Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 1st 2015 Contents A30
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, September 1, 2015
gold, suggestive of the sun. A few pieces actually have
shell fragments adhered to the canvas. On other pieces,
the attachments are copper coins and pallet sticks,
the kind of things you d find at the beach.
Some of the pieces are made up of small canvases
bonded together at different angles, making them
seem like wall-mounted sculptures. And the frames
are almost artwork in themselves. All pieces are nestled
in three layers of framing, with mat boards that look
"The framing of this work was something I did not
take lightly," Gillian Bishop told guests at the unveiling.
"If you knew my sister, framing was very much a part
of the painting of the work."
Gillian said she organised the exhibition with a team
of people who had worked with her sister and they
all "took this on as a mission".
"It was all done with a deep sense of reverence and
commitment that we needed to take the work forward
from the canvas to something that we hung on the
wall," she said. "Every time we framed a piece, we
put it up somewhere on the wall and lived with it."
This was part of the explanation for why Sea Shells
was four years in the making. Gillian also had to refur-
bish her sister s home, which she has been using as
her jewellery studio, and make it appropriate for an
Of the work itself, Gillian told the T&T Guardian:
"It is more detailed than some of her previous work.
I think she tried to resolve a lot of philosophical issues
that were important to her at the end of her life."
She pointed out the long titles of pieces. To name
a few: "Only fragments escape the net. Isn t that what
life is?" "This one caught in a fishing net. Nets, of
whatever kind, are hard to avoid as indeed to escape!"
"She tried her best to sell her shells, but she only
made 11 (TT) cents!"
"If you look at some of the titles of the paintings,
you would get a sense of what she was preoccupied
with," said Gillian.
Pat, two years her sister s senior, used to paint for
as long as Gillian could remember. She spent long
hours on her work and listened to music as she paint-
ed.Her early work was mostly faces and scenery, "recog-
nisable things", said Gillian. Then she went on schol-
arship to study fine art at the University of Durham
and was influenced by a tutor, Richard Hamilton, one
of the progenitors of pop art. Back in Trinidad, Carlisle
Chang became her mentor.
In 1961, she exhibited for the first time, joined by
contemporaries Jackie Hinkson and Peter Minshall.
The three maintained a friendship and, in a dark coin-
cidence, Hinkson and Minshall were with her when
she collapsed during a meeting with the Minister of
Planning in August 2011. She passed away that same
day at the hospital. She was preparing Sea Shells,
expecting to exhibit in September or October, Gillian
Minshall and Hinkson were both at the Sea Shells
Hinkson described Bishop s approach to her art as
"She would get an idea and explore it," he said.
"Like in this series [Sea Shells]. She would actually
collect shells. She would look at them and analyse
them, look for the patterns on the shells, the stones
and the rocks and explore those patterns.
"You always get a very strong sense of design [in
her work]," he said.
Occasionally seeming to be overcome with emotion
as he remembered his friend, Minshall told the T&T
Guardian: "She was a renaissance Caribbean woman.
She was a teacher; she did the music; she did the
painting. Pat did f---ing Solid Waste! Excuse my lan-
Pat Bishop, who was given T&T s highest national
award in 1994, designed the popular character Charlie
for the Solid Waste Management Company s anti-lit-
"Pat did it all," said Minshall. "She gave everything.
She gave with her entire being."
Gillian Bishop told guests that preparing for the
exhibition helped her and those who assisted get
through a tragic anniversary.
"You would understand how difficult it was for us,"
she said, "but at the same time how fulfilling."
For more info, contact the PALM Foundation at
6255684 or Thepalmfoundation@gmail.com.
In 'Sea Shells' Bishop sought
to resolve philospohical issues
painting in the
Shells By The
Listen to the
sea shell and
you'll hear the
music of the
the sound of
the sea is
Continued from Page A27
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