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Celebrating 50 years of Independence

and Caribbean Partnership

The Museum, Vice Chancellery, UWI, Mona


Kingston 7, Jamaica

June 07 to June 11, 2012


CONTENTS
Message from the President of the Republic of trinidad and tobago 4
H.E. Professor George Maxwell Richards T.C., C.M.T.T., Ph.D

Message from the TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO High Commissioner TO JAMAICA 5


Her Excellency Dr Iva Camille Gloudon

remarks by the Minister of Planning 6


Senator Dr the Honourable Bhoendradatt Tewarie

Message from the ASTT President 7


Gail P Guy

SEASON OF RENEWAL Curator’s Note 8


Celebrating 50 years of Independence Andy Jacob
and Caribbean Partnership
Pre-Columbian Art of Trinidad and Tobago 10
Published by the Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago Dr Lawrence Waldron
Corner Jamaica Blvd and St Vincent Ave, Federation Park
Trinidad and Tobago Artists’ works 20

Exhibition curator: Andy Jacob The Art of Trinidad and Tobago 74


Curatorial committee: Clayton De Friettas, Geoffrey MacLean, Tomley Roberts Geoffrey Maclean

Catalogue editor: Andy Jacob Acknowledgements 84


Authors: Geoffrey MacLean, Lawrence Waldron Ph.D
Designer: Melanie Archer
Photography: Abigail Hadeed, Mervyn Harris, Rodell Warner, Richard Rawlins, Gregory Scott

Copyright © 2012 ASTT

Front cover image: Carlisle Chang, Bongo Dancers (1955) [detail]


ISBN 978-976-8242-02-0

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All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system
or transmitted, in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording
or otherwise, without the written permission of The Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago.

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Message Message
THE President of the Republic OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO HIGH COMMISSIONER for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to jamaica

All over the Caribbean, there is tangible evidence of the fact that the people of this region Fifty years of Independence in the life of any country is a most noteworthy milestone. We
can hold their own in the Visual Arts, among peoples everywhere in the world. It is a fact at the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago High Commission to Jamaica are especially pleased
well known to visitors but perhaps, not as widely known and appreciated among ourselves, since our host country is also celebrating their golden anniversary of Independence. In light
particularly those who do not belong to the wide community of artists. This applies in some of this, we have undertaken several initiatives throughout 2012 in celebration of both of these
countries more than in others. landmarks.

I have the sense, however, that change is taking place and the power of the Arts to transform Of special significance is this Art Exhibition which will showcase our national talent over
lives is better understood, at this time in our development, in more of our respective countries, the past fifty years. We embarked on this venture in collaboration with the Office of the Vice
than before. It is fortuitous that both Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago are celebrating the Chancellor of the University of the West Indies which is located on the Mona, Jamaica Campus
fiftieth Anniversary of our Independence, this year and so, this exhibition is taking place in the and the Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago.
context of an important historical evolution - the Golden Jubilee of our two countries.
The University has just completed the construction of their Vice Chancellery which would
That it is taking place on the campus of the University of the West Indies at Mona, is of house the regional headquarters of the University of the West Indies. This office has executive
significance. It was at Mona, beginning in the 1940s, that many young men and women became oversight for their entire regional university system. The University of the West Indies has
West Indians. They began to learn the West Indian way as students who came, from the several excelled as one of the regional institutions that have successfully assisted in the education and
British colonial territories in our region, seeking tertiary education, at our fledgling University, integration of our region.
the University College of the West Indies. We were strangers then, but the University College,
helped us to see our common ground and to build relationships, beyond the myths. That this Art Exhibition is housed in the Museum within this new Vice Chancellery is of vital
significance and befitting of the celebration of Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica in this their
This people encounter has grown and in our journey, we have discovered our individual and fiftieth year of Independence.
collective potential, not least in The Arts which, in good measure, has been brought to fruition,
although the journey and strivings for better continue. UCWI started what UWI is continuing We wish you happy viewing and we hope that this would encourage, urge, excite and become a
His Excellency Professor and it is fitting that at Mona, you are viewing, in the new Chancellery, the artistic expressions catalyst for new Caribbean talent to emerge.
George Maxwell Richards of persons who are equipped and gifted to place before us, in form and colour, a critical part Her Excellency Dr. Iva
TC, CMTT, Ph.D, President of of ourselves. Camille Gloudon
the Republic of Trinidad and High Commissioner for the
Tobago, on the occasion of Every painting tells a story of some aspect of life in our spaces, a story which may not always Republic of Trinidad and
the Art Exhibition being held be obvious, but one which is representative of the artist’s perspective which should provoke Tobago to Jamaica.
by The Art Society of Trinidad our interest and discussion.
and Tobago, in Collaboration
with the High Commissioner I commend, in particular the contributing Artists for sharing their work. I commend also the
for Trinidad and Tobago to Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago for the vision to which this exhibition speaks, our High
Jamaica, at the Museum Commissioner in Kingston for her support, the Vice Chancellor at Mona for his gracious
in the Vice Chancellery on hospitality and all those who gave of their substance and effort towards this tremendous
the Mona Campus of the validation, in respect of those who make Art among our West Indian people.
University of the West Indies,
in celebration of the Fiftieth
Anniversary of Independence.

George Maxwell Richards

4 5
REMARKS
MINISTER OF PLANNING and the economy

Ideas are important and we must not underestimate the power of ideas. Ideas are globally renowned percussionist groups from China, Cuba, India and Brazil. This also includes
important not only because they have value in their own right but because ideas have a way an Inaugural Conference on the Steelpan within the theme “Pan Globalisation: Progress and
of generating more ideas and so value is created and recreated and multiplied. Ideas are Possibilities” which I opened on May 6, 2012 and the Bocas Literary Festival which brought
generated by the human imagination and the human imagination is the source of infinite writers from across the world including Mervyn Morris from Jamaica.
possibilities.
These are but some of the numerous initiatives undertaken by the Government of the Republic
An important function of the human imagination is the act of creation. The creation of art is of Trinidad and Tobago some through Ministries, others through partnerships like this one
one of the most powerful expressions of the spirit of independence. The freedom to create on with the Trinidad and Tobago Art Society. Of course, in a wonderfully diverse country such as
the canvas, with sculpting clay, with a musical instrument, on paper, with paint brush, through Trinidad and Tobago, multiculturalism and tapping our variety drive everything.
the camera lens, all of these media allow human beings as creators to escape the trappings of
mundane life as the imagination soars, the mind leaps and the spirit is uplifted. In addition to contributing to the observance of our Golden Jubilee, these activities will
contribute to the development of the creative industries not only for the sake of art and
If the creation of art is an act of freedom the experience of art through the work of the artist – is endeavour, but also to support creativity and entrepreneurship, to support human imagination
an opportunity for freedom for those who experience it. Because the imagination of the viewer, and to create a force that will diversify the economic canvas of Trinidad and Tobago.
the reader or audience goes to work as it is stimulated in the encounter with art – through
artistic exposure and or immersion. Art, therefore, connects people, causes experiences to I offer sincere congratulations to the Trinidad & Tobago Art Society. I applaud the High
flow into each other and expands mind space. Commission for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in Jamaica under the distinguished
leadership of High Commissioner Her Excellency Dr. Iva Gloudon for supporting this initiative
It is fitting that the the Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago is taking this step to make the and for making it happen. I wish our brothers and sisters in Jamaica the best for their 50th
experience of this level of freedom possible through this at the Art Exhibition to display the work Anniversary of Independence and I wish all nationals within and outside of Trinidad and Tobago
of the Masters of Trinidad and Tobago at the cusp of Trinidad and Tobago’s 50th anniversary of happy memories, Happy Independence and a bright and prosperous future.
independence. It is also quite fitting that our Jamaican counterparts, who are also celebrating
their Golden Jubilee, will experience what some of our best artists have produced. What a Continue to move together, create together, celebrate together and move Trinidad and Tobago
wonderful opportunity for sharing and what a beautiful thing to share! towards the next 50 years and beyond with ‘Pride in our Liberty’. And may Caribbean people
Senator Dr Bhoendradatt always summon the will to support each other to carve out spaces of influence in the world.
Tewarie, I am honored to support our artists and creators and the Trinidad and Tobago Art Society
Minister of Planning and the whose leadership has organized this exhibition. I am elated that the High Commission for the
Economy Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in Kingston, Jamaica is also supporting not only this venture
Chairman, 50th Anniversary of but has also planned a calendar of events celebrating not only Trinidad and Tobago’s 50th
Independence Interministerial Anniversary of Independence but which also recognises the Golden Jubilee of Jamaica as an
Committee independent nation state.

In Trinidad and Tobago, the 50th Anniversary Inter-Ministerial Committee, of which I am


the Chair, is celebrating these five decades with art and culture taking the leadership role.
A Multicultural Exposition held at the National Academy for the Performing Arts in Port of
Spain, featuring some of Trinidad and Tobago’s best musicians and performers has already
begun and this is free to the public; a lecture series involving the Master Elders of Trinidad
and Tobago’s art forms which include music, fine art, theatre, television, humour and mas
is underway; the Trinidad and Tobago Steelpan Festival (SteelfesTT 2012) is also in progress
featuring some Trinidad and Tobago’s world class steel orchestras playing in tandem with

6 7
Message
PRESIDENT OF THE ASTT CURATOR’S NOTE
The Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago [ASTT], a Voluntary Non-Governmental Organization It has been an honour for me to assemble and present this historic exhibition of the art of Andy Jacob
for the Visual Arts in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is celebrating its sixty-ninth year of Trinidad and Tobago in our sister Caribbean nation of Jamaica. It is historic not only because Curator
continuous operations. The ASTT has pre-dated many national developments such as Internal it marks the 50th anniversary of Independence for both nations but also because these events Second Vice President
Self Government, Independence and Republicanism in Trinidad and Tobago. Nevertheless, our have been rare occurrences in our history since that independence. Indeed it is perhaps the Art Society of Trinidad and
pride in our own achievements takes second place, at this juncture, to our pride and esteemed first time in the post –colonial era that an exhibition of this magnitude has been attempted and Tobago
pleasure in celebrating with all nationals of the Republic, fifty years of Independence. the Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago, the Trinidad and Tobago High Commission to Jamaica
and the University of the West Indies deserve our heartiest congratulations for their vision.
In collaborating with the Trinidad and Tobago High Commission in Kingston, Jamaica on this
exhibition of the work of Visual Artists from Trinidad and Tobago, we are mindful of the fact that The curatorial mandate for this show sought to mark the 50th anniversary of Trinidad and
our hosts, the Government and People of Jamaica are also celebrating this golden anniversary Tobago’s independence with an art exhibition that would highlight the major artists of the
and we salute You. country, in particular those who are currently active, in order to share with the Jamaican public
the richness and variety of the art scene in Trinidad and Tobago.
We have worked very diligently to produce a worthy display that provokes, excites and provides
considerable pleasure for those who visit this exhibition. In so doing, we must acknowledge It was also important to establish some historical context for the exhibition by tracing the
the support and contribution of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, the corporate sector development of Trinidad and Tobago’s art over the years, explaining in a sense how the present
and our visual artists to the success of this venture. We are honoured to be the first exhibition art environment would have evolved. This was accomplished by highlighting the work of
in this impressive and brand new building. The collaboration between the High Commissioner several key figures who would have influenced the development of Trinidad and Tobago’s art in
for Trinidad and Tobago and the Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies has also far reaching ways. To this end, several rare and valuable works have been presented. A brief
contributed considerably to the success of this venture. This is yet another excellent example yet comprehensive history of art in Trinidad and Tobago by art expert, Geoffrey MacLean, and
of how much more we can achieve when we partner on ventures. We could not have done this an original essay by Dr Lawrence Waldron on the Pre-Columbian art of the twin island state
Gail P Guy alone. and the Eastern Caribbean serve to flesh out the historical narrative.
President of The Art Society
of Trinidad and Tobago The Board of Directors and the membership of the ASTT are exceedingly proud of this exhibition There was also a third mandate, more personal than official if you will, and that was to
and recommend it to you for your enjoyment and reflection. stimulate artists and stakeholders to make this the first of a regular series of exhibition
exchanges between our two great Caribbean nations that would mark in the most tangible
way our commitment to regionalism and the deep bonds of respect long forged between us. If
this were to happen as a result of this exhibition, if every two years a major show of Jamaican
art went to Trinidad and Tobago or a major Trinidadian or Tobagonian artist would exhibit in
Jamaica, the time and effort spent in the creation of this exhibition would have been rewarded
a thousand-fold.

