Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 14th 2013 Contents B30
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt July 14, 2013
9.30 am: UpMarket, Festival of Fabulous Food
and Finds. Artisan craft and food fair.
Woodbrook Youth Facility, Hamilton-Holder
Street, Woodbrook. Info: 703-2169.
4 pm: His Excellency the President presents his
Oxygen Concert Series. Various performers. Free
and open to the public. Continues July 21. The
bandstand at the Botanic Gardens, Port-of-Spain.
5 pm: The bpTT Marionettes Chorale present
Landmarks. Conducted by Gretta Taylor and
Roger Henry. Featuring the children's, youth and
adult chorales performing Broadway, opera,
calypso, gospel and other genres of music.
Soloists include: Jacqueline Johnson, Feryal
Qudourah, Hermina Charles, Garfield
Washington, Marlon De Bique, Ayrice Wilson,
Leah Lewis and others. Queen's Hall, St Ann's.
Tickets and info: firstname.lastname@example.org
6 pm: The Trinidad Theatre Workshop stages
Fool For Love, by Sam Shepard. Directed by
Timmia Hearn Feldman. Starring Nickolai Salcedo,
Sindy Nurse and Errol "Blood" Roberts. Continues
until July 28 from Thur-Sun. Showtimes are 8 pm
daily and 6 pm on Sundays; tickets cost $150 with
complimentary bar. Trinidad Theatre Workshop,
cor Jerningham Avenue and Norfolk Street,
Belmont. Tickets and info: 624-8502 and
6 pm: Elle NYTT stages En Route. Modern and
contemporary dance works by Delton Frank,
Candice Ho Wong, Anika Marcelle, Megan
Navarro and LaShaun Prescott. The Little Carib
Theatre, corner White and Roberts streets,
Woodbrook. Info: see Elle NYTT's Facebook page
or call 788- 3553 or 391-3553.
Medulla Art Gallery shows Richard Mark
Rawlins' exhibition Steupps. Until July 24.
Rawlins will give an artist talk on July 17 at 7
pm. Medulla Art Gallery, 37 Fitt Street,
Woodbrook. Info and gallery hours: 740-7597 or
The National Museum and Art Gallery shows
Dear Joseph, an exhibition of works from the
national art collection. Featuring works by
Carlisle Chang, Sybil Atteck, Noel Vaucrosson
and others. Continues until March 15, 2014.
Gallery hours: Tue--Sat 10 am--6 pm. The Marie
Louise Hall of the National Museum and Art
Gallery, 117 Frederick Street, Port-of-Spain. Info:
9 pm: 5 Miles to Midnight play Live at
Woodford Cafe. Featuring Mark Hardy and Yung
Rudd. Advance ticket specials available.
Woodford Cafe, Price Plaza, Chaguanas. Info and
6 pm: The Art Society presents Conversation
with the Elders 3: The Visual Arts in T&T in the
Last Quarter of the 20th Century. Panelists are
Sarah Becket, LeRoy Clarke, Marcia Des Vignes
and Trevor Byron; moderated by Diana Mahabir-
Wyatt. The Art Society, cor Jamaica Boulevard
and St Vincent Street, Federation Park, Port-of-
Spain. RSVP: email@example.com
10 am: Jouvay Ayiti hosts Mango Season Mas
Making Workshops. Workshops on the following
techniques, starting on days indicated, will run
for four consecutive Saturdays: July 20: Wire
bending; September 7: Papier mache. Cost: $800
per workshop series. Studio 66, 66 Sixth Street,
Barataria. Info: 353-8233 or e-mail
Visual artist Nyugen Smith recently
made a trip to Trinidad to recon-
nect with the place and people.
For much of June, the artist (whose first
name is pronounced "Nu-gen") spent time
with family and got acquainted with the
local art context. He also gave a talk at
Studio 66 in Barataria.
"I wanted to meet the artists who, up
until my trip, I only had exchanges with on
Facebook, Instagram and e-mail. I also
wanted to photograph my surroundings as
I moved around, learn about the artist cul-
ture, networks, galleries and jump into the
scene. I asked a lot of questions and I lis-
tened," he says.
It has been seven years since he visited
the island but his Caribbean heritage is a
strong force in his creative output.
Smith, who is of Trinidadian and Haitian
parentage, was born in New Jersey. He spent
his early years in Trinidad and eventually
moved to the US where he earned a BA in
fine art from Seton Hall University. He has
exhibited at museums and galleries in New
York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Smith works across a spectrum of media
including painting, drawing, photography,
video, performance art and sculpture.
"With each medium there is an artistic
language associated with it," he says. "As
the case with a spoken language, one might
have to resort to speaking another language
in order to fully or better articulate them-
selves. This is the reason I choose to utilise
the artistic languages of various media. It
also keeps me feeling fresh in the studio
while also granting a wonderful sense of
Through his art, he has been investigating
the psychological, social and cultural con-
sequences of colonialism in Africa and the
Caribbean region. His new paintings address
the role of the church in the mental and
physical enslavement of Africans and the
value of the institution in the colonial era.
His pieces are layered with meaning,
requiring the viewer to peel back and inter-
pret several strata of symbols. The painting
The Sound of Hallowed Halls gives one
example of this layering.
"The figure in the painting holds a scale
as delicately as he can, so that he does not
interfere with the balancing of weights.
However, as we all know, for a scale to reflect
accurate balance it must rest on an even
surface. The scale s pan in the foreground
holds a pith helmet, a symbol of colonial
rule and power, while also a representation
of the mind, and the pan in the background
holds a sword representing craftsmanship,
defence, discipline and bloodshed.
"The figure wears a clerical robe and a
triple crown, which ironically represents a
dunce s cap. The teacups are signifiers of
culture and class. They bring to mind the
history of tea culture in Europe and the
British West Indies and places India at the
table during this conversation.
"In the work, the teacups are piling up
and will eventually fall.
"The hummingbirds hovering around the
head of the figure remind us of the region
that we are in. To have three of them hov-
ering at one s head would not be an expe-
rience where one could remain unfazed, yet
the expression on the figure s face suggests
that the birds presence is no bother to him.
"The yoked oxen---beasts of burden---in
the background are representations of the
labour force, which has ultimately built the
economies of the European countries that
have colonised many parts of the world.
Having them yoked speaks to voluntary and
involuntary co-operation and control.
"The oxen are also trampling on a pristine
checkered floor. I am awestruck by some
of the detailed marble floors that can be
found in palaces, places of worship and
administration buildings. Placing the animals
there, inside such a building, would be cause
for concern, panic, fear, and sure to result
"Making this work, I truly enjoyed the
surreal distortion of perspectives on history
Smith s visit to Trinidad has given him
more perspectives with which to engage
and play in his art as well as a cornucopia
of experienced elements which, according
to him, are sure to manifest in his work.
"The trip to Trinidad has increased my
mental collection of objects. I was so fas-
cinated by the red mailboxes that look like
little houses. I was also interested in the
drains/canals on the sides of the roads. The
inclusion of Spanish and French words and
expressions into the commonly spoken Eng-
lish language, various religious flags that
stood tall throughout the landscape, hand-
painted signs everywhere, and the conver-
sations I had with numerous people about
politics, history, race and culture on the
island will all play a part in the direction
of further work."
To see more of Nyugen Smith's art visit:
T &T influences US
artist during visit
Visual artist Nyugen
Smith. PHOTO COURTESY
The Sound of Hallowed Halls, mixed media
on canvas, 2013, by Nyugen Smith.
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