art in all its forms

art in all its forms


A kind of mesmerism

LH: Can you sum up Trick Vessels in three words?
LH: Do you like to perform your poetry? Have you done so?
AB: I’ll tell you a secret: I actually enjoy reading my poetry. But I love reading other people’s poems more: I feel like I am channelling them in a kind of mesmerism. I have read at Alice Yard and poetry events here and there. On 28th April, I am going to launch Trick Vessels at the Bocas Lit Fest in a reading alongside the great poet Vahni Capildeo. I cannot wait!
From an interview at ARC. READ more here.

'Trick Vessels' at Bocas Lit Fest

Excited is an understatement. FIND out more here.


Unwritten stories

Wendy Nanan's 'Books and Stupas' at Medulla Art Gallery
The Sound of Ohm, papier-mache and acrylics, 40"x28"x5". Photo by Andre Bagoo.

THE BOOKMAN is one of the quieter traditional Carnival characters. But make no mistake, he speaks loudly.

Sometimes called Beelzebub, Gownman or Ruler, Bookman is a central character in devil mas portrayals.

He exists among a world of imps and beasts. His costume consists of Tudor-style gowns, richly embroidered; made of velvet and satin, with a pleated bodice and a flowing cape depicting biblical scenes.

It is an invocation of power, religious and political. On the Bookman’s head is a crown the shape of a large horned head: a pink-fleshed Satan mask.

Crucially, the Bookman is not only the silent puppeteer of the imps, but he carries a pen and a large book in which to write the names of the damned. It is a bulky book.

Wendy Nanan’s haunting show at the Medulla Art Gallery draws upon aspects of the character in order to, in equal parts, subvert and perpetuate the power of this form of old mas.

She places a microscope on the Bookman’s traditionally solid papier-mache pages, turning them into delicate tissues that reveal and mirror the reality of our society today. The pages are sculpture, painting and installation all in one.

They move, in unexpected ways, in the silence of the gallery space. Entering feels like an intrusion into a place where a group of people are already engaged in deep conversation.

READ full Newsday review here.


An evening of poetry and art

Poet Vladimir Lucien reads at the reading held at the Wendy Nanan show as part of the build-up to the Bocas Lit Fest 2012.

On Friday, a group of poets and writers read at the basement of the Medulla Art Gallery on Fitt Street. As they read, giant books done by Wendy Nanan as part of her ongoing show at Medulla, looked on in silence. The event was part of the build-up to the Bocas Lit Fest, to be held at the end of the month.  Among those featured were: Lisa Allen-Agostini; Barbara Jenkins; Anu Lakhan and Vladimir Lucien.

The reading took place among work done by Wendy Nanan for her 'Books and Stupas' exhibition.
Wendy Nanan (right) chats after the event
'Witness' by Wendy Nanan, papier-mache, acrylics and chalk, 33"x28"x20"


☿ (Mercury)

The Bocas Lit Fest has unveiled its festival art, done this year by Nikolai Noel in a series of limited edition silkscreen prints. READ more about it and find out how to get one at the Bocas Lit Fest website here


Dante's forest

Erik Feely at 101 Art Gallery

Doubles Line
The paintings of Erik Feely walk a fine line. They travel, tirelessly, through Dante's dark wood, the setting of The Inferno. Here, no traveller returns.

Light and dark meet: they form the central crisis and theme. The palette becomes a kind of Technicolor explosion, a kaleidoscope of embers which retreat, hotly, into a classical sense of painting. This is still, perfectly composed and--without a doubt--great work from an artist who is in dialogue with the Baroque painters and others.

All Soul's Night, St Joseph
Feely also regards his work as a battle of ideas.

"The things I read gradually pervade my process and the final product, in this case my art, is the result of an anxious battle between intellectual actions and visceral rejections," he says in a preview for his recent show at 101 Art Galley

"I like making things, beautiful things if possible or at least meaningful things. I believe in the studio. I like the idea of becoming and as such I always push myself along the paths of experimentation. While the subject remains constant the accident can enjoy new experiences."