8 9
PRE-COLUMBIAN ART OF
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Dr Lawrence Waldron

Earliest Visual Culture in Trinidad, Tobago art traditions in South America with the vestiges of the
and the Eastern Caribbean ancient Antilleans. And to complete our triangulation,
we might also consult the few living descendants of
The Caribbean has been inhabited for more than 8,000 the ancient Antilleans who live among us. Rumours of
years. One of the oldest known human habitation sites the extinction of the Amerindians in the Caribbean are
in all the Antilles is in southern Trinidad, at Banwari greatly exaggerated. The Kalinagos of Dominica and
Trace where ancient skeletal remains and food refuse St. Vincent, Taínos of the Greater Antilles, and Caribs
have been excavated by archaeologists.1 However, it is and Waraos of Trinidad are often shocked to find out
from many millennia thereafter that we see anything that they no longer exist!
that we might consider “art”—objects with evident
expressive content, seemingly made to be visually Ample archaeological evidence indicates that around
stimulating in some way. Art production in Trinidad the sixth or fifth century BCE, a ceramic-making cul-
can be traced back some 2,500 years, and in Tobago, ture from north-eastern Venezuela and the Guianas
at least back to the turn of the Common Era. This began to arrive in the Antilles. The reasons for their
is not to say that visual culture was not part of Pre- departure from the mainland remain mysterious.
Columbian life before that but any earlier art has not They may have been explorers, exiles, founders of a
survived to this day. Also, the fifth century BCE marks new religion, or all of these. From their arrival first in
the arrival in these islands of an intensive art-making Trinidad, people of the Saladoid ceramic culture selec-
culture from South America known as the Saladoid. tively settled islands from there to Hispaniola within a
These were likely an early group of Arawaks2 and their millennium, eventually settling into most of the islands
settlement would seem to be the beginning of Trinidad in between.3 As expert canoeists, the Pre-Columbian
and Tobago art history. Yet, even when we guess their people of the Eastern Caribbean and eastern Greater
ethno-linguistic identity and note the time of their cul- Antilles crossed between islands a lot more easily than Opposite page
tural ascendance, we are still hard pressed to fill in key we do today, so that a coastal village on one island might Figure 1
parts of their history. have had closer allies on another island than on the Duck-shaped vessel
other side of their own. In this way, Trinidad and Tobago with four-legged
In reconstructing Amerindian history, and art history, were definitely thought of as islands but they might not zoomorph, Mayaro,
archaeological excavations give us important clues as have been conceived of as politically separate from, Trinidad, Saladoid.
to who the ancient Antilleans were culturally, politi- say, Grenada or Carriacou. The Saladoid Caribbean Ceramic, 11 cm.
cally, and aesthetically. Linguistic studies that link was characterized by maritime interaction spheres, longer diameter.
the ancient Antilleans through common language discernible even in artistic styles, encompassing sev- Smithsonian
and terms to adjacent mainland peoples still liv- eral islands at a time. In the Pre-Columbian Antilles, National Museum
ing, especially the mainland Arawaks also shed light the sea often united people rather than divided them. of the American
on these early art-makers. Ethnographic analogies Indian, Washington,
between living Amerindian cultures and the ancient The Saladoid cultures that developed in the islands D.C. Photograph by
Antilleans can be quite helpful as well, if used with the after the migration from South America have left us author.
usual caveats in mind regarding the cultural shifts that with a greater amount of visual culture than any sub-
may have occurred over time and space. The ancient sequent Amerindian group in the eastern islands. The
people of the Caribbean were not even identical with Saladoid era, from roughly the fifth century BCE to the
their contemporaneous relatives on the mainland, seventh century of the Common Era, was a watershed
so we have to allow for differences with the related period in Pre-Columbian Caribbean art. During this
traditional Amerindian cultures of today. Still, we can period thousands of ceramic vessels, shell and stone
learn much by comparing today’s living Amerindian adornments, and perhaps hundreds of wood sculptures
11
Figure 4
Everted white-on-red
bowl with superficially
similar but internally
2 3 varied cartouches
5 on opposite sides of
were made in Trinidad, Tobago and other islands, many of the Caribbean developed into culturally distinct enti- the vessel (note the
of them with figural and abstract adornments carrying ties, often with unique art styles. They even produced different positions of
deep cultural significance. We can infer the importance unique classes of artefacts not found on the mainland. In the early centuries of the Common Era, this “white- the horizontal triple-
of these symbols from the similar motifs found among The trigonal icons (zemis), for which the fourteenth on-red” Saladoid decorative program was joined by a line motifs inside the
related groups of people in South America who can century Taíno artists of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola are style that incorporated sculpted adornments into the cartouches), unknown
Figure 2 attest to their traditional symbolism; from Conquest- famous among Pre-Columbian scholars, had smaller, 4 painting scheme. Modelled adornments were more site, St. Croix, Saladoid.
Trigonal zemi, Mt. era and even today’s oral accounts of Amerindian lore simpler precursors in the eastern islands from Tobago typical of an unpainted but very sculptural pottery Ceramic, with red and
Irvine, Tobago, and cosmology that, again, confirm the importance of to Antigua (figure 2). The Taíno, a later Arawak group in developed by Venezuelan potters and, over a period tradition called the Barrancoid, which often appeared white slips, 35.5 cm.
Saladoid. Stone, 5 cm. certain symbols; and from the ritual contexts in which the more northern islands, were partially descended spanning almost two millennia before the Common alongside the painted Saladoid styles on the Orinoco. diameter. Yale Peabody
width. Tobago Museum, these kinds of artefacts have been found, such as from Saladoid Antilleans.4 The triangular or conical Era, had decorated ceremonial vessels at impor- When the Barrancoid modelled and Saladoid painted Museum of Natural
Tobago. Photograph by graves and sacred caves (figure 1). zemis, whose Arawak name seems to be the root of the tant sites along the Middle and Lower Orinoco River. adornments finally combined, it was in the Lower History Anthropology
author. Trin-bagonian word “zepie” (meaning ‘secret charm, They show a deep interest in figure-ground reversals Orinoco, and in southern Trinidad at settlements Department, New
Most of the objects that we might appreciate as art, from spell, or power’) might represent the silhouette of wherein it is difficult to decipher whether the white in Cedros and Erin along the southwest coast of the Haven, Connecticut.
some two millennia ago, are made of resilient materi- ‘the island’ as glanced on the horizon upon approach slip-paint1 lines and motifs atop the reddish ceramic island. The new “Cedrosan Saladoid” was almost as Photographs by author.
Figure 3 als such as ceramic, shell, and stone. Archaeologists by canoe. But while their use in propitiatory rituals are the positive or negative (i.e. background) space; widespread throughout the Caribbean as the earlier,
White-on-red bottle have also recovered rare objects in wood but we can to make the crops grow was noted by Conquest era the complementarities equal sized areas of white and purely painted, style, and it appeared in much greater Figure 5
with incised designs only guess what the other arts, such as textiles, bas- Spaniards,5 their exact meaning remains mysterious. red; and a kind of staggered symmetry whereby a motif numbers at some sites. Some truly impressive and Effigy pot and stopper
and modelled (turtle ketry, featherwork, and body art might have looked like As a trade hub Trinidad seems to have made itself painted on one side of a vessel is repeated on the other innovative examples of this pottery have been found with modelled, incised
flipper) tabs, Mayaro, and how important they might have been. The moisture strongly felt in the arts and economics throughout side but somehow modified, such as pointed or curl- in Trinidad, Tobago, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and polychrome
Trinidad. Saladoid. and chemical composition of Caribbean soils, and the the Caribbean islands, both of which are evidenced in ing in the opposite direction, possessing some internal Martinique and Guadeloupe (figure 5). But fine exam- adornments, Erin,
Ceramic with white incessant activities of invertebrates have left us with the ceramic record. The style of painted and modelled reversal or numerical difference. By the time of expan- ples can be found as far north as the important Pre- Trinidad,
and red slip, 14 cm. only a small part of a range of ancient artforms. adornments on early Caribbean pottery, from Venezuela sion into the islands, this design scheme was a fine Columbian sites on the island of Vieques off the east Cedrosan Saladoid.
diameter. Smithsonian to Puerto Rico, is called “Cedrosan Saladoid.” This art, and examples of this kind of painted pottery can coast of Puerto Rico. Ceramic with coloured
National Museum of pottery is named after the early, representative ‘type- be found from the Middle Orinoco to The Virgin Islands slips, 19 cm. diameter.
the American Indian, Style site’ of Saladero on Venezuela’s Lower Orinoco, and and Puerto Rico (figure 4). Many of the most beautifully In the Cedrosan Saladoid style of Trinidad and Tobago, National Museum and
Washington, D.C. the Cedros type-site on the south-western coast of painted examples hail from Caribbean islands such as there was a strong adhesion to the Saladoid use of Art Gallery, Port-
Photograph by author. Given its mainland origins, ancient Antillean art could Trinidad where archaeologists first found diagnostic Antigua rather than the Orinoco homeland, and this only red and white, whereas in, say, St. Vincent and of-Spain, Trinidad.
be surprising in its occasional departures from main- examples of an important modification to the main style seems to have persisted throughout the Saladoid the Grenadines, other colours could be used. In most Photograph by author.
land traditions. Quite a lot of cultural evolution took Saladoid style. sphere at least halfway into the first millennium CE. islands, coloured slips were used to accentuate the
place in the Caribbean once people had settled in there. lines, planes, and volumes of the modelled details.
While people in Trinidad had always maintained close Before the Cedrosan modification, Saladoid pottery 1
Slip paints were made by watering down clay to a soupy con- This complementary use of painting and sculpture on
relations with their mainland counterparts in nearby was characterized by bold and clever painted designs sistency and coloured with mineral and other pigments, then vessels signalled a mature synthesis of what had been
Venezuela and Guyana, Tobago and the other islands in white and red (figure 3). These designs had been painted on after the vessel was fired.

12 13
7a 8

6a 6b 6c
so their appearance in iconography there may be Figure 7
evidence of (1) human introductions of some of these Figure 7. (a) conch shell
species into those other islands; (2) an indication of frog amulet, St. Joseph,
two discreet and highly developed pottery traditions on are transformational images in which people take on a strong cultural connection with Trinidad; (3) indica- Trinidad, Saladoid, 1.5
Figure 6 the Middle and Lower Orinoco in previous centuries. the aspects of other animals or vice versa or have sec- tion of a lingering connection with the South American cm. height; (b) vessel
(a) trigonal/conical ondary—usually zoomorphic—characters emerging mainland; or (4) some or all of these possibilities. fragment with modelled
shell zemi with Some important inferences can be made from the use out of their heads. These emergent secondary figures frog, Mt. Irvine, Tobago,
incised flexed frog of symmetry and figure ground-reversals in Saladoid have been identified by archaeologists such as Peter In a popular emblem that appears across some 2,000 Saladoid, ceramic,
motif on bottom pottery. Symbolic motifs that equal but oppose each Harris and Arie Boomert as “alter egos.”6 They might years of Pre-Columbian Caribbean visual culture, from approximately. 7.6 cm.
register, unknown other on the vessel surface imply categorical opposi- have represented the zoic spirit guides of religious Trinidad to Cuba, a stylized frog is seen from above height (Tobago Museum,
site, Montserrat, tions as between natural or spiritual forces, genders, leaders and ritual specialists (i.e., shamans). Rituals, with flexed legs. In many of the islands beyond Trinidad Tobago).
Saladoid, 5 cm. families, clans or other polities. Mythical and cosmo- and religiously charged narratives involving sacred ani- and Tobago, its body makes a labyrinth of scrolling Photographs by author.
diameter (Smithsonian logical themes also manifest in the quadripartite motifs mals as tutelary spirits, clan emblems, zoomorphised lines that divide the emblem into four parts. This frog
National Museum of appearing on Eastern Caribbean Saladoid and Greater members of other ethnicities, and spirit guides have labyrinth appears not only on Pre-Columbian pottery Figure 8
the American Indian, Antillean Taíno pottery. Very often painted or modelled enjoyed a prominent place in the world view of animist but on shell and stone arts as well (figure 6). However Figure 8. Petroglyph
Washington, D.C.); and painted motifs appear in twos, fours or two sets of cultures throughout the Americas. In cultures from the frog imagery from Trinidad and Tobago retains a higher of fertility deity Atabey
(b) incised bowl with two. As discussed below, the number four was charged Andes to the Amazon most things have living energies, 7b degree of naturalism, like their Venezuelan counter- (centre) in flexed frog
circular, flexed-frog with multiple orders of symbolism in Antillean thought. and every act might have significance reflecting upon parts, and unlike those found from Saladoid St. Vincent pose on a monolith
labyrinth motif on and witnessed by revered, even deified ancestors.7 in the “jumbie bird,” but also good portents such as the and Barbados to the Taíno Greater Antilles (figure 7). at the Caguana batey
underside, Land’s birth of babies.8 However, like the Venezuelan Saladoid (ballcourt), Puerto Rico,
End, Barbados, Iconography Most common among the animal symbols on Trinidad potters, ceramicists in Trinidad, Tobago and only a few Frogs, particularly piping frogs, were important sym- Taíno, approx. 1 m.
Saladoid, ceramic, and Tobago pottery and other arts were turtles and other islands, such as Carriacou chose to represent the bols of fertility. Their night song signalled the true height.
approximately 17.8 cm. Among the symbols appearing on early ceramics and frogs. However, in Trinidad, a large number of mam- heads of crocodilians (i.e., caimans) on their vessels. beginning of the rainy season, the time to plant and Photograph by author.
diameter (Barbados amulets in Trinidad and Tobago certain animals (i.e., mals native to that island and the mainland are also Unfortunately, when ancient pots fell and shattered the time in which women often got pregnant, due to
Museum, Barbados); zoomorphs] and birds (i.e., aviforms) are most com- represented, especially anteaters, but also armadillos, often all that survived were the modelled handles with the increased leisure time right after planting was
(c) incised and drilled mon. Human representations (i.e., anthropomorphs) opossums, dogs, bats, and monkeys. Bird symbols also adornos. So Caribbean museums abound in expertly complete. The flexed position of the frog was also visu-
frog labyrinth motif, appear with great regularity as well, often wearing feature prominently in the iconography of Trinidad and sculpted handles and adornos, now detached from ally reminiscent of the squatting position women likely
unknown site, St. Kitts, special headgear or ear ornaments. Most modelled Tobago, especially vultures and parrots but remark- their original vessels. took to give birth. The Taíno mother goddess Atabey
Saladoid, shell, 9 cm. representations take the form of “adornos” (i.e., mod- ably, while owls are important symbols in the iconogra- was often depicted in the Greater Antilles with frog-like
width (Yale Peabody elled adornments). They appear on the handles of phy of ceramics in Trinidad, Tobago and indeed most of Since most of the animal and bird species appearing limbs, in a flexed position (figure 8).
Museum of Natural vessels, right where the vessel’s owner would grasp it the islands of the Caribbean, they do not seem to have in ceramics, amulets and other arts were endemic to
History Anthropology to access or agitate its contents, thereby marking the been of any importance to the ceramicists in Saladoid Trinidad, their presence in the zoomorphic iconogra- Turtles were another maternal symbol, appearing as
Department, New nexus between the vessel’s user, the contents of the Venezuela. This night bird, and its nightjar and oilbird phy of this island is not surprising. But species like an emblem on stone and shell amulets in Tobago and
Haven, Connecticut). vessel, and the symbolic cache represented by the ani- doppelgangers seem to have been regarded as mes- caimans, the oilbird, monkeys, armadillos, opossums most islands north of it; on the pottery of most islands
Photographs by author. mal, bird or anthropomorphic symbol on the adorno. sengers from the afterlife, carrying not only visions of and vultures are not endemic to most of the Saladoid from Trinidad to Cuba; and in the cave art of many
Some of the most obviously symbolic representations pending mortality, like our vestigial Amerindian belief islands (i.e., the Eastern Caribbean and Puerto Rico), islands. The turtle’s body was treated much like that of

