Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 26th 2013 Contents B3
"I paint more intuitively now. To be an
intuitive painter the artist has to be informed
all the time. You have to be such a well of
knowledge that you let it bubble up when
you come to the canvas," says Carlisle Harris,
whose exhibition of work created between
2012 and 2013 opened at 101 Art Gallery on
Harris instinctively draws on experiences,
using his subconscious as a rich resource
for image-making. This artist once worked
from a preconceived plan. He would create
sketches and transpose them onto canvas.
For many years now, however, he has been
honing the practice of creative intuition.
"The things that I have been dwelling on
expose themselves in the work. I don t deter-
mine what I am going to paint," Harris says.
The result is a body of work with no over-
arching, predetermined theme and an exhi-
bition without a master title.
"I was a thematic painter but I don t feel
the need to do that, not that I think it is
unnecessary, but it is not of tremendous
value to me. I am the theme. I am trying
to clarify thoughts on past work. I am trying
to say the same things better."
With Harris turn towards spontaneity,
there is evidence of an evolution of his visual
style from his early days as a practising artist.
Harris returned to Trinidad in 1973 after
earning an MFA in painting from Howard
University in Washington, DC. He served
as the vice-principal of John S Donaldson
Technical Institute and was the president
of the Art Society for many years. He is also
a prolific designer, having produced costumes
and set designs as well as maquettes for
In his past work, his rendering of shapes
was more constrained. In contrast, his recent
works convey an unfettered execution with
a looser approach to space and shape on
canvas. This freedom and his extemporaneous
treatment in his art-making process are sup-
ported by his use of certain media and mate-
rials. Along with acrylic paint and oil pastels,
Harris adds texture and serendipity to the
work with tissue paper and modelling paste.
"The paper aids a lot because many effects
can be accidental," says Harris.
Harris also finds himself deviating from
painting recognisable human figures.
"I am moving from the figurative element,
though it is preserved in some ways. A lot
of the pieces I am proud of are very far away
from representational work but it is hard to
fight off. I have to fight with myself," he
Through abstract forms, Harris addresses
and communicates an inward landscape.
Pieces like Visceral Vibrations, Inner Realm
and Into My Soul disclose his thoughts and
feelings. Continues on Page B30
Story and Photos
Kenwyn Crichlow s latest exhibition, Rapture:
Optimism and Transformation, opens tomorrow
at 7 pm at Y Art and Framing Gallery.
Crichlow is a senior lecturer in visual arts at
UWI, whose work has been displayed both regionally
For the artist, his new works represent a praise
song to feelings of joy and hope.
"Rapture is really a promise," Crichlow says. "It
is something we aspire towards. This body of work
is aspirational. Our society is so cynical and there
is so much mistrust. I thought I needed to focus
on something hopeful."
Crichlow s paintings are also the result of a per-
sonal, psychological process in which he poses a
number of questions to himself---questions which
demand that he journey across time to consider
humankind s early and still persistent impulses to
"The business about making art is that every
time you make a painting you start from scratch
and you have to go back to the earliest paintings---
from the time people started making images. Once
you create anything you have to go back to that
zero moment. You go back to reasons why people
make art and you ask: Why am I doing this thing,
with this material, in this way?"
In his interaction with a blank canvas, he expe-
riences a kind of rapture, which can be understood
Continues on Page B30
Visual artist Kenwyn Crichlow
at Alice Yard ---Page B4
history in Huracan
up in the
Artist Carlisle Harris.
ALDWYN SIN PANG
Carlisle Harris takes new direction
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