A MAGAZINE OF THE VISUAL ARTS VOL. 2 NO. 4
MAY 1984 $6.00
The Frame Centre
"Datum" George Rodney
1982 Acrylic on canvas 51 X 74"
Collection Guy Mclntosh
(Triple gold winner 1982 Festival Fine Art Competition)
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Arts Jamaica wishes to acknowledge the photographic assistance in
preparing this issue of Keith Morrison, Jim Treder, Brian
Rosen and Dr. Owen Minott; colour seperations are also gratefully
acknowledged on loan from Harmony Hall, Bolivar Gallery, The
National Gallery and the Institute of Jamaica.
INSIGHT Eugene Hyde, a Retrospective by Rosalie
Smith McCrea ................................. ... ......... ..... . .. ......... . 2-7
FOCUS Modernist Trends in Jamaican Art some practitioners discuss their work
DAVID BOXER interviewed by Rosalie Smith McCrea. .................................. 8-9
MLTON by Laurie Mahfood ............................................................. 10
IN REVIEW artists and audience reflect and expand
on exhibitions past............ ................................... .............. 11-13
FOCUS Modem Trends cont'd .............................. ............................... 14
FORUM Handmade Paper by Cheryl Daley-Champagnie...................................... ... 15-17
CORPORATE COLLECTIONS The Myers, Fletcher, Gordon, Manton
and Hart Collection by Laura Tanna ................... .................... ...... ...... ... 18-19
JAMAICA ARTISTS ABROAD Petrona Morrison talks to Suzanne
Francis-Hinds ...................... .. ........... ................. .. ............... 20
STUDIO TALK Caring for your works in wood ....... ..................................... .. 21
NATIONAL GALLERY PAGE ............................. ................................. 22
JAMAICA SCHOOL OF ART PAGE. ............................................................ 23
NEWS, INFORMATION AND GALLERY GUIDE. ..................... ............................. 24
The public is by now accustomed,
with justification, to a steady diet of
"art happenings"; the consistency of
the openings, auctions, competitions
and occasions of previous years has
been continued in 1984, and already
over 30 exhibitions have been held
While there is therefore cause for
pride in the lead of the visual arts
among the local creative arts, the
situation is not without peril. Every
safeguard must be taken to ensure that
a stimulated appetite does not become
synonymous with an omnivorous one.
In this issue, we introduce
Modernist Trends in Jamaican Art; it
is hoped that the interviews and
reflections of some practitioners will
intrigue a widening audience, enough
to "bite into" the challenges posed by
this deliberately loosely defined trend
which encompasses a range of
Symbolic, Surrealist, Expressionist
and Abstract styles.
In this issue too, we announce the
launching of the Arts Jamaica School
Subscription Drive which aims to
augment the knowledge and
documentation of Art in schools
islandwide. The interest and sponsor-
ship of local firms has again proved
I THE EUGENE HYDE RETROSPECTIVE
"They dare to emphasize certain ele-
ments and parts of the natural figure and
leave out others in the desire to express
something which nature hides. .... There
are demonic forces in every man which
try to take possession of him, and the
new image of man shows faces in which
the state of being possessed is shockingly
manifest. In others the fear of such
possession or the anxiety at the thought
of living is predominant, and again in
others there are feelings of emptiness,
meaninglessness and despair. But there
are also courage, longing and hope a.
reaching out into the unknown.
Paul Tillich Preface to Peter Selz' "New
Images of Man" Museum of Modern
"Eugene Hyde A Retrospective" is
the most important survey of the artist's
work brought together since his death in
1980. It incorporates a body of drawings,
paintings, prints, murals and architectural
ceramics, which should be seen as a
selected version only, taken from a larger
body of work produced by a prolific
artist who left behind a substantial output.
Apart from Hyde's "White on White"
paintings included in "Drawings -
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow", 1969
at the Bolivar Gallery, the Retrospective
has attempted to document all Hyde's
major phases and exhibitions. It tries to
give the viewer a feeling for the personal
development of Eugene Hyde's art and
vision, a range which was less dynamic in
.its use of traditional media, but, at the
same time, an artistic vision that gradually
became more refined in its variations on
similar themes, its unfolding metamor-
phosis which spoke eloquently on the
human condition towards the very end
of his life.