14 15
the frog—in aerial view with a great measure of styliza- to explore their possible symbolism here. It is worth
tion, and sometimes, outright abstraction. But its round pointing out that only some of the birds referenced in
body with four projecting legs was usually distinguish- Saladoid and later iconography are day creatures and
able from frog emblems by the backward sweep of its that most of the other animal species represented
flippers, a tail, and occasional a raised head (compare are active at twilight or night time, and that for all
figures 6, 7 and 9). Taíno lore confirms that the sea tur- the vibrant colour of the Caribbean, the most com-
Figure 9 tle was symbolically an ancestral mother from whom mon symbolic creatures are the dark-coloured ones.
(a) turtle effigy pot the Antillean people descended, when Turtle Woman This speaks to the mystery religions of the ancient
stand, Guayaguayare, became the wife of four primordial brothers, including Antilleans, and their concerns with the spirit realm,
Trinidad, late Cedrosan the defiant folk hero Deminán Caracaracol. The birth which only became visible at night (or in the murky
Saladoid, approx. 20 of baby turtles from the beach sand and their mass watery depths) where the veil of blinding sunlight was
cm. diameter (Pointe- exodus to the sea, echoing the exodus (or exile) to the lifted and mundane powers of sight were replaced by
à-Pierre Wildfowl Caribbean islands that commenced in the fifth century shamanic vision.12
Trust: Peter Harris 9a 9b BCE, was perhaps one of the inspirations for choosing
Collection, Trinidad); the sea turtle as symbolic mother of the Antilleans. Trinidad’s intellectual impact on Pre-Columbian
(b) turtle bowl with Caribbean ceramics, in the form of the Cedrosan
modelled back-swept Night flying creatures such as bats and owls seem to Saladoid style, is perhaps equalled by that island’s Figure 12
flippers on rim (and have been symbols of, and messengers from, the after- presence in inter-island commerce. The black paint (a) rattling adorno,
broken head), Saladero, life for the ancient Antilleans. Taíno mythology accords on many first millennium CE ceramics throughout the unknown site,
Venezuela, Saladoid, this afterlife symbolism to bats at least, seeing leaf- Eastern Caribbean is actually tar from the Pitch Lake Guadeloupe, Saladoid,
approx. 28 cm. wider nosed fruit bats as the returned souls of the dead come (figure 11). A small sculpture found in Montserrat is ceramic with coloured
diameter (Yale Peabody at night to partake of the sweetness of life, particu- also carved from hardened bitumous material from slips and pitch,
Museum of Natural larly its succulent fruits such as ripened guavas.9 Long Pitch Lake, indicating that pitch was used not only to 4 cm. height (Musée
History Anthropology before the powerful Taíno chiefdoms and kingdoms of paint vessels, and probably to caulk canoes, but was Edgar Clerc,
Department, New Hispaniola and Puerto Rico used bat symbols as ances- also used as a sculpture material. The tiny anthropo- Guadeloupe); (b)
Haven, Connecticut). tral and shamanic emblems, people in Trinidad, Tobago morphic head is carved in a sub-style of the Cedrosan anthropomorphic
Photographs by author. and the southern Lesser Antilles were glorifying the Saladoid known as the Palo Seco phase, characterized sculpture, unknown site,
same leaf-nosed fruit bats in their ceramics arts, and by heavy brow ridges, under which are pendant eyes Montserrat, Saladoid
Figure 10 perhaps for the same reason (figure 10). and encircled, pursed mouths (figure 12). This one (Palo Seco phase),
Vessel with bat face little object suggests cultural and mercantile com- hardened pitch, 2 cm.
adorno recovered Beside frogs, turtles, bats, and owls, water birds such merce between the Trinidadian sites of Pitch Lake, height (Smithsonian
from burial at Atagual, as pelicans and herons were also quite common in the Cedros, Palo Seco among others, and the far-away National Museum of
Trinidad, Saladoid, 10 11 modelled and painted iconography on ceramics. As island of Montserrat. If we consider that Montserrat the American Indian,
approx. 25 cm. diameter. the largest predatory birds of the maritime Caribbean is highly volcanic, and Trinidad is not, the commodi- Washington, D.C.).
Pointe-à-Pierre Wildfowl pelicans were probably a chief masculine symbol, ties Trinidadian Amerindians might have sought in Photographs by author.
Trust: Peter Harris especially given their tendency to fly in a straight line exchanges with Montserratian trade partners were
Collection, Trinidad. in groups of four or more, close to the water’s sur- semi precious stones for jewellery making or perhaps
Photograph by author. face, their wings beating in militaristic unison like the pumice for tempering pottery and smoothening wood
disciplined paddling of warriors in a canoe. There is sculptures and canoes.
Figure 11 evidence in South American mythology, and Taíno rock
Bowl with tar residue, art and cosmology suggesting that herons, ibises and The depiction of people in the Pre-Columbian art of
Mayaro, Trinidad, other long-beaked stilt-legged birds were symbols of Trinidad and Tobago is highly symbolic in that it is
Saladoid. Ceramic, the lightning and thunder in storms,10 but the appear- often combined with the aforementioned symboli-
25.5 cm. diameter. ance of these would-be Caribbean “thunderbirds” on cally charged animal symbols. The facial expressions
Smithsonian National ceramics and other artefacts remains enigmatic. The on anthropomorphic images like the Palo Seco ‘pitch
Museum of the parrots appearing on vessels would appear to be solar man’ are often lacking, and difficult to interpret when
American Indian, symbols as they often are in South America,11 the sun’s they do appear. The slit-like eyes that appear on many
Washington, D.C. role in the agricultural cycle being a natural partner of faces do not necessarily represent closed eyes. Mouths
Photograph by author. the rain represented by frogs. stretched wide or bearing teeth may be the grimaces of
inebriated shamans as they suffer the pangs and nau-
As for the anteaters, armadillos, opossums, dogs, sea of the hallucinogens they administer to themselves
12a 12b and vultures space constraints make it impossible in ritual discourse with the noumenon. An interesting

16 17
The Caribbean Amerindians bore the full and initial
brunt of the Conquest, its cruelty, greed, and conta-
gions. They were the first to be misnamed “Indians”
by the errant Spanish mariners searching for a route
to the East Indies, and they were the first American
peoples to grapple with the knowledge that there was Sources NOTES
a whole world beyond that eastern horizon. But they
were also the first to instruct Spaniards in key terms, Bercht, Fatima, ed. Taíno: Pre-Columbian Art and Culture from the Caribbean. New York: El Museo del 1. Wilson 39-43.
concepts, foods and technologies of the Americas. Barrio/Monacelli Press, 1997. 2. Heckenberger 102-109; Rouse 37-42;
Boomert, Arie. Trinidad, Tobago and the Lower Orinoco Interaction Sphere: An Archaeological/ Wilson 62.
Here on the leeward side of the catastrophe that befell Ethnohistorical Study. Alkmaar, Netherlands: Cairi Publications, 2000. 3. Wilson 67-88.
them in the 1490s and thereafter, and with only a few García Arévalo, Manuel A. “The Bat and the Owl: Nocturnal Images of Death.” In Taíno: Pre-Columbian 4. Rouse 37; Wilson 104-105.
written accounts of their culture from the Conquest Art and Culture from the Caribbean, edited by Fatima Bercht, 112-123. New York: El Museo del Barrio/ 5. McGinnis 92-105.
convention emerged in the Cedrosan Saladoid that and early colonial era, we might be inclined towards the Monacelli Press, 1997. 6. Boomert 164, 463-464.
involved one figure emerging out of the head of anoth- common sentiment that the period before Columbus is Harris, Peter O’Brien. “Nabarima: A Warao Sacred Place in South Trinidad.” In Proceedings of the XXI 7. See Lévi-Strauss, The Raw and the
Figure 13 er. In anthropomorphic representations, the second- so much opaque “pre-history.” But as we have seen, Congress of the International Association for Caribbean Archaeology, 486-499. Port-of-Spain, Trinidad: Cooked and From Honey to Ashes.
(a) bottle spout depicting ary, smaller figure is usually a zoomorph of some kind, there are many sources from which we can gain a International Association for Caribbean Archaeology, 2005. 8. Roth 274.
shaman (hands propping oftentimes a bird (figure 13). These secondary ‘alter glimpse of the Pre-Columbian Antilleans, not least of Heckenberger, Michael J. “Rethinking the Arawakan Diaspora: Hierarchy, Regionality and the Amazonian 9. Pané, 18; García Arévalo, 112.
up the chin are broken ego’ figures seem to push through the identity of the which is their visual culture. Formative.” In Comparative Arawakan Histories: Rethinking Language Family and Culture Area, edited by 10. Waldron 213-216.
off) with avian alter ego primary anthropomorph as he/she takes flight to the Jonathan D. Hill, and Fernando Santos-Granero, 99-122. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2006. 11. Ibid 230-231.
emerging from forehead, spirit realm. In fact we are still living with Pre-Columbian art, lan- Hill, Jonathan D., and Fernando Santos-Granero, eds. Comparative Arawakan Histories: Rethinking 12. Siegel 106-111.
Lagon Doux, Trinidad, guage and culture today—not only in the countless Language Family and Culture Area. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2006. 13. Ralegh 47.
Cedrosan Saladoid (Palo place names from Caroni to Nariva, Guayaguayare to Las Casas, Bartolomé de. Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies. Translated by Anthony Pagden.
Seco phase), ceramic Legacy Chacachacare, not only in the ‘bush medicines’ of our New York: Penguin Classics, 1999.
with white and red slip, West Indian apothecary (for if our “Old World” ances- Lévi-Strauss, Claude. The Raw and the Cooked. Translated by John Weightman and Doreen Weightman.
9.5 cm. height (Tobago When Spaniards first arrived in Trinidad and Tobago tors had never seen, say, a soursop until the fifteenth Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983.
Museum, Tobago); in 1498, these islands were already a diverse cultural century, how could they know the medicinal properties Lévi-Strauss, Claude. From Honey to Ashes. Translated by John Weightman and Doreen Weightman. New
(b) anthropomorphic interaction zone, boasting over ten distinct Amerindian of its leaves?); but also in our ajoupa-style architec- York: Harper and Row, 1973.
adorno on bowl, Mayaro, groups, including the Warao, Aruaca, Igneri, Shebaio ture, which lifts the house off the ground to allow cool- McGinnis, Shirley. “Zemi Three-Pointer Stones.” In Taíno: Pre-Columbian Art and Culture from the
Trinidad, Saladoid, (Suppoya), Nepoio (Nepuyo), Carina (Kalina), ing air underneath (a Carib architectural contribution); Caribbean, edited by Fatima Bercht, 92-105. New York: El Museo del Barrio/Monacelli Press, 1997.
ceramic with red slip, Carinepagoto, and Yao, among others.13 These groups the chac-chac (i.e., maraca) in our music; the number- Pané, Ramón. An Account of the Antiquities of the Indians. Edited by José Juan Arrom and translated by
4 cm. tall (adorno operated in various modes of coexistence within the less Native recipes in our culinary arts; the numerous Susan Griswold. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1999.
only) (Smithsonian islands and traded throughout the Eastern Caribbean characters in our folklore (not just the jumbie bird but Ralegh, Sir Walter. The Discovery of Guiana: And Related Documents. Edited by Benjamin Schmidt. 1595.
National Museum of and beyond. Some had arrived in Trinidad and the other Mama D’Leau and douens, with their backward feet, all Reprint, Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2008.
the American Indian, eastern islands only centuries earlier. Others, like the have roots in Amerindian mythology); and no small part Roth, Walter E. “An Inquiry into the Animism and Folk-Lore of the Guiana Indians.” In Thirtieth Annual
Washington, D.C.). Warao had already lived in Trinidad for millennia. At the of the flamboyance in our feathered mas at Carnival. Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, 1908-1909, 103-386. Washington D.C.: Bureau of American
Photographs by author. time of the Conquest, as busy as Trinidad and Tobago With only a few sweeping, perfunctory paragraphs on Ethnology, 1915.
seem to have been, the golden age of adorned ceram- the Amerindians in our schoolbooks we have often Rouse, Irving. The Taínos: Rise and Decline of the People Who Greeted Columbus. New Haven: Yale, 1992.
ics had long passed and the peoples of these islands been misled into believing that these creative, clever Siegel, Peter. “Ancestor Worship and Cosmology Among the Taíno.” In Taíno: Pre-Columbian Art and
seem to have been concentrating on more utilitarian forbears have left us with relatively little. In fact, noth- Culture from the Caribbean, edited by Fatima Bercht. New York: El Museo del Barrio/Monacelli Press,
ceramic wares, and perhaps more ephemeral arts. ing could be further from the truth. 1997.
After the Saladoid, major art production in pottery, Waldron, Lawrence. “Like Turtles, Islands Float Away: Emergent Distinctions in the Zoomorphic
stone and shell seems to have diminished considerably Iconography of Saladoid Ceramics of the Lesser Antilles, 250 BCE to 650 CE.” Ph.D. diss., City University
and eventually shifted to the Greater Antilles. For all of New York, Graduate School and University Center, New York, 2010.
we know, Lesser Antillean art-making may have con- Wilson, Samuel M. The Archaeology of the Caribbean. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge
tinued in materials considered more precious but also University Press, 2007.
less permanent than pottery, such as feather-work. Zucchi, Alberta. “A New Model of the Northern Arawakan Expansion.” In Comparative Arawakan
Histories: Rethinking Language Family and Culture Area, edited by Jonathan D. Hill and Fernando
Santos-Granero, 201-222. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2006.

