Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 8th 2018 Contents SUNDAY 8 APRIL, 2018 -- UWI TODAY 23
For those interested in a rare display of the wide range of
visual art created in Trinidad and Tobago, the 'Represent'
exhibition was not one to miss. Fitzroy Hoyte, respected
artist and mentor, brought together 80 pieces of work from
over 35 artists at the THINKARTWORKTT Studio he
founded at 63 Carlos St, Woodbrook.
e exhibition featured well-known artists such as
Leroy Clarke, Jackie Hinkson, Sundiata, Embah, Che
Lovelace, Bunty O'Connor, Martin Superville and Tessa
Alexander, alongside newcomers such as UWI students
Sabrina Acham and Shanderpaul Ramsey. Featured artists
like David Collymore and Lovelace have taught visual arts
students in the Department of Creative and Festival Arts
at e UWI St. Augustine. It also included work by several
UWI alumni, including Sabrina Charran, Candice Sobers,
Leona Fabien, Omowale Stewart and Keomi Serrette.
Fitzroy Hoyte, who has been drawing and creating since
he was a child at Newtown Boys' RC, calls the studio "an
inclusive space -- a place for artists to be seen." While the life
of a creative person is never easy, he learned that "instead
of waiting for an opportunity to come my way, I needed to
create my own opportunities."
e inkArtWorkTT Studio is a way of extending
those opportunities to others. e studio hosts exhibitions,
mentorship sessions and art classes, including a 'Little
Picasso' programme for children aged two and up.
ere is also a residency programme for exchanges
between local and international artists. e artist exchange
was inspired by two residencies Hoyte attended in South
Africa. Interacting with a range of South African artists
offered him a different perspective on his work. He
encountered people who were "grappling with how artists
can come together to make change in their society."
Having had the bene t of mentors such as Pat and
Lisa Henry Choo Foon at the John Donaldson Technical
Institute, Makemba Kunle of Studio 66 and Leroy Clarke,
Hoyte understands the importance of younger artists
being able to engage with those who are well established
in their eld. One example of this is Sabrina Acham, a
rst-year student in the Visual Arts programme at e
UWI. 'Represent' is her rst major exhibition. She calls the
experience of being able to share her work alongside artists
of this calibre, "exciting" and "surreal."
Acham credits her lecturers at e UWI for helping
her to think in innovative ways. Her piece, "Behind the
Headline," grew out of a project she began at Holy Name
Convent, where her teachers encouraged her to "go big"
with her creations. It is a life-sized sculpture of a seated
woman, with her head bowed, her hands bound with rope
and her body covered with newspaper articles about violent
crimes against women. e work was inspired by women
like Shannon Ban eld, who was found murdered in a store
in Port of Spain. Although the sculpture is silent, the body
Fitzroy Hoyte's "Freedom." Hoyte curated the 80 pieces featured
at the exhibition at his THINKARTWORKTT Studio last month.
PHOTOS: ALAKE PILGRIM
Working, inking Art
Exhibition brings together artists across the spectrum
BY ALAKE PILGRIM
"He was a good
e exhibition ran from March 8, 2018. Learn more at www.thinkartworktt.com.
speaks; calling on all who see to bear witness.
Acham's work stands in conversation with Jackie
Hinkson's "He was a good boy," a painting in which a
young man lies dead on the street surrounded by forensic
investigators and an armed police officer. If Acham's
sculpture and Hinkson's paintings are a call to mourning,
response and witness, UWI alumna Sabrina Charran's
painting '#Girllovett' shows women in celebration of each
other. Two women with bright pink hair, backs to the viewer,
hold hands and walk o into an undelineated space. It is an
image that is both open and ambiguous, tender and de ant:
an understated gesture of woman -- love in all its forms.
Perhaps the power of this exhibition is the opportunity
to observe the di erences in media, subject matter and style
across a wide range of artists, as well as the opportunity
to put artists' work in conversation. ere are images of
a Caribbean landscape pushed beyond realism in the
psychedelic orange of Beverly Fitzwilliam-Harries' coconut
trees in "Avatar." In Christine Norton's evocative photograph,
"In the season of Poui -- Women reflect," the looming
contoured shadow of a tree on leaf-strewn grass conjures
the relationship between nature and female power.
There is a more abstract and even surrealist
interpretation of place from Shanderpaul Ramsey, a current
UWI student. " e Land of the Black" is an oil painting in
which the phantasm of an owl or jumbie bird stares out of the
night, above three pyramids and a host of eyes and shadowy
creatures that seem to o er a sense of warning. Developing
the idea of mind/spirit-scapes in a very di erent way is
Leroy Clarke's intricate work, in which we are drawn into the
artist's cosmology as a space to see, feel and perhaps, heal.
An interesting theme to trace throughout the exhibition
might be the body in varying expressions -- from the body
count of murders and violence in Trinidad, to the freedom
and joy of the woman's body expressed in very di erent
ways in Fitzroy Hoyte's "Freedom," Tessa Alexander's "Dance
like no one's watching" and Martin Superville's bele and
In Che Lovelace's " e Glint," pan and panman are
anked by Jouvay masqueraders or guardians who regard
the viewer with question, challenge and threat. In the next
room, Rayhaan Traboulay's photographs of traditional Mas
characters, such as "Moko Jumbie -- e Crow," also unsettle
the viewers' gaze. A man plays Moko Jumbie against a black
background, dressed in black with a sheen of gold and silver,
with spread wings; his face daubed with bright yellow paint.
In the photograph, the Moko Jumbie is tilted as though
slightly o -balance, about to walk or dance, fall or y.
As in Lovelace's painting, Traboulay's subjects resist
being simply consumed by the nostalgic or voyeuristic gaze.
Instead they steadily watch the viewer, as creators shaping
their own images, whose intense cra smanship, like the
artists at inkArtWorkTT, challenges us to see di erently.
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