For Hyde indeed was a 'romantic'
artist, whose overall development might
not have been as apparent as that coming
from his more 'classicist' counterparts.
Whoever is to explore Hyde's life and
work in the future more fully, will have
to pay close attention to his complex
personality. For one, his contradictory
feelings towards commercial art which he
was forced to do throughout his life in
order to sustain his family and his abiding
love for the practice of fine art, even
though the visual evidence shows that
Hyde's genius was essentially a graphic
and linear one as opposed to a painterly
JAMAICA NATIONAL EXPORT CORPORATION
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TELEPHONE: 92-61680-5, 61200-3. TELEX: 2124
THE PERIOD OF ABSTRACT
When Hyde returned to Jamaica in
1963, after his student period 1953-1963
he brought a new aesthetic. He introduced
the love of scale in large formats, monu-
mental imagery and a free abstract ex-
pressionist brushwork suggesting the
methods of 'action painting.'
He also reintroduced the notion of drawing as
an expressive and personal force being given
just as much weight as the canvas.
His method of producing art, however,
has come under attack from several of his
colleagues. It appears that he was not as
sensitive as he could have been to the
nature of materials used and how he used
them. Several of his works today are ex-
tremely fragile. Many give the impression
that they were not created with a con-
cern for permanence. Hyde was not given
to preparatory sketches as we find with
other artists such as Ralph Campbell,
Barrington Watson or David Boxer, yet
"Two Drums for Babylon" photo of
NDTC dancers by Maria Layacona
he left behind a vast amount of 'doodling.'
He usually proceeded by securing long
sheets of paper and rolled canvas on a
wall, floor or table and rapidly created
the images he designed. With the use of
floodlights, he produced many of his
works at night (The Casualties), while
listening to FM music or short wave radio.
Music was very important in his life and
became part of his aesthetic program in
his studio workshop at Hyde-a-way or at
the soiree occasions at the Peartree
Gallery after 1970.
The artist was known to work on
several pieces at a time and constantly re-
modified unsold finished work in his
presence for any length of time. Several
of his works on paper and canvases were
actually sectioned off from larger sheets
of paper and rolled canvases.
1966 Oil Canvas 47x46"
Collection: Pan-Jamaican Investment Trust Ltd.
1963-Mixed Media on paper 13lsx26 "
Collection A.D. Scott, Olympia International
On returning to Jamaica, he became re--
sensitized to strong colour. This opening
up to colour, sounds and rhythms around
him unfolded by degrees paintings that
would draw their finest sensations from
the Jamaican sunflower, spathodia and
At first, however, he began focussing
on the Little Theatre Movement in Ja-
maica, while giving art studio sessions at
his home and teaching part-time at the
Jamaica School of Art.
Rex Nettleford adds that Hyde always
felt the "significant force behind the
L.T.M., especially the National Dance
Theatre Company." In mid-1963 Hyde
became involved with a commission
offered to him to create a backdrop for
"Dialogue For Three", choreographed by
Rex Nettleford. The artist used the guitar
as the main motif in his design taking his
cue from the music for the dance
Roderigo's "Concerto de Aranjuez" -
powerful haunting melody from the
This interest in dance was to crystallize
in an exhibition of twenty-five abstract
expressionist 'exercises' titled "The:
With the Compliments of
A SOLID JAMAICAN TRADITION.