18 19
ARTISTS’ WORKS
36 AL ALEXANDER 42 SARAH BURROWS 46 ABIGAIL HADEED 51 TRACEY JOHNSON Queen Head (2011) 66 SHALINI SEEREERAM
Nsa (2010) Gauntlet (2012) Mighty Shadow (1994) Graffiti is Lots of Funk (2011) Papier Maché, 17 x 10 x 12 inches The Key (2012)
Oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches Graphite on paper Gelatin silver print, selenium toned, Oil on canvas, 12 x 17 inches Mixed media, 14 x 10 inches
21 x 21 inches 12 x 34 inches Guru Plaster Dome (1985) 58 BUNTY O’CONNOR
37 TESSA ALEXANDER Exodus (1992) Oil on canvas, 17 x 12 inches Messenger (2012) 67 ANNA serrao
Jouvert Mornin’ (2010) 24 CARLISLE CHANG Gelatin silver print, selenium toned Hello Mr Tikoloche (2011) Ceramic, 8 x 10 inches Passing Cloud (1982)
Acrylic on canvas Bongo Dancers (1955) 32 x 12 inches Oil on canvas, 17 x 12 inches Assemblage, 24 x 12 x 12 inches
30 x 24 inches Oil on canvas, 36 x 28 inches Spiritual Mother, Panyard (1992) It’s Alright to Relaxing (2011) 59 LISA O’CONNOR
Gelatin silver print, selenium toned Oil on canvas, 12 x 17 inches Going to the Reef, Store Bay (2011) 68 IRENEE SHAW
38 DEAN ARLEN 30 LEROY CLARKE 10 x 32 inches Oil on canvas, 20 x 20 inches Ingestion and Expulsion (2004)
Buy One, Get One Free (2010) An Ancient Sun (2002) 52 MAKEMBA KUNLE Acrylic on paper, 96 x 30 inches (two
Mixed Media Oil on paper, 25 x 37 inches 47 CARLISLE HARRIS Whe-Whe Chart (1990) 60 STEVE OUDITT panels)
61 x 81 inches Eye Keeper of Dreams (2002) Sacred Pulse (2010) Mixed Media, 60 x 24 inches BLUR BS (2006)
Oil on paper, 69 x 105 inches Acrylic on canvas, 51 x 50 inches Oil pastel on paper, 87 x 38 inches 69 PETER SHEPPARD
22 Sybil Atteck We Are With You Always (2002) To See the Light (2010) 53 CHE LOVELACE Stand pipe (2009)
Seated Lady (c. 1950) Oil on paper, 25 x 37 inches Acrylic on canvas, 51 x 50 inches Tiled (2011) 61 SHAWN PETERS Acrylic on canvas, 2 x 2 inches
Oil on canvas, 36 x 26 inches Oil on Board, 50 x 60 inches A Diamond in the Dust (2003) Standing (2011)
34 CHRISTOPHER COZIER 48 JACKIE HINKSON Truck (2011) Mahogany, 9 x 12 inches Acrylic on canvas, 3 x 4 inches
39 EMHEYO BAHABBA Made in China (2010) The Averted Head (2008) Oil on Board, 90 x 60 inches Washing (2011)
Monument II (2009) Installation, Dimensions variable Cedar, 54 x 18 inches 62 GARVIN PIERRE Acrylic on canvas, 2 x 2 inches
Mixed Media, 53 x 68 x 10 inches Relic (from Conversations With a Shirt Lambeau Descent (2004) 54 SHASTRI MAHARAJ Untitled (2012)
Well Said (2011) Jac) (1992); Shirt Jac, hanger; 26 x 22 Watercolour, 10 x 14 inches Untitled (2008) Acrylic on wood, 12 x 10 inches 70 KEITH SWANSTON
Mixed Media, 30 x 10 x 10 inches inches Overgrowth (2012) Acrylic on canvas, 13 x 25 inches Nexus (2010)
Well Spoken (2011) Watercolour, 12 x 16 inches Portrait (2011) 63 RICHARD RAWLINS Wood, 17 x 9 inches
Mixed Media, 30 x 10 x 10 inches 32 KENWYN CRICHLOW Savannah Space (1985) Acrylic on canvas, 22 x 33 inches Chinese Workers (2012)
Memory: A Concept of Fire (2007-10) Watercolour, 20 x 26 inches Installation, 96 x 36 x 36 inches 71 RODELL WARNER
40 PAT BISHOP Oil on canvas, 60 x 54 inches 55 WENDELL MCSHINE Worker Portrait (2009)
Yes We Can . . . We Had Better (2009) Stardust Watered by Rain (2011) 26 boscoe holder Prosper (2008) 64 RACHEL ROCHFORD Digital photograph, 36 x 24 inches
Mixed Media, 24 x 18 inches Oil on canvas, 54 x 72 inches Beverly (2004) Installation, Dimensions variable Bakery Attendant, La Romain (2008)
Oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 16 inches 72 ADAM WILLIAMS
28 ISAIAH BOODHOO 43 PAT Farrell-Frederick 56 WILCOX MORRIS Think It Over, Man (2008) Untitled (2010)
The Veiled Face of Maria Concepción It Does Not Rain . . . (2011) 49 MICHELLE ISAVA The Gate Keeper (2006) Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 16 inches Ceramic, 11 x 7 inches
(1982) Fabric collage, 19 x 19 inches Morena Memory (2009) Oil on canvas with mixed media, “To leave a company in charge of Egg (2010)
Oil on canvas, 24 x 36 inches Video, Dimensions variable 20 x 16 inches holding evidence to be used against it Ceramic, 12 x 8 inches
44 MARLON GRIFFITH Surrender (2006) is just absurd”, Point Fortin (2008)
41 EDWARD BOWEN Powder Box (Schoolgirl series) (2008) 50 HABIB JAHOOR Acrylic on canvas, 33 x 25 inches Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 16 inches
Electric Palm (2012) 3 digital photographs, Dimensions Antarctica (2011)
Mixed Media, 33 x 23 inches variable Samaan, 30 x 12 inches 57 WENDY NANAN 65 GLENN ROOPCHAND
The Wizard’s House (2012) Anahata (2011) The Bounce (2011) Crossroad (2009)
Mixed Media, 48 x 36 inches 45 SHEVI HADAWAY Teak, 22 x 12 inches Papier Maché, 28 x 34 x 8 inches Mixed media, 59 x 45 inches
The Hunter (2007) Queen Head (2011) Dougla Rhapsody (2009)
Acrylic, 21 x 17 inches Papier Maché, 16 x 16 x 16 inches Mixed media, 48 x 60 inches

20 21
SYBIL ATTECK
Seated Lady (c. 1950)
Oil on canvas
36 x 26 inches

Sybil Atteck was born in Rio Claro, Trinidad on February 3rd, 1911. When she was in her early
teens, the Atteck family moved to Port of Spain where, encouraged by their grandmother, they
became involved in many different art forms: music, crochet, embroidery, flower arranging and
designing Carnival costumes. The family members even formed a small orchestra, with Sybil
playing the Hawaiian guitar. Sybil and her six sisters were also encouraged to be intellectually
independent.

Atteck joined the Botanical Department of the Ministry of Agriculture in 1928, using her drawing
skills to produce botanical renderings. Some of these were shown at an exhibition organized by
the Society of Trinidad Independents in 1930. In 1934, Atteck went to London where she studied
at the Regent Street Polytechnic. In 1943, Atteck attended the School of Fine Arts, Washington
University, St Louis, Missouri, where she was a student of the German Expressionist painter,
Max Beckmann Polytechnic. In 1948 she continued her studies in Lima, Peru, at the Escuela
de Belles Artes, where she took an interest in Inca pottery. Atteck’s images and style form the
nucleus of Trinidad’s first recognizable school which prevailed throughout the 1950’s and ‘60’s.
Those influenced by Atteck were, among others, Carlisle Chang, Willi Chen, Leo Glasgow and
Nina Squires. Through her expressionist images, Atteck celebrated the birth of a new nation and
the hopes and aspirations of Independence, portraying Trinidad’s landscape, birds, dances and
festivals as the new symbols of national identity. Atteck was the major force behind the formation
of the Art Society in 1943.

22 23
CARLISLE CHANG
Bongo Dancers (1955)
Oil on canvas
36 x 28 inches

Carlisle Chang was born on the 21st of April 1921 near the Croisee, the bustling cross roads in
San Juan, Trinidad. His early art education included a correspondence course from the Washington
School of Art, a two year study program under Amy Leong-Pang and a Master’s certificate from
the New York Institute of Photography. A British Council Scholarship in 1950 enabled him to study
poetry, painting and mural painting at the L.C.C. Central School of Arts and Crafts, London where
he received the diploma in 1953 and won an Italian Government Scholarship to the Instituto Statale
d’Arte for Ceramics in Faenza.

Chang returned to Trinidad in 1954 and opened his painting studio in Port of Spain the following
year. The ensuing two decades were his most productive with more than ten murals in a variety of
media, costume and sets for theatre and ballet, concepts and design for more than twelve years of
Carnival and easel painting in water-colours and oils. His paintings were sought by collectors, both
local and overseas and selected by curators for showings in Europe, the United States and South
America. He holds the citation from the Press Club of Lausanne and is the first West Indian artist
to have received a medal at the Biennale de Sao Paulo, Brazil. The artist however suffered a major
tragedy in 1977 when his greatest mural,”The Inherent Nobility of Man”, was destroyed, leading him
to abandon painting for many potentially productive years.

Chang served as President of the Trinidad Art Society for several years and was responsible for
ushering in a new era of vibrancy and achievement in that organization. Leading up to Trinidad and
Tobago’s Independence, Chang was a central figure in the design of Trinidad and Tobago’s National
Flag and Coat of Arms. He died in 2001.

24 25
BOSCOE HOLDER
Beverly (2004)
Oil on canvas
16 x 20 inches

Boscoe Holder was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad in the early 1920s. He died on 21st April 2007
at his residence in Newtown, Port of Spain.

He was already painting when he was five years old and was an accomplished pianist at a very early
age as well, playing for the wealthy French Creole, Chinese and Portuguese at their functions by the
time he was nine. In his late teens, he formed his own dance company.

In his dance he used traditional Afro-Caribbean interpretations: shango, bongo and bélé. He
frequently used his dancers as models for his paintings.

In 1950 Boscoe Holder moved to London, England where he danced and performed on the piano
at all the well-known theatres and clubs. By that time, he was married to Sheila Clarke who was
his lead dancer in his own dance company and also became his favourite model for his paintings.
He has staged many one man exhibitions in Trinidad and exhibited also in New York, Helsinki,
Stockholm, Ostende and England.

At the end of the 1960s he returned to his native land where he soon established himself as one
of the top painters, not only in Trinidad and Tobago, but throughout the Caribbean. Boscoe Holder
has exhibited frequently in most of the Caribbean islands and his paintings can be found in many
collections around the world.

26 27
ISAIAH BOODHOO
The Veiled Face of Maria Concepción (1982)
Oil on canvas
24 x 36 inches

Isaiah James Boodhoo was born in 1932 in Sangre Grande, Trinidad. Boodhoo received a Trinidad
Government Department Scholarship in 1958 to study fine art at the Brighton College of Art,
England. There, he said he learned technique in the disciplined British way.

By the time he returned to Trinidad in 1964, he was painting in the typical non-objective style
of Europe of the period. In 1968 he felt that his art had become too predictable and, with the
opportunity to study at Central Washington University and Indiana University, left for the United
States. It was an exciting time to be there, in the age of Aquarius and the action painters and
Abstract Expressionists, De Kooning and Deibenkom. This was the time of disillusionment with the
Vietnam War and Richard Nixon.

Boodhoo brought the idea of social and political commentary through art back with him when he
returned to Trinidad. Boodhoo’s first exhibition at the National Gallery in Port of Spain in 1970 was
strong social and political comment in the light of Trinidad and Tobago’s own revolutionary turmoil.
Following this exhibition, Boodhoo exhibited in 1982, with themes from poems by Derek Walcott and
again in 1992 his Caroni series.

The contrasts of Trinidad’s landscape always fascinated Boodhoo, particularly the sugar cane fields
. . . a place without trees, with rolling hills, manicured green, or terra cotta furrowed fields. Caroni,
where the sugar industry of Trinidad was based and where cane fields seemingly stretched forever
in all directions. He used the landscape and figurative elements of the cane cutters as in the theme
for Caroni. Critic Christopher Cozier described Boodhoo’s work as...hovering between being pictorial
and being Abstract Expressionism. The balance of landscape and figurative elements in Boodhoo’s
paintings was developed in his later series where he also used aspects of Hinduism as the main
element. Boodhoo’s palette is brilliant. This, he further enriched with skilfully placed colour
complements, his compositions becoming vivid interpretations of the contrasts of hot, clear light
and cool, dense shade of Trinidad landscape.

He died in 2004.

28 29
LEROY CLARKE
We Are With You Always (2002) Eye Keeper of Dreams (2002)
Oil on paper Oil on paper
25 x 37 inches 69 x 105 inches

An Ancient Sun (2002)


Oil on paper
25 x 37 inches

LeRoy Clarke was born in Belmont, Port of Spain on 7th November, 1938. Considered to be
one of Trinidad and Tobago’s finest contemporary artists, he was the first to be conferred the title,
Master Artist by The National Museum and Art Gallery of Trinidad and Tobago in 1998

In 2003, he was acclaimed a National Icon, presented by the Government of Trinidad and
Tobago. Also in 2003, he was a distinguished guest of The President of The Republic of Suriname
for Carifesta VIII. He was further garlanded, by N.A.E.A.P, The National Association for the
Empowerment of African People, with the Achievement of Excellence Award.

However, the crowning event came when he was awarded a “Staff of Eldership” and Chieftaincy
title in the Orisha community in 2005; the title reads: Chief Ifa’ Oje’ Won Yomi Abiodun of Trinidad
and Tobago. Also in that year he was made an Honorary Fellow of the University of Trinidad and
Tobago. In 2008, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Art by the UTT. During his stay in
the United States from 1967- 1980, Clarke was the first Artist-In-Residence at the Studio Museum
of Harlem 1972-1974.

A prolific writer, he has contributed many essays on issues of national importance and is the author
and publisher of four books of poems: a publication of Drawings from 1965 to 2008 and in 2010,
Smouldering Coal was published. In 2011, LeRoy at 70, a publication of essays and commentaries
on Clarke’s life and work, sponsored by UNESCO (Trinidad and Tobago) was released.

