Abbebe Payne – Jamaican Visual Artist

Abbebe Payne – Jamaican Visual Artist

24 February 2011 Art 0

Visual Artist ABBEBE PAYNE talks his Natural Birth Exhibition


Here’s another one with a visual artist from the Edna Manley College of the Arts series of interviews on

Abbebe Payne is the featured artist- a painter, father, Rastafarian and creative spirit. A quick google search of his name shows that his voice is well known on the poetry scene in Jamaica, even danchall listeners have heard him chant in Aidonia’s “Negative”, but today we have him on display for his graduating exhibition last year on home birth.

Abbebe’s paintings are quite shocking if you’ve never seen a birth happen, more so if that birth wasn’t a natural birth, you might actually be surprised at what you see. He experienced 2 natural birth with his “Empress” and thought so much of the process that he honors it with 5 painted canvases.

While his art is most definitely his reality, he is not unaware of the social position that he takes on by being an artist. Choosing the topic of natural birth, to display in such vivid and life-like manner, is also to get you to want to find out why everything is the way it is. Because of our modern sterilized and institutionalized mannerisms many, many people cannot fathom a woman squatting (and in turn letting gravity do its natural work) to deliver a baby. When in proven fact the qualities of birthing at home far outweigh any risk and are safer and more soothing for mother and baby alike.

Abbebe and I spoke about his experience and challenges he faced when trying to find a midwife to deliver in Jamaica.

I understood his concern that even in a roots country like Jamaica, holistic birthing is barely being practiced. My best friends mother- a born Jamaican, Ivy League educated, Natty Head, Roots Lady- is one of the most popular midwives in Brooklyn, NY and the surrounding area. She has literally delivered upwards of 800 babies in over 20 years since she first delivered her own child- I am NOT joking about that number! When she relocated to Jamaica in the 2000′s there were very few people interested in using her services.

Keep watching, he explains and shows how he ends up being the only help, the midhusband (i guess huh??) at his 2nd childs birth in Jamaica.

I cant find online contacts for him :-(

Check out ABBEBE PAYNE on’s ART IN JAMAICA series



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