The Inferno was an influence:
Midway in the journey of our life
I came to myself in a dark wood,
for the straight way was lost.
Ah, how hard it is to tell
the nature of that wood, savage, dense and harsh --
the very thought of it renews my fear!
It is so bitter death is hardly more so.
But to set forth the good I found
I will recount the other things I saw.
How I came there I cannot really tell,
I was so full of sleep
when I forsook the one true way.
But when I reached the foot of a hill,
there where the valley ended
that had pierced my heart with fear,
looking up, I saw its shoulders
arrayed in the first light of the planet
that leads men straight, no matter what their road.

"I decided to read it again: many of the works are based on sparks of light in the darkness," Feely says. "I delight in many external stimuli while painting: the wind and the surrounding sounds all enrich the visual phenomena, either those before me or others stored in my subconscious. Internally, I am conscious of a Classical muse which never abandons." 

Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
Divali, Southern Main Road

Car Lime, Maracas

The Hunger Games - review

Not kidding around: competitors in The Hunger Games

Here's some advice: stay alive. So advises a key character in The Hunger Games, the first film version of the Suzanne Collins books.

Like most fantasy fiction set in a dystopian future, everything is meant to reflect the present. Consider the bizarre ritual of The Reaping where, every year, 24 kids from 12 North American districts are chosen at random to fight to the death on reality TV. Is this a comment about growing up? Is it meant to be a comment on the process of going to war? About the age of reality TV?

And what do we make of the weird disparities of wealth in this fantasy future, where one half of the population seems to live in some kind of Rococo world inspired by the punk wigs of Amadeus, pink and blue cotton candy and Nikki Minaj? They seem to enjoy the ritual of The Reaping and its violence, not unlike Romans enjoying the gladiator pits or the Spanish bull-fighting. The movie's star is the talented Jennifer Lawrence. As noted by Ebert, her character here could well be a manifestation of the character she played in the great film, Winter's Bone

The film comes across as a mix of The Truman Show, Apocalypto and The Lord of the Flies. It features a relatively uncommon love triangle at its centre and manages to maintain suspense throughout. The adventure elements of the film work, but the real star is the politics of this world, right up to the last shot which leaves you wanting more. Next movie please!

Wendy Nanan at Medulla


Medulla Art Gallery is pleased to invite you to "books and Stupas" by Wendy Nanan

Opening reception: Tuesday 03rd April 2012 
6.30pm – 9.00pm
at 37 Fitt Street, Woodbrook, Port of Spain
RSVP 740 7597/

Exhibition continues until Tuesday 24th April 2012

Special Event:
Tales for the Bookman
Friday 13th April, 7.00 pm
presented by the NGC Bocas Lit Fest
Four writers read stories and poems responding to the works in "books and Stupas" - Featuring Lisa Allen-Agostini, Barbara Jenkins, Anu Lakhan, and Vladimir Lucien


I wanted to make books because as a child, fascinated and frightened by the book-man mas’, still I wanted to peep behind the book and see what he was writing and hiding. Surprisingly The Devil is thinking of religion and the shortness of life. Yet it is the form that holds interest the most, that unwieldy bulky square of accordion pages. I feel I could explore forever, seeing where it leads. Wendy Nanan 2012


Wendy Nanan was born in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago in 1955. After a foundation course at Manchester Polytechnic she obtained the BFA (Painting) at Wolverhampton Polytechnic in 1979. She currently lives and works in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. She has been exhibiting regularly since 1985, most recently in February 2012 at "Into the Mix" a group show of Caribbean artists at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, USA.

Nanan has also exhibited in Paris, France; London, England; Nova Scotia, Canada and Dominican Republic. She is perhaps best known for her popular series Idyllic Marriage in 1997 and Cricket, Lovely Cricket first exhibited at the Clico Gallery, Port of Spain in 2005.

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Another chance to see Erik Feely

Divali, Southern Main Road by Erik Feely




FOR INFO CALL 628-4081



Erik Feely read Art History at Trinity College, Dublin, and spent one year on scholarship in Italy before qualifying with an M.A. in 1982. He also simultaneously graduated in Graphic Design thus combining art theory and practice. On his moving to Trinidad he was working in the abstract geometric style and exhibited several times. From 1997-2002 he lived in Caracas where he taught at the Armando Reveron Art School and the Central University. Specialising in watercolours, he showed in the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Caracas in May 2000. Interest in installations and social criticism led him to hold two individual shows at the Caracas experimental Galleries, Espacio Unus and Espacio Nexus. In 2004-2005 he held shows in Dublin and Rome--courtesy 101 Art Gallery.