"Be Good Now" Ronan Mckenzie for Acne Studios (2022)

  • Courtney Mitchell

In May 2022, I travelled to Barbados with photographer Ronan Mckenzie, her mother Margaret, her brother Marcel, his girlfriend Daphne and stylist Tess Herbert, all of us staying in my family home. Ronan and I both finding our roots in Barbados in our maternal line and feeling a strong desire to reckon with the memory - or lack thereof - of those who came before us, we embarked on the project as an attempt to untangle the knots and attend to the wounds and ruptures that persist along the courses of our ties to an island we both love so deeply. The resulting project is a photo and film series by Ronan Mckenzie called “Be Good Now” - a phrase cemented the minds of both of our mothers for different reasons, but which resonates with them, us, and our families for much of the same: the feelings of loss, love, abandonment, confusion, care, responsibility and estrangement it conjures and connotes. In creating "Be Good Now" we wanted to show Barbados as we know it and celebrate Bajan and Caribbean born and raised talent. To launch the project and exhibition of the work, we had a dinner with food by Caribbean chef Denai Moore, with Shirley Biscuits, Tamarind, Ackee/Guinep, Sugar Apples and other Bajan delights strewn across a table, with flowers by black-owned florist Sage Flowers. - Photo series: "To me, right now, it feels like" featuring Tiphenie, Kathlina and Shawayne - Photo series: Zina Gibbs and Roxanne Branker (mother and daughter), photographed at their home. - Film: All Comes Neatly Everywhere - Film: Our (Re)memory - Book: "Be Good Now" Design by Regular Practice. Featuring a collection of poems and short stories by Margaret Mckenzie. - Exhibition: "Be Good Now" at HOME by Ronan Mckenzie My role: Creative Collaboration and assistance, Image production, Event Production. Director/Photographer: Ronan Mckenzie @ronanksm Stylist: Tess Herbert @tessherbert Casting Director: Junior Sealy @juniorsealy Make Up Artist: Alicia Brathwaite @radiancebyalicia Publication by: Regular Practice Poetry and words by Margaret Straker Mckenzie Thank you @acnestudios @isabellaburley


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