His life experiences quite evidence the substance that has shaped and informed his philosophy
–OBEAH. Fearlessly unorthodox, he continues to be serious about the role art plays in the critical
aspects of developing a society and about “His Calling” to be a “Pointerman, pointing the way to
O-be-ah-man-ness!” He strives to his “El Tucuchean ideal” all the while uttering:

“Who will rechart the ruin,


Who will piece it together
In its beginning
Who will utter the cipher?
…A new Poet,
One who claims neither name nor roof,
Who will sacrifice child or field
Who will utter words like nails,
Stripped from his own fingers…
Eye press on, hard on myself alone!”

30 31
KENWYN CRICHLOW
Memory: A Concept of Fire (2007-10)
Oil on canvas
60 x 54 inches

Stardust Watered by Rain (2011)


Oil on canvas
54 x 72 inches

Kenwyn Crichlow has created several exhibitions of his paintings in Trinidad, in the Caribbean,
in North America and London. From his first show at the Icon Gallery after his return from
Goldsmith’s College of Art in London, Crichlow has been quite a definite though not always quite
defined presence in the art of Trinidad and Tobago. He has been featured in several exhibitions
of Caribbean Art. In his most recent exhibitions of paintings, he has shown with painters Carlisle
Harris and Glenn Roopchand at the National Museum and Art Gallery in Port of Spain, at the Royal
Commonwealth Society in London The October Gallery in London and at the Y Gallery in Port of
Spain. He asserts “colour is pure emotion and painting is a process of manipulating its power to
convey ideas, induce reverie, evoke feelings”. One commentator has said that although”(he is) as
devoted to colour as his mentor Isaiah Boodhoo, Kenwyn Crichlow avoids the representational
element present in Boodhoo’s work in favour of an abstract style evocative of forest and ocean”.

He is the founding Lecturer and past Coordinator of the Visual Arts programme (1987 -2008) in
the Department of Creative and Festival Arts of the Faculty of Humanities and Education at the
University of the West Indies at St Augustine campus. During this period, he chaired the Caribbean
Examinations Council Subject Committee for Art and Design at Advanced Proficiency Level.

He is currently interested in the regard of colour, scale, texture and interactions between technique,
style and the history of Art in the Caribbean.

32 33
CHRISTOPHER COZIER
Made in China (2010)
Installation
Dimensions variable

Relic (from Conversations With a Shirt Jac) (1992)


Shirt Jac, hanger
26 x 22 inches

Christopher Cozier is an artist and writer living and working in Trinidad. He is a member of the
editorial collective of Small Axe, A Caribbean Journal of Criticism, distributed by Duke University
Press. He also edits the on-line “sxspace” of the journal which looks at visual production. He was
an editorial adviser to BOMB Magazine for their Americas issues (Winters, 2003 – 2005) and was
awarded a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2004.

His work has consisted of multimedia projects and drawings. He has exhibited in the 7th Havana
Biennial, “ Infinite Island,” at The Brooklyn Museum in 2007, “Equatorial Rhythms” at The
Stenersen Museum in Oslo 2007, “HereThereEverywhere” at the Chicago Cultural Centre 2008 and
in the Trienal Poli/Gráfica de San Juan: América Latina y el Caribe in 2009. Works were on display
in the Biennial of Cuenca, Ecuador, “Rockstone and Bootheel: Contemporary West Indian Art,”
in 2009 and AFRO MODERN, Journeys through the Black Atlantic at the TATE, Liverpool 2010. A
documentary produced by Canadian video artist and writer, Richard Fung entitled “ Uncomfortable:
the Art of Christopher Cozier” was launched in Toronto in January 2006.

Cozier was Artist-in-Residence at Dartmouth College during the Fall of 2007. and was co-curator
of Paramaribo Span as well as co-editor of its blog and book, which opened in January 2010, A
co-director of Alice Yard, a Senior Research Fellow at the Academy of The University of Trinidad &
Tobago (UTT), the artist was an adviser and joint curator of “about changes” for The World Bank Art
Program and “Wrestling with the image” at the OAS Museum in 2011.

Recent Print editions by the artist were produced and exhibited by David Krut Projects in New York
and in Johannesburg. The artist has just completed a residency and exhibition at the The Substation
at University of Witwatersrand as part of the conference Utopias and Dystopias in the Global
South in November 2011. Work from this project is currently on show in “ into the mix “ at KMAC,
Louisville, Kentucky. Limited editions of the artists work are available through David Krut Projects-
NY & Johannesburg.

34 35
AL ALEXANDER TESSA ALEXANDER
Nsa (2010) Al Alexander was born in Hilma Smith Barnes, Ronald Jouvert Mornin’ (2010)
Oil on canvas Quarry Village, Siparia in March, Smith and the late Boscoe Holder Acrylic on canvas
36 x 36 inches 1978. His mother, Lydia Waldrop, who all gave him advice on 30 x 24 inches
recognizing his artistic talent, improving his technique.
encouraged him and at the age of Alexander has an Associate
sixteen, Al received a silver medal Degree in Visual Communication
from the Shankar’s International and works as a graphic designer. Born in Trinidad, Tessa
Children’s Art competition. Al’s studied Fashion Design
work has been influenced by and Merchandising at the
International Academy of Design
and Technology and worked in
that field, winning several awards.
In 1998, she decided to put her
creative expression into painting
having her first solo exhibition in
2004. Since then she has held 5
solo exhibitions and participated
in several group exhibitions. She
has attended residencies in India
and Nigeria and her work can be
found in collections in Germany,
Canada, the US and regionally.
She remains committed to art
education for children.

36 37
DEAN ARLEN EMHEYO BAHABBA
Buy One, Get One Free (2010) Dean Arlen attended Ontario studio practice, creating an urban Embah had his first solo work can be found in many Well Said (2011)
Mixed Media College of Art and Design, on a philosophical art and design exhibition in1976 and can be private collections in Trinidad and Mixed Media
61 x 81 inches Commonwealth Fellowship.This language.Among them are the described as Trinidad and Tobago and abroad. Recently, 30 x 10 x 10 inches
augmented his jewellery studies, UWI sculptural project and the Tobago’s foremost intuitive his work has been featured at
done at John Donaldson Technical AlterEgo Project. artist. He has had seventeen solo White Columns art gallery in New Well Spoken (2011)
Institute in Trinidad and his visual exhibitions in twenty-six years and York,attracting critical attention. Mixed Media
arts diploma completed at the has also taken part in a number He says, ”My artwork enables 30 x 10 x 10 inches
University of the West Indies. His of group shows, among them me to present controversial
projects are extensions of his the Trinidad Art Society’s Annual statements, especially those Monument II (2009)
November shows and Caribbean related to culture without adding Mixed Media
Focus in 1986 in England. His to the ungainly bulk of rhetoric”. 53 x 68 x 10 inches

38 39
PAT BISHOP EDWARD BOWEN
Yes We Can . . . We Had Better (2009) Born in 1963, Eddie, as he is He has been working on a Electric Palm (2012)
Mixed Media known, lives and is working in continuously evolving series of Mixed Media
24 x 18 inches studios at Sans Souci and Port of work entitled, “The Architect of 33 x 23 inches
Spain, Trinidad. Impossible Physics”, since 1987.
The Wizard’s House (2012)
Mixed Media
A recipient of the country’s 48 x 36 inches
highest National Award, at that
time, the Trinity Cross, Pat
Bishop (1942-2011) continued to
paint throughout her life, all the
while succeeding at being choir
mistress, lecturer, civil servant
Carnival institute Director and
several other quite extraordinary
personages. Her non-objective
style centers around themes
drawn from literature, music
and the physical environment
and invites deep philosophical
speculation. She studied at
Durham University in the United
Kingdom.

40 41
SARAH BURROWS PAT Farrell-Frederick
Gauntlet (2012) Sarah began drawing at a very several of the Art Society’s group Pat was born in Trinidad & Society exhibitions and has had It Does Not Rain . . . (2011)
Graphite on paper young age. However when she exhibitions and held her first solo Tobago, After high school , she several one-woman exhibitions. Fabric collage
21 x 21 inches was 15, she entered and won exhibition in January 2012. She pursued a degree in Clothing Pat combines her love of fabric 19 x 19 inches
her first art competition. It was is also the official fabric artist for and Textiles and was introduced and paper with weaving and
then she decided that art would “The Art of Wear”. to weaving. She now has two found objects to produce mixed
be something she would do for floor looms and a variety of media collages. She has been
the rest of her life. Her media other looms. She taught Textile encouraged and inspired by local
of choice are pencils and fabric Science and Applied Art at John artists, Pat Chu Foon, Kenwyn
paints. She has participated in Donaldson Technical Institute for Crichlow, Carlisle Harris and Elsa
29 years. She has exhibited at Art Clarke.

42 43
MARLON GRIFFITH SHEVI HADAWAY
Powder Box (Schoolgirl series) (2008) Marlon Griffith b.1976,started been an artist in residence in The Hunter (2007)
3 digital photographs his artistic practice as a Carnival Johannesburg (2004) Japan Acrylic
Dimensions variable designer—a “mas’ man,” as (2005); Kingston, Jamaica (2007); 21 x 17 inches
Trinidadians would call him. This and New York (2011). In 2010,
background deeply shapes his Marlon was the recipient of a
work as a contemporary visual Guggenheim Fellowship and of a
artist, which has performative, Commonwealth Award. He has Shevi Hadaway is a graphic
participatory, and ephemeral been residing and working in designer, fine artist and fashion
characteristics. Griffith has Nagoya, Japan since 2009. designer who has always enjoyed
art and boldly states the best
part of being an artist is that it is
challenging all the time. “I can
remember spending most of my
childhood just drawing and being
inspired to make and design
anything and everything! My
graphic design and fashion line
Shevi La Ville has done very well
under my creative direction since
opening in 2007”.

44 45
ABIGAIL HADEED CARLISLE HARRIS
Mighty Shadow (1994) Abigail Hadeed lives in Hadeed represented Trinidad Carlisle Harris’ career spans In 1998, he took early retirement To See the Light (2010)
Gelatin silver print, selenium toned Trinidad and has produced at the 1998 Sao Paulo Biennale a period of well over twenty five from his job as Vice Principal of Acrylic on canvas
12 x 34 inches substantial archives of artwork and the 2006 Havana Biennale, (25) years during which time he a Technical Institute so that he 51 x 50 inches
spanning more than two decades. Cuba. In 2011 she was part of a has shown regularly both in solo could focus on his studio practice
Exodus (1992) Her photographs possess group exhibition About Change – and group exhibitions locally and which he maintains to the present Sacred Pulse (2010)
Gelatin silver print, selenium toned documentary and historical Wrestling With the Image, at The internationally. time. Acrylic on canvas
32 x 12 inches qualities yet are simultaneously Museum of the Americas. Most 51 x 50 inches
personalised and humanitarian. recently, her work features in His works are done in acrylic and
Spiritual Mother, Panyard (1992) Her archives include extensive Pictures from Paradise (2012), a mixed media.
Gelatin silver print, selenium toned documentation in traditional book on Contemporary Caribbean
10 x 32 inches carnival, steel band, and theatre. Photography.

46 47
JACKIE HINKSON MICHELLE ISAVA
The Averted Head Savannah Space “I can pay Hinkson no deeper Caribbean. His range includes Michelle Isava (b.1985) is drawing, painting, installation Morena Memory (2009)
(2008) (1985) compliment than to summon the oils and murals that explore the of Trinidadian / Venezuelan and video. Her primary interest is Video
Cedar Watercolour same admiration and technical contemporary social and urban Citizenship. She attained her the body as an object and what it Dimensions variable
54 x 18 inches 20 x 26 inches astonishment for him as I do for landscape. For over 12 years, B.A. Visual Arts at the University has the potential to reveal about
Winslow Homer.” – Derek Walcott Jackie has created figurative of the West Indies. Isava is a the subject. Most recently in
Lambeau Descent Overgrowth (2012) Jackie Hinkson, born in Port sculpture. For his lifelong conceptual artist who straddles 2011 she performed during the
(2004) Watercolour of Spain in 1942, is Trinidad’s dedication to his work , Hinkson different media and genres to Choreographers Collective (Co Co)
Watercolour 12 x 16 inches leading watercolorist, an art was awarded an Honorary place the priority on message and Dance Festival.
10 x 14 inches that he has sought to perfect to Doctorate by the University of the experience. She experiments with
capture the light and forms of the West Indies in 2011.

48 49
HABIB JAHOOR TRACEY JOHNSON
Antarctica (2011) Habib Jahoor was born in 1939 Habib has worked on drawings, Trained in Canada, artist solo exhibitions in Trinidad, Guru Plaster Dome Graffiti is Lots of
Samaan in San Fernando, Trinidad. He and mural size oil paintings. Tracey Johnson has attracted her latest at Soft Box studios (1985) Funk (2011)
30 x 12 inches taught art at secondary school for His main interest, however, is in attention for her photorealist featuring images associated with Oil on canvas Oil on canvas
many years. sculpture, having worked in stone, work. Johnson started her craft social ills in the society. 17 x 12 inches 12 x 17 inches
Anahata (2011) concrete and bronze. in portraiture, and then moved to
Teak In 1968, he was granted an art colourful, dancing, illustrative pop Hello Mr Tikoloche It’s Alright to
22 x 12 inches scholarship and graduated from art, and now to black and white (2011) Relaxing (2011)
California College of Arts with his realistic paintings of extracted Oil on canvas Oil on canvas
master’s degree in 1972. photography. She has had several 17 x 12 inches 12 x 17 inches

50 51
MAKEMBA KUNLE CHE LOVELACE
Whe-Whe Chart (1990) Che Lovelace studied fine art at methodology, yet interconnected Tiled (2011)
Mixed Media L’Ecole Regionale des Beaux Arts by way of subject and conceptual Oil on Board
60 x 24 inches de la Martinique. associations. 50 x 60 inches

Characteristically, his attitude The last several years have seen Truck (2011)
has been marked by a need to see him develop a body of work that Oil on Board
With a career spanning over
his cultural environment through cultivates an exchange between 90 x 60 inches
two decades, Makemba has not
a wide lens. He formalizes his performance and painting.
only created outstanding works
experience via cycles of art He lives and works in Port of
of fine art but he has also made
production that are diverse Spain.
it his duty to create avenues of
in materials, approach and
opportunity for generations of
young artists to come. He has
also developed educational and
training programmes geared
specifically for young artists
in the country. Makemba has
represented Trinidad and Tobago
as both administrator and artist
at a number of international
symposia.

