots that look like soot.

In the exhibition, there are works that are large in size, and others that are really small. It is not usual to find work by Diaz Sosa in small sizes, but this time the drawing and the simplicity of the compositions have produced just that. In addition, the exhibition includes a new series of sculptures, and Díaz Sosa emerges as a highly influential artist of the theatre and of set design. This exhibition is inspired by various pieces of literature which addresses the issue of purgatory as in Dante’s classic, Divine Comedy, or the play Purgatory by Ariel Dorfman, recently staged in Madrid. It also recreates several scenes found in Franz Kafka as well as in works by other authors.

Gustavo Díaz Sosa interprets elements of the current situation in our society that is experienced as a purgatory, and poses a way to purify and cleanse humanity.

24th January, 2012

New Exhibition Flyer

An attractive publicity flyer featuring one of the works from the exhibition by Juan Roberto Diago Durruthy is now available.

Beyond the Frame will be an interesting, exciting and rare event, and deserves a large audience.

We want as many people as possible to know about it and to be able to come and see Cuban art and to learn about the case of the Miami Five.

If you are able to help us publicise the exhibition please feel free to download the PDF file to display on your website from this link:

Beyond the Frame Flyer

If you would like copies of the flyer, they can be ordered from:

Trish Meehan, Office Manager

Tel. 020 8800 0155

3rd. January, 2012

John Keane Exhibition: Scratching The Surface Joining The Dots  

John Keane, one of the UK's most important artists and a patron of Beyond the Frame has a new exhibition opening in London this month.

It is now twenty years since John Keane’s appointment as the Imperial War Museum’s official artist during the first Gulf War propelled him to national prominence, and since then his work has continued to address contemporary events from Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and the UK. Scratching the Surface Joining the Dots is John Keane’s first solo show of new paintings in three years and this new exhibition finds Keane deeply immersed in the upheavals of the contemporary world. His abiding preoccupation is in seeking to address the unfolding conflicts of morality and the morality of conflict in the 21st century - however the bleakness of the subject matter is, as ever, mitigated by his hallmark wit and acuity of perception.

Having a common thread rather than an overarching theme, most of these paintings refer to recent events in the Middle East. Several new works dwell on Tony Blair’s mercurial appearance at the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war, whilst other paintings range in topic over the demonstrations in Tahrir Square, the release of the ‘Lockerbie Bomber’, collateral killings in Iraq, and not least the disastrous financial crisis that continues to engulf the western world.

Keane’s work over the last thirty years has dealt with difficult subjects which are by definition historical, but whose recurring themes continue to reassert themselves with uncanny cyclical relevance - be it urban un-rest, cynical practice at the heart of the financial world, or the stranglehold of the Murdoch Empire. This new series of authoritative paintings, with their unashamed commitment to the painterly process, demonstrate Keane’s continuing fascination and bemusement with the contemporary world.

Scratching the Surface Joining the Dots opens 12 January - 4 February 2012 at Flowers, 21 Cork Street London W1S 3LZ

2nd December 2011

Beyond the Frame features at Holguin Colloquium on the Five

Monica Brady, a member of the organising team, encountered enormous interest in Beyond the Frame while on a tour organised by the Cuba Solidarity Campaign in November.  Participants on the tour attended the Seventh International Colloquium on the Cuban Five held in Holguin. When they addressed more than 400 participants from over 50 countries, both Father Geoffrey Bottoms and Steve Cottingham from the UK’s campaign for justice for the Five pointed to the exhibition as an important focus in the coming months The tour also visited schools, farms, and local Committees for the Defence of the Revolution. Monica was able to speak at several of these meetings about the exhibition and found great interest.  A number of children who had drawn pictures about the Five presented them to Monica. These will be used in a travelling exhibition of artwork by the Five which will soon be available from the Cuba Solidarity Campaign.

2nd December 2011

Beyond the Frame team returns
from Havana

Organisers from the Beyond the Frame team in Havana with family members of two of the Miami Five who are both exhibiting. Adriana Pérez, wife of Gerardo Hernández (second from left) and María Guerrero, sister of Antonio (second from right).  On far right is Maria Aleida del Riego from the Cuban Institute for Friendship between Peoples (ICAP) who helped organise the visit.

