‘Tobago Art’ at 101

In all 11 artists are exhibiting, I photographed one piece from eight of the artists keeping my fingers crossed that we will have space to publish eight while expecting to see five or six on the morning I open Newsday to see what the backroom boys and girls have done to my piece.

And with that digression into the world of newspaper publishing – what of these artists of Tobago – of which I only know Martin Superville who exhibited a couple of his ‘trademark’ pieces of bel? dancers. However, I preferred to feature the contemplative “Dougla II” framed in plantain leaves, gazing into the distance as she cradles her market basket, her lips parted as she awaits – who knows what?

Anthony Lera’s “Ancestor’s Helmet” is a splendid piece of copperware that reminded me of the figures on Greek vases and bowls, their features obscured by the helmet that is almost a mask – and seems indeed a very far cry from Tobago …

You have to look and look once more to see the old man with what appears to be a somewhat unhappy child on his knee in Chris Thomas’ “Grand Pa”; the technique puzzles, being not quite pure impression but certainly not figurative, realist. Nevertheless it pleases as it leaves one to interpret the piece for oneself.

In complete contrast is “Study for Entrance I” by Misty McClean. This simple pen and ink piece of two groups of trees impresses for an economy of line, the suggestion of tree roots, flowers, fruit – and the mountains in the distance.

Kaja Moses’ mixed media “View from St Ann’s” intrigued many of those attending the Private View with the collage of corrugated cardboard, paper, soil (perhaps?) creating a 3D image of this colourful country scene.

What can I say of the abstract impression mixed media “Untitled I” by Rachel Almandoz? It is a piece to contemplate, to enjoy the movement, the contrasting colours, to weave one’s own fantasies of what the piece might represent.

The watercolour “Safe” by Marianne Peters is a variation on the Mother and Child theme – one notes the European feature of the mother, the African in the lips and nose of the child – this is a tender piece, a touch sentimental, but lovely for all that. Kay O’Callghan’s oil painting “Paw Paw” belongs to the genre of so many here that produce realist paintings of plantains, banana leaves and fruit and flowers. The interest in this piece is the drying leaves, the notches on the stem of the tree.

Of the three artists whose work is not featured here, Jennifer Baird had some nice, realist views of Tobago, Helen Evans’ stone and earthenware bowls and vases tempted one to reach for one’s purse (or credit card) and Lethe intrigued with diverse media of acrylic on wood, oils and watercolour. Tobago Art continues at 101 An Art Gallery until Thursday.


"‘Tobago Art’ at 101"

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