Makemba, the artist, first


showed his work in 1973 at the
Art Society’s Annual Exhibition.
Since then, he has exhibited
on innumerable occasions in
solo and collaborative projects
throughout the country and
internationally.

52 53
SHASTRI MAHARAJ WENDELL MCSHINE
Untitled (2008) Wendell MCShine is a multi- He recently completed a large Prosper (2008)
Acrylic on canvas media artist, resident in Mexico, mural along with the students Installation
13 x 25 inches whose production encompasses of Success Laventille Secondary Dimensions variable
video, painting, drawing and School in Laventille, Trinidad.
Portrait (2011) mural painting. His work also His work is said to represent “a
Acrylic on canvas explores popular forms like T lucid cross pollination expressed
22 x 33 inches shirts, hats, bags and other items. through stunning iconography”.

Shastri Maharaj was born on the


24th of January, 1953. He was
educated at Naparima College,
San Fernando and later gained
his teacher’s diploma at the
Valsayn Teacher’s College. In
1982 he entered the University of
Manitoba, School of Art, majoring
in painting and received his BFA
in 1985. He obtained his Master
of Education (M. Ed) from UWI in
1990.

His artwork reflects a cross


section of themes, which are
presented in different artistic
mannerisms. His exhibitions
deal with his exploration in
the language of paint and
his paintings vary from a
highly representational or
formal approach to a crude,
unpretentious or elementary
manner.

Maharaj is Curriculum
Coordinator for Visual and
Performing Arts at the Ministry of
Education, Trinidad and Tobago.

54 55
WILCOX MORRIS WENDY NANAN
Surrender (2006) After graduation from 1990 at an exhibition at the OAS Wendy Nanan was born in many sided craftsmanship, her The Bounce (2011)
Acrylic on canvas Howard University’s College of in Washington, DC. Many of his 1955, into an Indo- Trinidadian ‘connectedness to materials’. Papier Maché
33 x 25 inches Fine Art, Tobagonian artist Wilcox works depict local themes such family. She trained in Britain as In recent years, Nanan has 28 x 34 x 8 inches
Morris spent three years in as folklore, music, and carnival. a painter. Since her return to made increased use of eastern
The Gate Keeper (2006) Germany. Inspiration came from He has been featured on several Port of Spain in 1979, she has iconography while continuing to Queen Head (2011)
Oil on canvas with mixed media visiting the Louvre, Van Gogh television stations in Trinidad, worked mainly in painting and forge links with Creole Trinidadian Papier Maché
20 x 16 inches Museum, the Vatican Museum the USA and Germany and his sculpture. Early involvement in forms. 16 x 16 x 16 inches
(Rome) and other art museums work has been reviewed in The constructing traditional carnival
and galleries. One of his paintings Washington Post, in Germany and costumes is evident in her Queen Head (2011)
featured in this exhibition, in France. Papier Maché
“Surrender” was censored in 17 x 10 x 12 inches

56 57
BUNTY O’CONNOR LISA O’CONNOR
Messenger (2012) Bunty was educated in Trinidad. extensively looking at the pottery Lisa O’Connor was born in Arts Degree (Honours) in 1988. Going to the Reef, Store Bay (2011)
Ceramic She learned the art of pottery of other cultures. From 1986 to Kingston, Jamaica in 1965 and Her medium has been oils on Oil on canvas
8 x 10 inches making from Holly Guyadeen at the present, she has given art moved with her family to Trinidad canvas and she paints employing 20 x 20 inches
the University of the West Indies, classes every year in the art of in 1977. an impasto technique in the
Extra Mural Department. From raku. In 1987 she launched a impressionist tradition. She has
the age of eighteen, she has been small pottery business “Ajoupa She attended the Art Institute of exhibited widely in Trinidad and
experimenting with locally found Pottery” with Husband Rory. Boston and the Massachusetts Tobago, Jamaica, the United
clays and materials which can be Since 1985 she has participated College of Art from where she Kingdom and in the United States.
used in both glazes and bodies. in several group exhibitions and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine
She has attended workshops in has held several one-woman
the U.K. and France and travelled exhibitions. Her newest work
involves the addition of bagasse
(sugar cane waste) to local clay. In
2012 she completed the Stations
of the Cross for the Anglican
Church in Black Rock, Tobago.

58 59
STEVE OUDITT SHAWN PETERS
BLUR BS (2006) Steve Ouditt has exhibited his Universidad Nacional in Santo In 1973, Shawn Peters was born understand the possibilities of A Diamond in the Dust (2003)
Oil pastel on paper installations in Cuba, China, New Domingo, Dominican Republic. into an artistic family where art. Shawn continues to develop Mahogany
87 x 38 inches York, London, Iceland, Dominican he would often sit and observe a complex system of mixed media 9 x 12 inches
Republic, Kassel, Guadeloupe Ouditt studied at the School of his father sculpting while they sculptural expressions. Shawn
and Trinidad. Visual Arts in New York City, spoke. After meeting Makemba has been exhibiting in Trinidad
Goldsmiths College in London Kunle, Shawn began exploring and has taken part in numerous
Ouditt was Curator of Research and the Jan van Eyck Academy in his ability to paint. However, exhibitions abroad for the last
and Education at inIVA, London. Holland. He has been lecturing he credits Leroy Clarke as the thirteen years.
He taught for two years at at The UWI, St. Augustine, since one who really helped him to
the School of Architecture in 2003.
Kingston, Jamaica and at the

60 61
GARVIN PIERRE RICHARD RAWLINS
Untitled (2012) Born in 1954, Garvin Pierre Art gallery and continued to RICHARD RAWLINS is a graphic contemporary art-space initiative. Chinese Workers (2012)
Acrylic on wood studied Graphic Design at the be prolific with group and solo designer and contemporary artist Rawlins has designed numerous Installation
12 x 10 inches John Donaldson Technical exhibitions at regular intervals. living and working in Trinidad and art catalogues and has exhibited 96 x 36 x 36 inches
institute in Trinidad before Over the years he has had Tobago. Rawlins is the publisher his work at the Museum of Art
spending several years at several health challenges but has of the online magazine Draconian and Design in New York, USA. In
advertising agencies. He had continued to produce, recently Switch (www.artzpub.com), a co- October 2012, Rawlins will be a
begun painting as a member of moving towards the incorporation founder of Trinidad and Tobago’s resident artist at Vermont Studio
the Workshop group that met of three-dimensional elements Erotic Art Week exhibition, and Center in the USA.
at the National Museum and into his work. collaborator in the Alice Yard

62 63
RACHEL ROCHFORD GLENN ROOPCHAND
Bakery Attendant, Born in Trinidad in 1978, Rachel The three heads in this exhibition Crossroad (2009)
La Romain (2008) Amy Rochford is a graduate of The highlight the ever-changing Mixed media
Acrylic on canvas University Of Reading, UK with condition of the Trinbagonian, 59 x 45 inches
16 x 16 inches a Bachelor’s Degree (First Class a local mask from the faces of
Honours), Fine Art. Since 2001 our people. Everyone who sees Dougla Rhapsody (2009)
“To leave a company in she has exhibited in numerous these paintings recalls someone Mixed media
charge of holding evidence solo and group exhibitions. She is that they know, who claims the 48 x 60 inches
to be used against it is just currently a Lecturer in Ceramics essence of the being that has
absurd”, Point Fortin (2008) at UWI, St. Augustine, Trinidad. been created.
Acrylic on canvas Glenn’s career began as an
16 x 16 inches apprentice to renowned artist,
Carlisle Chang, with whom he
Think It Over, Man (2008) worked in the areas of painting,
Acrylic on canvas mural, costume and stage
16 x 16 inches designs. Through the Prime
Minister’s Best Village Trophy
competition, Glenn was awarded
a scholarship to study art at Pratt
Institute, N.Y. and the Art Students
League, N.Y., returning to Trinidad
in the late 1970s. Now resident in
Montclair, New Jersey, Glenn had
the honor of recreating his mentor
Carlisle Chang’s great mural,
“The Inherent Nobility of Man” in
2008 for the National Museum and
Art Gallery, Port of Spain.

64 65
SHALINI SEEREERAM ANNA serrao
The Key (2012) Passing Cloud (1982)
Mixed media Assemblage
14 x 10 inches 24 x 12 x 12 inches

Born in Trinidad in January Anna Serrao is an artist,


1972, Shalini’s paintings designer and teacher. She studied
emphasize characteristic postures sculpture and drawing in the UK.
derived from East Indian dance During this time, Anna traveled
and culture. Shalini uses acrylics, extensively where she was able
nail polish, collage and metal in to observe and study first-hand
her pieces, perhaps derived from many fine examples of Art and
her years of study in Graphics Design in Europe and North
and Jewelry, at times making America.
use of discarded window frames.
She has exhibited locally and Anna has maintained a varied
also in the United States at the career in the Visual Arts,
Organization of American States producing and exhibiting both
(OAS) Headquarters hosted by the Fine Art and Design work. She is
Embassy of the Rep. of Trinidad currently a Lecturer in Visual Arts
and Tobago, Washington D.C. at the UWI, St Augustine and the
University of Trinidad and Tobago
and a designer of lights and
chandeliers for public and private
buildings, which she produces in
her design workshop.

66 67
IRENEE SHAW PETER SHEPPARD
Ingestion and Expulsion (2004) Stand pipe (2009)
Acrylic on paper Acrylic on canvas
96 x 30 inches (two panels) 2 x 2 inches

Washing (2011)
Acrylic on canvas
Born: 1963, Port of Spain, 2 x 2 inches
Trinidad & Tobago. Irénée Shaw
is a practising artist’ living Standing (2011)
and working in Trinidad. She Acrylic on canvas
is a figurative painter. She has 3 x 4 inches
shown her work locally and
internationally since her return
from study in the United States Born in Trinidad in 1967, Peter
in 1988. The artist has done has developed his own signature
numerous commissions in the of stylized realism, appearing
Caribbean and in Germany, most typical of our environment. He
notably the CLICO “Pioneers of studied Communication Design
the Caribbean” Calendar series at The International Fine Arts
in 1995. The artist was a resident College in Miami in the early
at the Vermont Artists Studios in 80’s. Currently, he is the 1st Vice
2002. President of The Art Society
of Trinidad and Tobago and a
member of the Barbados Arts
Council and The Hilliard Society of
Miniature Painters in the U.K. and
has had solo exhibitions annually
in Trinidad and Tobago since 1994.

68 69
KEITH SWANSTON RODELL WARNER
Nexus (2010) Worker Portrait (2009)
Wood Digital photograph
17 x 9 inches 36 x 24 inches

Keith Swanston works with Rodell Warner (b. 1986) is


wood, stone and concrete. a Trinidadian graphic designer
and photographer. In 2012,
He is a graduate of Eastern Rodell made the exhibition
Michigan University, USA with a “Common Room - observations
BFA Degree. and comments on public-public
communication” in Johannesburg
At Piarco international Airport using a variety of disciplines
his large wood sculpture ‘’Iere” is including photography and
displayed. performance, and, in 2011,
showed in group exhibitions in
His most recent showing was a London, New York, Washington and
joint exhibition with the works of Maracaibo.
the venerated Boscoe Holder.
Keith is a retired Visual Arts Rodell is a recipient of the 2011
Teacher having taught since 1973 Commonwealth Connections
and his sculpture and paintings International Arts Residency
can be found in private collections and curates the often-updated
in Trinidad and Tobago and toomucheyes.com, ‘A version of
abroad. Trinidad’.

70 71
ADAM WILLIAMS
Untitled (2010) Untitled (2010) Adam Williams was born in He currently works out of his
Ceramic Ceramic Trinidad in 1982 and grew up here home, where he has a ceramic
11 x 7 inches 11 x 6 inches and in Barbados. He attended the and painting studio. He also
Ontario College of Art and Design teaches ceramics and piano.
Egg (2010) (OCAD) in Toronto from 2000
Ceramic to 2004, and the Creative Arts
12 x 8 inches Centre, UWI, St Augustine.

72 73
The ART OF
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Geoffrey Maclean

INTRODUCTION Known students of Cazabon include James Lushington


Wildman (b.1826 d.1878), Secretary to Lord Harris,
The people of Trinidad and Tobago are among the most Margaret McLeod Mann (b.1827 d.1905), wife of a mil-
ethnically and culturally mixed in the world. From this itary officer attached to the Harris administration,
mix, there has developed a high degree of artistic free- and the German-Trinidadian, Vincent Leon Wehekind
dom, embracing not only painting and sculpture, but (b.1856 d.1907)
also music through the development of pan, and calyp-
so with its cynical social commentary. In Trinidad and Apart from the work of Cazabon’s students, there are
Tobago, the annual festival of Carnival is an expression few examples of Trinidadian art from the end of the
of theatre and dance in which large numbers of people nineteenth century. Theodora Walter (b.1869 d.1959),
participate. Recognised internationally for their inde- daughter of a Trinidadian mother and grand-daughter
pendent creative interpretations, artists in Trinidad of the English watercolourist, Theodore Walter (b.1832
and Tobago express themselves in literature, sculp- d.1914), was a skilled botanical painter. She produced
ture, pottery, mas’ and pan, religious and other festi- several studies of the Trinidadian landscape, of which
vals and in the design of jewelry, fashion and wearable Nudes at Macqueripe Bay is possibly the best known.
art on t-shirts.

