Speaking through art
The St. Lucian native was among three other visual artists pursuing the Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Fine Arts and Studio Art in the Division of Fine Arts at the Barbados Community College. The others are: Tristan Allyene and Ronald Williams both of Barbados.
Monday night at the launch of their exhibition, Trouble T’ree, held at the Morning side Gallery of the BCC she was presented with her award by Secretary of the LLF, Kevin Farmer.
Speaking to Bajan Vibes after accepting her award she said she felt great and honoured to receive the award. Talking about her work, with her obviously proud daughter, Shanice Searles, looking on she said it took a lot of work, patience and experimentation to produce. Unlike her usual process of creating pieces she was led this time by the work.
“Usually I am a perfectionist I am very organised, I usually know where I am going but this work led me, it was personal to me and I wanted to be a voice for people who have a lot to say but I wanted to say it in a very smart and subtle way.”
One of her pieces which caught most attention was The Chicken Coup which she described as a political satire.
“Expressed through cock fighting, using roosters to portray the mannerisms of politicians and the attitudes to make people aware of things that they take for granted and things they have a say in. Working with the [St. Lucia] government for a few years I’ve seen a lot of corruption and things I don’t think should happen and that is where my passion came into being. I really wanted to talk about it and maybe somebody would listen, politicians would take heed and be more aware of their attitudes,” she said.
The LLF is a charity started in 2009 to memorialise former curator of Arts at the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, Leslie Barrow-Whatley, who died in 2008. Speaking on behalf of the foundation, Farmer said Barrow-Whatley’s interest was always about ensuring that young people had opportunities and great experiences to develop their craft. So the LLF, which was now in its third year of recognising a top student in the BCC arts programme, as well offers a two year mentorship fellowship for young artisans.
He stated: “To ensure that your two and five years spent at the BCC doesn’t end here. That you are able to be given those skills that enable you to commercialise and modify your art and your skill to ensure that in fact you can make a living from it… to guide you along the way in that self promotion and the actualisation of your imagination.”
This year saxophonist Joseph Callender and visual artist, Alicia Daniel, two past students of the BCC also received fellowship awards.
Broad members of the LLF included: Kay Robertson, Fran Wickham, Alissandra Cummins, David Barrow, Anthony Rudder, Paula-ann Muhammad, Gail Mathurin, Dr. Jeannie Comma, Betty Cantone and Farmer.
The Trouble T’ree exhibition runs until May 17. (KC)