Four members of the organising team have just returned from a highly productive trip to Havana finalising details of the work to be exhibited in London and Glasgow. As a result of close collaboration with Cuba’s National Council of Visual Arts (CNAP) and the Cuban Institute for Friendship between Peoples (ICAP), the team was able to interview nine participating artists and view over half of the work to be exhibited. ‘The variety and high quality of the artwork submitted guarantees a successful exhibition that no one will want to miss. Some of the works are truly stunning, and the exhibition as a whole will definitely be thought provoking,’ according to Dodie Weppler, the exhibition coordinator. A selection of the video clips of the interviews will be posted on the website as well as on You Tube in the coming weeks.  In the clips, the artists comment about the work they have submitted; reveal their deep-going support for the aims of the exhibition; and explain why they decided to participate in a project like Beyond the Frame which is designed to break the media silence about the Miami Five. While in Havana, the team was informed that each of the 29 artists exhibiting from Cuba have generously decided to donate the proceeds from any sale of their work to the campaign for justice for the Five. In this act of generosity and commitment, they are joined by up to 20 prominent artists, mainly based in the UK.

!5th. November 2011 

Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art announces 2012 Programme

BEYOND THE FRAME has received great support in Glasgow and we are delighted that the exhibition will immediately follow the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art when we will be able to take advantage of the buzz and the excitement that the Festival is sure to generate throughout the city. 

Announcing the programme for 2012 Katrina Brown, Director, Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art said:

'GI shines a light on Glasgow's visual art scene at its liveliest and best: its artists, galleries, museums and indeed the whole city and its specific architecture, which serves as a backdrop and a key part of the GI experience.'

One of the UK’s boldest visual arts events, the Festival will continue its tradition of bringing together exhibitions by the best international and local artists, from Turner Prize winners and nominees to the most exciting emerging talent. The Festival will build on the successes of previous Festivals, showcasing work by more than 130 artists across nearly 50 of Glasgow’s best permanent and temporary exhibition venues spanning the length and breadth of the city. More than 90% of the work included in the 18-day Festival programme is new or previously unseen in the UK and the Festival will also feature a series of newly-commissioned works that draw on a range of other disciplines, including dance, film, music, performance and theatre.

The Festival runs from 20 April to 7 May 2012. For more information visit the website at

10 November 2011

Celebrated Beyond the Frame Patron hosts children’s theatre tour

Gilbert Brownstone, president of the Paris-based foundation bearing his name and patron of Beyond the Frame, hosted a well received US tour of the Cuban children’s theatre group La Colmenita during October. The group, composed of 22 boys and girls aged five to 15, staged sold–out performances of Abracadabra, the first play ever written by themselves. In the play the children dream up fantastic ways that the Miami 5 could escape their prison walls.  From New York to Washington DC to several centres in San Francisco, the performances helped to break the media silence on the case of the Five. La Colmenita also presented a private performance at the United Nations.

Brownstone recently featured in the press after he generously donated over 100 artworks from his outstanding art collection to museums in Cuba – an act he dedicated to the Miami 5. His gift included work by Josef Albers, Hans Bellmer, Alexander Calder, Sol Lewitt, Pablo Picasso, Edouard Vuillard, Andy Warhol, Joan Miro, and others.  Gilbert Brownstone was curator at the Museum of Modern Art of Paris, of the Museum of Paris, as well as director of the Picasso Museum in Antibes, France.

                                                                           03 November 2011

Beyond the Frame exhibitor wins prestigious award

It has just been announced that Ernesto Fernández, one of Cuba’s greatest photographers and an exhibitor in Beyond the Frame, has received the prestigious National Prize for Visual Arts 2011 [Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas 2011] in Cuba, in honour of the breadth and quality of his work. Fernández documented the heroic days of the revolution in the early 1960s. He was the first photographer to arrive in the operational zone during the Bay of Pigs invasion; he photographed Fidel Castro and Che Guevara; his coverage of the war in the Escambray mountains had no equal; and he later travelled to Angola and Nicaragua to capture the Cuban involvement in those conflicts.

                           01 November 2011

Beyond the Frame patrons perform in Cuba   

Three celebrated patrons of Beyond the Frame who come from the world of theatre have recently performed a selection of works by playwright Harold Pinter in Cuba. Andy de la Tour, Roger Lloyd Pack and Susan Wooldridge joined with a group of other actors to introduce Pinter’s plays, poetry and other writings to Cuban audiences as a central part of the Havana Theatre Festival.  Harold Pinter, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005. He was a patron of Cuba Solidarity, and campaigned for justice for the Miami Five. A sold-out preview of the performance staged in London was attended by his widow Lady Antonia Fraser and Cuban Ambassador Esther Armenteros.