TWENTIETH CENTURY (To 1955)


NINETEENTH CENTURY
Anglophone West Indian nationalism which began
There are few known examples of art prior to the nine- to be politically vocal with the labour riots of the
teenth century other than the decorative sculpture and 1930’s, was matched by similar activities in the arts.
ceramics of the pre-Columbians. In the nineteenth The growing movement away from European stan- Opposite page
century we see the work of Richard (Hicks) Bridgens dards was formalised with the emergence in 1929 of Mulatto Girl (c.1850)
(b.1785-d.1846), a sculptor, designer and architect. In a group called The Society of Trinidad Independents. Michel-Jean
1825, he moved to Trinidad where his wife had inher- The Independents gathered in private homes, painted Cazabon (b.1813
ited a sugar plantation. In 1836, he printed West India and discussed the arts and developed their ideas. d.1888)
Scenery, with Illustrations of Negro Character, the pro- Watercolour
cess of making sugar, etc. from sketches taken during Amy Leong Pang (b.1908 d.1989) was one of the
a voyage to, and residence in, the island of Trinidad. founding members and under her guidance the art-
Bridgens’ work is an early record of life in Trinidad. ists grouped themselves into an informal alliance
which can be said to have become the first School of
Michel-Jean Cazabon (b.1813 d.1888) is Trinidad and Trinidadian painting. Included in this group was Hugh
Tobago’s first recognised painter. He studied art in Stollmeyer (b.1813 d.1981), to whom Leong Pang was
Paris. It is not known what school Cazabon attend- particularly close. The Independents published their
ed, but family legend is that he attended the Ecole own paper, The Beacon, intended for the enlightenment
des Beaux-Arts and that he was a student of Paul of the society’s conservative attitudes. This established
Delaroche (b.1797 d.1856). important linkages with the literary and progressive
political movements of the time. Their ideas were
In Trinidad, Cazabon described himself as a landscape considered outrageous and immoral - their exhibitions
painter, and his style followed closely that of the French of nudes were considered to be highly improper - and
Landscape School. His love of watercolour as a medi- the Independents survived only until 1938. But the
um is a development of that philosophical training. influence of this small but courageous group was far
75
Associated with the Trinidad Art Society was the
Southern Trinidad Art Society and the Pointe-a-
Pierre Arts and Crafts Society which flourished in the
1950’s with the energetic support of both Bro. Fergus
Griffin (b.1916 d.1981) of Presentation College and the
English teacher/artist Leslie Melton. Members includ-
ed Patricia Guppy-Widdup, Gerald Daly (b.1909 d.1988),
Knolly Greenidge (b.1937 d.1998) and Jesse Packer
(b.1878 d.1968). Bro. Fergus Griffin was also a mem-
ber of the Art Society and a critic at their exhibitions.
reaching. The individual nature of Trinidad’s contem- Returning to Trinidad, she became active in the pro- Membership to the Trinidad Art Society, up until the Leslie Melton won the first prize in the Texaco compe-
Fish Market (1939) porary art is ascribed to these roots. motion of the arts, assisting in the formation of the late 1950’s, had been considered to be exclusive, due tition for the opening of their new offices in 1959 Knolly Mask (c. 1980)
Amy Leong Pang Trinidad Art Society. Atteck studied Inca pottery when in part to the support and patronage of those who rep- Greenidge (b.1937 d.2003) was a self-taught artist. He Ken Morris
(b.1908 d.1989) Boscoe Holder (b.1921 d.2007), a student and friend she visited Peru and in 1948 studied under the German resented the colonial administration. In 1960, however, began painting seriously in 1967 when he joined the (b.1926 d.1990)
Watercolour of Leong Pang’s, benefited from the freedom encour- Expressionist painter, Max Beckmann, at St. Louis after the Backyard Exhibition in Argyll Lane in Lower Pointe-a-Pierre Arts and Crafts Society and became Copper repoussé
aged by the Independents. A musician, dancer and University, Missouri, in the United States. Laventille, showing the work of Ken Morris (b.1924 a student of Br. Griffin. Working mainly in waterco- with rhinestones
painter, Holder developed original concepts for each d.1990), Leo Glasgow (b.1926 d.2009), Pat Chu Foon lour, Greenidge’s paintings were, until late on in his 46 x 34.5 inches
Still Life with Fruit of his artistic disciplines, strongly influenced by a Atteck’s return to Trinidad and Tobago in the latter part (b.1931 d.1998) and the sculptors, Raphael Samuel life, monochromatic. The subject of his paintings is
Sybil Atteck black consciousness. This was manifested in his paint- of 1948 heralded a new movement in art. Throughout and Babba Holder, membership became more open. the landscape of southern Trinidad, painted in a non- Save the Ridge
(b.1911 d.1945) ings of beautiful black figures - graceful, elongated the 1950’s and into the early 1960’s, her Trinidadian Supported by Sir Hugh Wooding and Drs. Ralph and objective manner. (2011)
forms, articulate and exotic in their representation. Expressionism influenced the younger artists: Nina Wilma Hoyte among others, members of this group Earl Manswell
Lamming (Squires), Carlisle Chang, Leo Glasgow were admitted into the Trinidad Art Society and were In 1961, with the formation of the Tobago Art Group, Oil on canvas
In the 1940’s, it can be said that intellectual indepen- (b.1931) and generally the members of the Trinidad Art able to establish acceptance for the intuitive artist. art activity in Tobago was formalised under Edward 18 x 20 inches
dence came of age and in the arts there was great free- Society. The strong geometric forms of their compo- Hernandez (b.1935). Hernandez was very active in vari-
dom of expression. Art began to mirror Trinidad and sitions and the use of symbols of national identity as Prominent among the intuitives of that time was Leo ous aspects of art including painting, sculpture and
Tobago’s cultural and ethnic diversity. In addition, the the subjects of their expressions, reflect the increased Basso (1901-1982). Although self-taught, Basso was the graphic arts. The TAG in those days included art-
new consciousness of a rich pre-Columbian heritage self-awareness and national pride brought about by strongly influenced by his mentor, the neo-impression- ists like Enola Arnold and Alfred James. The Division
was added to an already cosmopolitan mix. This is best Trinidad and Tobago’s move toward political indepen- ist French painter, Pierre Lelong, then living in Trinidad of Culture and the Trinidad Art Society supported the
expressed by Boscoe Holder, Sybil Atteck (1911-1975) dence. In 1955, Atteck’s Still Life with Fruit was accept- and who once described Basso as the only artist in Tobago Art Group which conducted workshops and
and M.P. Alladin (1919 -1970). ed for the Summer Exhibition of the Royal Academy in Trinidad with a sense of colour. Alfred Codallo (b.1913- exhibitions involving both adults and children.
London. d.1971) with his watercolours, illustrations and ren-
Sybil Atteck started her artistic career in the ear- derings, created indelible imagery of Trinidad and
ly 1930’s, making scientific drawings and waterco- The Trinidad Art Society was founded on 8th September Tobago’s folklore characters. These included Trinidad ERA OF POLITICAL INDEPENDENCE
lour renderings of insect life and flora for the Imperial 1943. The Society has played a major role in the devel- Folklore (1958), one of the seminal works of the soon
College of Tropical Agriculture. In 1938, she attend- opment and appreciation of art and has acted as a cat- to be independent nation. Dominic Isaac (b.1920) and Trinidad and Tobago became politically independent in
ed the Regent Street Polytechnic in London, where alyst for criticism and comment. Marcelio Hovell (b.1924) also developed distinctive 1962. Artistic expression was encouraged at the high-
she studied fine art for a year and later visited Italy. intuitive styles. est political level and public collections were estab-

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lished with the participation of virtually every Ministry Willi Chen (b.1938) and Audley Sue Wing (b.1939). Sue Another scholarship winner, this time an open aca- later in Edmonton, Canada, preferred plein-air water-
and Authority of Government. Sybil Atteck was com- Wing’s New Dawn was a prize winner- together with demic scholarship, was Pat Bishop (1942-2011) who colour as the medium best suited to capturing the
missioned to design two murals for the reception George Lynch’s Planting the Chaconia: the Birth of a taught at the Jamaica Art School after leaving Durham unique light of the tropics. His style, though objective,
lobby at a new hotel on Belmont Hill owned by the Nation – of a competition sponsored by the National University in England. She returned to Trinidad in the remained conscious of abstract elements which made
Government of Trinidad and Tobago and leased to Independence Committee in 1962. Dominic Isaac won late 1960’s. up his over-all composition.
Hilton International. The terracotta murals executed the prize for naïve painting.
in Atteck’s earlier more classical style, are construct- The late 1960’s witnessed a period of relative indiffer- A new dimension was added to landscape painting by
ed of individual but interlocking ceramic panels and Academic training was evident in the work of Isaiah ence in the arts. However, following the Black Power the presence of Don R. Eckelberry (b.1921 d.2001), the
portray, in relief, life in Trinidad and Tobago. Carlisle James Boodhoo (1932 -2004), Ralph Baney (1929) and disturbances of 1970, a new beginning emerged, American ornithologist and wild-life artist, at the Asa
Chang completed the designs and execution for two Sonnylal Rambissoon (1926 -1995). They had British manifested in the work of Boodhoo and LeRoy Clarke Wright Nature Centre near Arima, who encouraged
murals - on the themes of the Scarlet Ibis and the Blue Council scholarships to study Fine Art in England (b.1938). artists in studies of wild life. These included Larry
Emperor butterfly - for two of the reception rooms at at the Brighton College of Art, where they had spe- Mosca (b.1953) and Edward Rooks (b.1958), both well
the same hotel and with Ken Morris produced a copper cialized in Painting, Sculpture and Printmaking known for their meticulously crafted ornithological
mural for the Carnival Room. The art collections of the respectively. All three returned to Trinidad in 1964. THE NINETEEN SEVENTIES paintings. Neil Massy (b.1959) also studied at the Asa
Trinidad Hilton Hotel and The Central Bank of Trinidad Wright Nature Centre.
and Tobago are among the finest from this period.. By 1968 Boodhoo felt that his art had become too pre- The introduction of large public sculpture to Trinidad
dictable and he left for the United States where he was and Tobago was the work of Pat Chu Foon. Chu Foon The work of Lisa Henry-Chu Foon (b.1947-d.1997) was
Carlisle Chang’s Inherent Nobility of Man, designed exposed to the contemporary art scene of America: the learned the fundamentals of sculpting while appren- first seen in Trinidad and Tobago in the early 1970’s.
for Trinidad’s new Piarco International Airport in 1962, action painters and abstract expressionists. Boodhoo ticed to a manufacturer of handmade toys in the late Henry-Chu Foon was born in Stockholm, Sweden and
his mural Conquerabia for the new Port of Spain City brought the idea of social and political commentary 1940’s. Through Sybil Atteck and the “boys behind the educated at St. Martin’s College in London. She came
Hall and Cosmic Event on the facade for the new Textel with him when he returned to Trinidad and Tobago, lat- bridge” (an economically challenged area); Ken Morris to Trinidad in 1971. Henry-Chu Foon was active in the
building in Port of Spain, established him as Trinidad er expressed in his commentaries on the Black Power with his copper reliefs and Raphael Samuel with his Trinidad Art Society, teaching CXC and A-level students
and Tobago’s leading national artist of the time. The Revolution of 1970. naïve wood carvings, Chu Foon was able to develop as well as holding classes for adults.
later destruction of the Inherent Nobility of Man to his skills and in 1963 attended the University of the
make way for the extension of the Airport buildings in Ralph Baney and his wife Vera (b.1930 d.2008)” exhib- Americas where he studied Fine Art; and in 1967 the Throughout the sixties, Carnival bandleaders like
1977, coincided with the end of Chang’s painting career. ited their work in Trinidad on a regular basis between Universidad National de Mexico, Academia San Carlos, Harold Saldenah, George Bailey and others had
He resumed painting towards the latter part of his life 1966 and 1971. Pursuing sculpture and ceramics, the where he studied sculpture. brought greater focus to the artistic qualities of the
but by then the years had taken their toll.. Baneys pioneered the use of local materials for clay Trinidad Carnival. Indeed, the artist Carlisle Chang had
and glazes. Ralph Baney works in bronze, wood and In Trinidad and Tobago, there was a renewed aware- brought his considerable talents to bear in bands like
Chang’s influence on the artists of this period is particu- stone. Vera Baney worked in fired clay. ness of African heritage, manifested through the “China: the Forbidden City “and “Kabuki”.
larly strong in the work of Leo Glasgow (b.1926 d.2010), paintings and poetry of LeRoy Clarke and Carlisle
Harris (b.1945). Fuelled by the philosophy of the Black In 1974, Peter Minshall (b.1941) presented at Trinidad
Power Movement in the United States where he lived in and Tobago’s annual Carnival, an individual costume
the early 1970’s, Clarke sought to provide visual form that marked a new era in Carnival design. Worn by
Study for Inherent to the strong cultural, political and social associa- his sister, Cherry-Ann Coelho, Hummingbird stunned
Nobility of Man tions between Trinidad and Tobago and Africa, through viewers at a Carnival costume competition in the
(1962) his powerful images. Clarke’s work, reminiscent in Savannah when she opened her folded wings in an
Carlisle Chang style and iconography to Cuba’s Wifredo Lam (b.1902 explosion of colour and movement. Later, Minshall’s
(b.1921 d. 2001) d.1992), established him as one of the great contem- robotic ManCrab, from his band River in 1983, dis-
porary artistic forces in Trinidad and Tobago. turbed his audience by creating the effect of bleeding
from the extremities of the crab’s claws, onto a pris-
Carlisle Harris first showed his work on his return tine white canopy. In his presentation, ManCrab was
from Howard University in the United States in 1973 the symbol of the destructive technology of our society
and has continued, in numerous one-person and group in contrast to the traditional purity of Washerwoman.
exhibitions, to identify ” the lofty and enobling” aspects By 1980, mas’, long regarded as the distant poor rela-
of the African experience. tion of “real art” had come of age.

