Riddym of Jamaica's walls explored through a series of picture stories

Riddym is a new body of work which explores the language of Jamaica's walls connected to Jamaican music and is part of a wider documentary photography project called hand-painted Jamaica.


The new work traces the visuality of Jamaican music that has been hand-painted on walls across the island in the form of graffiti, commercial signs and street art. Its includes interviews and photographs with Jamaican sign-painters and mural artists.


One of the aims of the work is to act as document to these art forms and to record the unique visuality and language of Jamacia's walls connected to Jamaican music. 

The project comes at a time when the world is facing unprecedented challenges in the face of the Coronavirus. During this time when the world is shutting down to contain the virus artists and communities are increasingly looking at digital ways to stay connected.


Art and sharing of stories can play an important role in helping us stay resilient and connected. So in response to these changing times, I am creating this digital platform to share picture and video stories collected in Jamaica. 


A link and a brief summary of each part of the new Riddym series will be available below and this will take you to the blog hosted on Tumblr @traceythorne you can also follow on Instagram using #Riddym20 and #handpaintedjamaica

Riddym Picture Stories 

March 24, 2020

Riddym Part 1 - Shops

Riddym Part 1 is the first picture story in a new photography series which explores the language of Jamaica’s walls connected to Jamaican music. The first story plays homage to a couple of Jamaica’s last surviving record shops and a ghost sign for the sale of cassettes reminds of a bygone era when we listened to music on a cassette 

March 29, 2020

Riddym Part 4 - Xculsive

Riddym Part 4 is the first of a number of stories that capture the dying art of hand-painted dancehall signs. These signs once painted on walls and sign-boards in Kingston and across the island are disappearing  at a staggering rate.


The colourful Xclusive dancehall sign painted back in December 2019 in the rural parish of Portland exemplifies the art of hand-painted dancehall sign.

March 26, 2020

Riddym Part 2 - Channel 1

Riddym Part 2 takes a look at the iconic surviving ghost signs on the former Channel 1 Recording Studio which closed in the early 1990s. 

Channel 1 Recording Studio is regarded as one of the most important studios in the history of reggae music. The signs are still visable on the now adandoned building on Maxfield Ave, Kingston, Jamaica.

March 30, 2020

Riddym Part 5 - Heartless

Riddym Part 5 - takes a journey down to Westmoreland and features two signs painted by Bug Art for Heartless Ryderz dancehall party in Little London held on the 1st March 2020. 


The two colourful dancehall signs mark the party spot advertising the featured artists TeeJay 'Up Top Boss', Prince pin and soundsystem the Immortal Terrorist Sound. 

March 29, 2020

Riddym Part 3 - 3R40 

Riddym Part 3 is a story from 2018 which captured a new sign being crafted for 3R40 Recording Studio in Denham Town, Kingston by Michael Robinson. 

Michael is one of Jamaica's most talented mural and sign-painters who has been painting the walls of Kingston and beyond for decades. Documenting a new hand-painted sign being painted was important as so many of these signs have disappeared in Kingston.  

March 30, 2020

Riddym Part 6 - Sound Off

Riddym Part 6 - coming soon

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