                         28 October 2011

Scottish Parliament hears about Beyond the Frame

During Scottish Executive Question Time on 27th October, Fiona Hyslop, the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs heard about Beyond the Frame for the first time and asked for details about the exhibition when it travels to Glasgow in May with a view to attending the show.  Hyslop was responding to Elaine Smith (Labour Member of the Scottish Parliament [MSP] and patron of Beyond the Frame) who held up the exhibition as an example of the type of cultural links that are possible between Cuba and Scotland.  Smith who convenes the cross-party group on Cuba was preceded in the debate by another Beyond the Frame patron Neil Findlay (Labour MSP), who opened the discussion by asking the Scottish Executive about its plans to develop social, economic and cultural links with Cuba in light of the accord signed by the Cuban and UK governments in July.   Hyslop is a Scottish National Party MSP for Linlithgow. Scottish Parliament Official Report

                          25 October 2011

Renowned photographer works with Antonio Guerrero

A recent project Antonio Guerrero, one of the Miami Five whose work is being exhibited in Beyond the Frame, is an exhibition of 25 butterflies endemic to Cuba.  However, the renowned photographer Liborio Noval, another exhibitor in London and Glasgow, helped to ensure the success of the butterfly project. It was Noval who photographed the 25 different types of butterfly so Guerrero could paint them in prison. In a recent interview he explained how he overcame the technical challenges of the butterfly project but said the most important aspect was ‘the solidarity gesture to help Tony who is facing such a difficult situation. Thirteen years, the time spent in the hole and, despite all that, he has known how to recover. He says he feels free when he is painting. It is a way of showing them that we also want them to be really free, with us.’  Noval captured many of the epic moments in the revolution’s history, often accompanying the revolution’s main leaders on a variety of national and international missions. 

                                20 October 2011

Cuban Ambassador visits Glasgow

The Cuban Ambassador, Mrs. Esther Armenteros visited Glasgow earlier this week as a guest of the Lord Provost to discuss the twinning agreement between Glasgow and Havana and to promote greater cultural and economic links between the two cities. The Ambassador and invited guests dined in the grand setting of the City Chambers. Jan Pietrasik, coordinator of Beyond the Frame in Scotland and two of the exhibition's patrons, Ross Birrell and David Harding were among the guests and discussed plans for the exhibition with the Ambassador. This is the first time such a large exhibition of contemporary Cuban art has been shown in the city which has a vibrant art scene; Glasgow spends more per head of population on culture than any other UK city. Already the exhibition which has received funding from Glasgow City Council has generated enormous interest and tremendous support potentially leading to greater cultural dialogue and exchange between artists in Cuba and Scotland as part of an ongoing twinning programme.

A number of representatives of companies with commercial interests in Cuba also attended the dinner including Andrew MacDonald from the Ecensia group which is helping to develop tourism in Cuba and Brian Wilson, a former MP and UK Energy Minister who is now Chairman of Havana Energy. This renewable energy company is working in partnership with the Cuban government and using Scottish expertise to develop biofuels in Cuba.

The Ambassador thanked everyone for the warm welcome she had received in Glasgow. Baillie Catherine McMaster who hosted the dinner thanked the Ambassador for her visit whilst explaining to her the phrase "Haste ye back" in the hope that this would be the first among many visits the Ambassador would make to Scotland.

20 October 2011

David Harding

David Harding, one of Beyond the Frame's distinguished patrons, featured in The Guardian newspaper this week in an article that discussed his pivotal role in the success of the Glasgow School of Art. Charlotte Higgins, the paper's arts writer, asked if Harding's inspirational teaching was the reason why Glasgow has produced so many Turner prize winners and nominees. Access the article at:

A few years ago Harding travelled to Cuba as a guest of the Ministry of Culture where he visited Cuban artists in their studios as well as museums, galleries and arts educational institutions throughout the island. He collaborated with Ross Birrell, (also a patron) to make a recording and film installation of Guantanamera which was first shown at last year's Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art and has since toured other European venues as well as showing in the US.

Harding shares a website with Sandy Moffat and Sam Ainsley (another patron) at