Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 12th 2014 Contents B2
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, May 12, 2014
colossal by any furniture standards.
It also requires a head shift to get round the
fact that these things were created by a computer
design and a mechanical router which follows his
They are made to order, of course, not mass-
produced. And they aren t cheap---each piece
costs five or six figures in US dollars.
He thought carefully about the market he
wanted to aim for and weighed up the pros
and cons of "the mass consumption
model versus the niche market," before
deciding he wanted to penetrate a unique
market. He doesn t rule out producing
lines for commercial retailers in future
but for now, his artistic furniture has
an emphasis on the word art .
"The struggle between being an
artist and a manufacturer is an
ongoing negotiation," he says.
Sardinha s client list
includes A-list Hollywood
celebrities like Will Smith
and Jada Pinkett. Sardinha
has been friends with the
couple for years and has
been based in Los Angeles
since 2002, a place he
now calls home.
LA is a place where
this kind of expressive
and expensive art has a
place built on style where
interactions with agents
and producers are con-
ducted over swanky
It s also fair to
say there is
now an emer-
gent (if small)
nis with good
taste in art and
love to see his
work in people s homes in his
country of birth.
He visits Trinidad regularly with
his family and has a strong net-
work of friends and family here.
"As a Trinidadian national I d like
to get the brand established
here. I only did two
group shows (exhibi-
tions) here before
I bounced out," he
"But a big part
of my influence is
from Trinidad with its
the colours of the
He s also into simplicity
of design. The minimalism
of the work is some-
thing you would see
amongst the oeuvres
of modernist European
designers. "I like simple
lines, they command more
attention from the eye. Sometimes I ll see
a root of a tree and think to myself---just one cut
and a piece of glass..."
It took him a while to get to the minimalism
he s found. From 1993-2004 his work was more
intricate, decorated. Then he changed style, but it
was a seven-year process before Inha Living.
The process of programming his sketches into
the computer and investing in the equipment
took time. By 2011 the line was finally finished.
I ask why he cut back on the intricate details.
"Someone told me," he says, simply.
Like in writing, architecture, music, sometimes
simple works best, and often artists only realise
this through critical appraisal followed by self-
reflection. Somebody introduced him to
the Buddhist mantra "simplicity is
the way of the elevated mind,"
and it stuck.
In some ways, Sardinha s
latest work achieves a middle
ground between European
and Caribbean (or African)
art.The piece Pink Poui
shows the colour and
display of the tropics, of
nature. But there are also
the flat smooth edges of
lived in an upper
where no furni-
ture could be
the stairs. He
asking where he
got them and
when he told them
they were his own
Those early beginnings
are echoed in the way his com-
mercial set-up operates now. The
movie directors and style maga-
zine editors who buy his work
show it to their circle of friends
and so it grows, organically so
Working in an art
gallery in his senior
year at Rutgers,
he realised that
there was a
and art. "The
only way you can see
beginning to end," he says.
His work is environmentally friendly, it
contains no nails or screws and he
uses formaldehyde-free glue.
And as well as plywood
(which is ideal for his pur-
poses, as its multiple layers
can be manipulated) he has
plans to work with some of his
favourite---woods, teak, tapana and balata, found
in Trinidad s rainforests.
"Tapana is so hard it bends nails," he says, "I
think they were used for the railroads."
The rail roads were ripped up long ago but this
son of the soil s art is enduring.
Continued on Page B2
Scot Sardinha has been fascinated
with the beauty of wood since his
childhood in Trinidad.
Sardinha seeks simplicity
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