The unrest of the early seventies also reawakened


the traditions of landscape particularly in watercolour THE NINETEEN EIGHTIES
painting. Noel Vaucrosson (b.1935-d.1996) and Jackie
Hinkson (b.1942) best represent this period. Hinkson, In the 1980’s Trinidad and Tobago experienced an
who was trained at the Academie Julien in Paris and economic upswing and consumer spending was

78 79
high. Some critics have argued that the largesse of a policy of showing the avant garde, academical-
this period resulted in a period of over-patronage ly trained and criticallyengaged artist, in many cases
and mediocrity in the arts. This development was newly returned from abroad, was openly articulated.
reversed in the mid-1980’s with the onset of eco- These younger artists set about questioning the notion
nomic recession in the wake of a collapse in oil pric- of art-in-service-to-the-nation that had prevailed since
es. The downturn brought about a period of intro- before independence.
spection in the arts and provided a new freedom to
the expression of a new generation of serious artists. Abstract and experimental work had set the stage
over the years with artists like Glean Chase, Shastri
In 1986 an exhibition of work from the region was shown Maharaj, Glenn Roopchand and in particular Francisco
at the Commonwealth Institute, in London. Caribbean Cabral being significant in this regard but Aquarela
Art Now was the first serious exhibition of Caribbean provided a space for work that questioned assumptions
artists to be mounted in Europe and despite the insti- of race, class and ethnicity, mocked the high serious-
tutional image of the venue, the exhibition created Just as we invented the steelpan transforming the oil THE NINETEEN NINETIES ness of the art establishment and created an increas-
considerable interest. Emheyo Bahabba (b.1938) or drum (the discard of a multinational presence) into a ingly learned debate about the role of art in the evolu-
Embah as he is known, Kenwyn Crichlow (b.1951) and musical instrument, the onslaught of technology and The attempted political coup of 1990 brought about a tion of the Nation that has continued to the present day.
Francisco Cabral (b.1949) from Trinidad and Tobago information is transformed by Cabral into signals of new period of introspection. The best example of this is
Caribbean Basin were the artists who most impressed the critics. warning to its disseminators ... in the work of Richard Ramsaran (b.1965) or Ashraph Among the artists who set the stage for the expand- It Came From Japan
(1982) as he is more popularly known. Ashraph expressed his ed approaches that prevailed at the beginning of the (c.1985)
John Stollmeyer Embah’s intuitive work was both mystical and nos- As Larry Mosca did in the seventies a young artist profound shock at the events of August 1990, in an exhi- new century, Christopher Cozier’s paintings, prints, Francisco Cabral
(b.1962) talgic, weaving symbols of Trinidad and Tobago’s breathed new life into the age-old landscape tradi- bition of work dedicated entirely to this period of social performances and installations explored his genera- (b.1949)
Enamelled basin and Amerindian and African heritage into his paintings, as tion. Lisa O’Connor (b.1965) became well known for and political turmoil. Christopher Cozier’s Fragment, tion’s relationship to traditional society, exposing the Car parts
chewing gum
well as themes of a narrative nature of social and tra- her impressionistic renderings, impasto technique and made from a clay block, a relic of one of the build- hypocrisy of Trinidad and Tobago’s independence from
15 x 3 inches
ditional interest. careful observation of light. O’Connor delighted in the ings destroyed during the days following the attempt- a colonial past and the subtle and sometimes not so
details of Trinidad and Tobago’s historic architecture, ed coup, is a poignant reminder of those events. From subtle, social and racial divisions within the national
Crichlow’s work was described in the words of in particular the play of ornate detailing with strong 1986 to 1997, Geoffrey MacLean’s Aquarela Galleries community.
Waldemar Januszczak in the exhibition catalogue for direct sunlight and the resulting intricate, yet playful, promoted Trinidad and Tobago’s avant-garde artists
the show: shadows. with regular exhibitions of work. Aquarela could be Wendy Nanan explored the irony of Trinidad and
seen as a turning point in the evolution of the art gal- Tobago’s culture through her inter-religious hybrid
Those gorgeous abstractions of Crichlow¹s were like a Also alongside the development of traditional painting lery in the Trinidad and Tobago context. explorations while Anna Serrao used sculptural forms
wish, a hope…An Africa of the heart he called it. For and sculpture was the work influenced by graphic de- derived from indigenous images and materials. Serrao
others, it has been a Shangri-la, Arcadia, Heaven, the sign and illustration techniques. This was perhaps best From its earliest beginnings in 1961 with Nina Squires, used compressed newspaper as the medium for many
Japanese flower garden at the bottom of the garden represented by Stuart Hahn (b.1949) and Steve Ouditt the commercial art gallery had been evolving. In the of her sculptures, making them identifiable in time and
built for himself by Crichlow¹s beloved Monet, some- (b.1961), two artists of widely differing approaches. In- 1970’s, Kacal’s gallery at the Hilton partnered with place.
where peaceful, somewhere better. fluenced by the style of Art Nouveau and initially by the William Gordon to produce serious exhibitions and to
work of Aubrey Beardsley, Hahn’s favourite medium promote artists such as Embah and Wendy Nanan. Edward Bowen, through his popular studio classes, did
Crichlow had trained at Goldsmith’s College, University was crayon. His drawings, of which the most important From 1978, Art Creators, an art gallery located in St much to awaken the curiosity of students to the many
of London, but his greatest influence was Isaiah James element was the human form, were mainly erotic or Anns, provided space for artists like Jackie Hinkson, facets of artistic expression. His surreal narratives and
Boodhoo, with whom he maintained a close relation- religious-erotic in content, the latter subtly and inextri- Noel Vaucrosson, Sarah Beckett and Nobel Prize win- bold abstractions explored humour, generally absent in
ship until Boodhoo’s death in 2004. cably combined. In those early days, Ouditt used erotic ner, Derek Walcott among many others before its clo- art till then and reveled in freedom of expression. A bril-
symbolism for his black and white poster designs and sure in 2007, while 1234 Gallery, and the Ikon, begin- liant draftsman, Bowen’s work epitomized the revival
There had probably never been as much controversy eye catching distortions to attract attention. Single ning in the 1980’s, catered for an increasingly affluent of anti-art expression and contempt for the perceived
about the work of any artist in the Caribbean as there colours were used only to titillate intended interpreta- clientele. conservatism of Trinidadian artistic appreciation.
was about the work of Francisco Cabral. The disturb- tions. Ouditt was also one of the few artists from this
ing juxtaposition of everyday and familiar objects which period who experimented with the design of household The Ikon in particular dominated the early eighties with Irénée Shaw was a figurative painter whose approach
Cabral used in his sculpture, irritated the sensibilities objects and furniture, eventually moving toward con- Boodhoo’s seminal treatise on Walcott’s work ”The evolved from her involvement with perceptual painting.
of Trinidad and Tobago’s normally conservative or indif- ceptual and media based art. Star Apple Kingdom”, Ken Crichlow’s first showings The narrative of her autobiographical compositions
ferent public. Cabral emerged as the angry young man and a now-legendary exhibition by John Stollmeyer was derived from her experience as a woman in the
of the Commonwealth Institute exhibition. His chairs Ouditt became well known for his “Fertility Man” an which featured the satirical piece, ”Caribbean Basin”. society. Shaw explored feminist and religious issues,
were poignant reminders of a world gone wrong. Art outdoor sculptural piece done for Carifesta V that While there were some commonalities among the art- often through the extreme realism of her sometimes
critic Christopher Cozier says: created controversy based on its erotic content. ists shown at these galleries, it was at Aquarela that disarming self-portraits.

80 81
birth of CCA7, a sprawling industrial space supported Perhaps the best known of contemporary artists living Young to find a place outside of the traditional gallery
by international funding that facilitated exhibits, resi- in Tobago is Luise Kimme (1939-).   Kimme originally system (which so far has been notoriously unrespon-
dencies and workshops …. the necessity for CCA7 was from Germany moved to Tobago in 1979 and works from sive to anything other than painting of the most tra-
[rooted in] the fact that we wanted links with the region her studio in Bethel. Kimme carves elongated human ditional type), to create their work. The photographer,
and the world.” forms, inspired mainly by local folkloric characters: Rodell Warner, has also presented there.
calypsonians, dancers, Papa Bois, La Diablesse and
CCA7 introduced a Residency program which allowed Soucouyants. Her pieces are generally lifesize and Several very specific characteristics identify these
local artists the opportunity for dialogue with visiting larger but more recently, she has begun to work in young contemporaries, according to Christopher
artists. These included Starry Mwaba of Zambia, Sane bronze using the lost wax process at a much smaller Cozier. He affirms that these young artists are showing
Wadu of Kenya and Gigi Scaria of India. In 2002, inter- scale. and winning awards and participating in residencies
nationally acclaimed artist Peter Doig set up his studio internationally. While they remain unknown and tend
at CCA7 followed in 2005 by Chris Ofili. Self-taught Trinidadian artist Martin Superville also not to be able to show in Trinidad and Tobago, there is
Fragment (1990) lives in Tobago. He began painting professionally in a lively on-line dialogue between them and their audi-
Christopher Cozier Younger artists who made use of options available 1988. His medium of choice is oils and his paintings ences. Indeed they can be said to operate in the “criti-
(b.1959) at CCA7 were Ché Lovelace (b.1969) who had stud- include a wide variety of commissioned portraits, cal space”, an emerging construct used to discuss
Acrylic on clay block ied Fine Art at l’Ecole Regional d’Arts Plastiques in steelband and traditional dancers. those dialogues that take place beyond concepts of
Martinique and has become one of the most prodigious “nation” and “nationality” and that embrace more fully
of Trinidad and Tobago’s young artists and Dean Arlen the concept of diaspora.
(b.1966) who examined social themes based on fam- THE NEW CONTEMPORARIES
ily experiences, often through simple and apparently These are artists who, though Trinidadian, live, like
mundane domestic or religious traditions. He stud- Entering the 21st century, younger artists are look- Marlon Griffith in Japan or like Wendell McShine in
ied at the John Donaldson Institute and later at the ing outward, preferring to identify themselves with Mexico, and create amalgams with forms found in their
Creative Arts Centre, UWI. the mainstream of contemporary regional and inter- new environments. Griffith’s participation in an inter-
national expression rather than simply the older val- national show, the Gwangju Biennale with a procession
Sponsored by the Ministry of Human Development, ues of national, cultural and ethnic identity exclu- form that blended Trinidad Carnival’s artistic process-
Youth and Culture, Studio 66 launched a Visual Arts and sively. In 2006, Sean Leonard, Nicholas Laughlin and es and historical events of the 1860’s, and the com-
Other artists who attracted attention as part of an Apprenticeship Training Programme in 2002, aimed Christopher Cozier made Alice Yard available as an memoration of Korea’s transformative Spring Riots of
increased interest in alternative narratives as the centu- at the preparation of young people for a career in art experimental space or lab in the backyard of 80 Roberts 1981, is an example of the kind of success achievable
ry closed, were Parmanan and Prabhudath Singh, twin related fields. Studio 66 curated a National Exhibition of Street in Woodbrook, Port of Spain. in the “critical space’.
brothers who sometimes worked on the same canvas Sculpture at Gallery 1234, an exhibition of Elder Artists
and were influenced by their mentor, Shastri Maharaj’s at the National Museum and Art Gallery, an exhibition of Alice Yard encouraged a series of Friday-night In recent years graffiti has become a form of popular
interest in East Indian traditions and iconography. art featuring calypsonians and an exhibition of Carnival “Conversations”, bringing musicians, artists, writers contemporary expression, particularly in Port of Spain,
Arts at the National Carnival Commission’s Club House. and audiences together for informal performances and making strong political and social statements, signed
In sculpture, two artists, Guy Beckles a maker of fas- interactions. It was conceived as a modest space where mainly by LOUSE and MANF. Several of the young con-
cinating kinetic sculpture and Parker Nicholas using Art in Tobago had continued to develop over the years artists could experiment with ideas and works not nor- temporaries have roots in graffiti and subversive wall-
recycled objects in imaginative ways, added to that since Independence especially with the formation in mally feasible in a commercial art gallery. It would be poster making.
expanded range of sculpture already charted by the 1985 of the Tobago Art Committee to replace the defunct responsive, providing space, both physical and intel-
work of Anna Serrao and Wendy Nanan. Tobago Art Group. The Tobago Fine Art Centre was lectual, for new forms like video, performance, instal- Unfortunately space does not allow for the inclusion of
established which hosted several exhibitions including lation and a wide range of digital media applications. It many of Trinidad and Tobago’s artists and their work, Acknowledgments
some from Trinidad. Wilcox Morris headed the group of has been a space that has initiated creative projects or or issues related to art education, the art market and
TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY EXPRESSION artists responsible for these developments. dialogues rather than being an exhibition space. the analysis of Trinidad and Tobago’s diverse artis- Andy Jacob
tic expression. This diversity will continue to provoke Christopher Cozier
In the early twenty-first century a renewed emphasis on This growth has continued and art in Tobago in recent These twenty-first century artistic expressions by debate and controversy very much as it did throughout Tomley Roberts
the training and development of local artists emerged. times has been rapidly developing. Led by Tomley young contemporaries included multi-media experi- the last century. But, by the same token, this diversity
CCA7 in the Fernandes Industrial Centre opened in Roberts, the Tobago Visual Artists Association has mentation by many artists and featured the installa- will continue to stimulate the artists and ensure fas-
2000 under the direction of Charlotte Elias. It closed in been formalized and has its own gallery which repre- tions and prints of Nikolai Noel, Marlon Griffith and the cination and interest at all levels of universal appeal.
August 2007. Artist Christopher Cozier remarked that: sents artists like Earl Manswell, Jason Nedd , Kajah video work of Jamie Lee Loy as well as performance
Moses, Nazim Baksh and Avion Orr among many art pieces by Akuzuru and Dave Williams.
“The contemporary conversation around the visual arts others. A recent showing of several of these artists
really began in the early eighties with people like Ken at the National Museum and Art Gallery reflects the The fact that a lot of the new work is less self conscious
Crichlow, Wendy Nanan, Francisco Cabral. And in 2000 increased importance of Tobagonian art in the national about its relationship with design has allowed artists
that conversation expanded exponentially with the landscape. like Marlon Darbeau, Richard Rawlins and Robert

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

High Commission for the Republic of Trinidad Office of the Vice Chancellor, Caribbean Airlines Limited
and Tobago, Kingston, Jamaica; University of the West Indies
The Ministry of Planning and The Economy;
The Ministry of The Arts and Multiculturalism;

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