HEAD OFFICE: 6 DUKE STREET, P.O. BOX 90, KINGSTON, JAMAICA W.I. TELEPHONE: 932-5751
1979 Mixed Media on paper 176x22"
Collection: Beth Hyde
"Bankra Baskets with Wrapped Heads" 1979-
Mixed Media on paper 22 X 16" Collection:
Dance" in 1966. They were based on
Hyde's reflections on the N.D.T.C.'s
Season of Dance for 1966, and earlier
years. In some cases as in the A.D. Scott
painting of The Dance, Hyde actually
referred to another source a Maria
Layacona photograph of "Two Drums
The paintings reflect Hyde's concern
with abstract expressionist technique, his
will to 'abstract' physical and visual sensa-
tions from the Company's repertory the
season. His palette was restricted to black,
white and aquamarine blue. The use of
black, however, would be a recurring
colour 'leitmotif 'throughout Hyde's
oeuvre andhis first visiblein his Californian
drawings and etchings.
In 1964, Hyde, Barrington Watson and
Karl Parboosingh founded the Con-
temporary Jamaican Artists Association
on Constant Spring Road.The Association
lasted approximately nine years, but
during its lifetime, brought Jamaican art
'up front' with continued exhibitions in
Kingston as well as those organized to go
abroad. It broadened the definition'of the
Jamaican artist and gave to them a
renewed status. It also brought the notion
of art collecting as a positive and necessary
activity to private corporations. It was
through the C.J.A.A. that the Jamaica
Citizens Bank started its collection; and
helped pave the way for art to be seen in
major banks, corporations and hotels.
A.D. Scott, chairman of the C.J.A.A. for
many years, states that: "The three
worked closely together and a lot of things
took place that hadn't before there was
This article was excerpted from the major essay
"The Eugene Hyde Retrospective" by "Rosalie
Smith-McCrea in the National Gallery Catalogue
April 1984. Arts Jamaica wishes to thank the
author and the National Gallery of Jamaica for
permission to use this essay and the loan of
photographs and the colour separation on the
cover "Green Croton" 1973 from the Myers,
Fletcher, Gordon, Manton and Hart collection.
Artists at John Peartree 1977
L-R Keith Curwin, Reggie Lyn, Eugene Hyde,
George Rodney, Karl Parboosingh
a' ; *
"Sunflower" c. 1968
Mixed Media on Board 47x4 7"
Collection: British American Insurance
a good response from business people,
banks and interior decor commissions.
The C.J.A.A. also presented a Carl
Abrahams painting, 'Quod Erat Demon-
stradum' to the American Government's
Space Centre a tew weeks before the land-
ing on the moon."
The role of the Contemporary Jamaican
Artists Association and its impact on the
society during its years of existence, is
still yet another area for future explora-
tion. Suffice it to say that here with the
emphasis on all the arts brought under
_Y -.-# -A
~ i.onl~r~~~" ~ -
"The Nucleus of a new Rainbow"
1978 Mixed Media on paper 40x32"
Collection: Eric Gofton
one location (jazz/classical music/
poetry readings/art auctions/
discussions/fashion shows), the
Kingston public were exposed
to a new dynamic definition of
art and art making, especially
during its years of heightened
activities 1966 and 1967.
By 1965, the "Sunflower
Series" began. This motif would
take him on a three-year journey
before he was finally to paint
the image "out of his system."
Hyde's Floral Series
It is not certain how and
why Hyde selected and reacted
to the sunflower in this way.
Roy Burns, a close friend and
advertising executive at the time
with McCann-Erickson, suggests that
"Gene's interest was stimulated by a
sunflower which he passed on the Old
Stony Hill Road every morning to work."
Mr. Folkes who was stationed in Port
Antonio with the Jamaica Constabulary
Force during the 1930's and who knew
Hyde's father adds that the "sunflower is
a Portland flower" very common to the
parish. Hyde would therefore have been
familiar with it since childhood. Perhaps
too, a combination of both suggestions
could be more accurate.
In some versions, Hyde used the frame
as part of the continued painted surface
while, still yet, in others not only has he
'got the image down' but secured it with
collage elements, such as burlap material
and gauze, all stapled into the hardboard.
The surfaces thus assuming painterly
Today, these experimental ideas are
passe and conventional, but at the time
introduced they were considered for-
ward looking as there were few Jamaican
artists mixing materials in this way.
If the "Sunflower" still seem "tame"
in terms of colour despite the fact that
the average Jamaican viewer found the
series pleasing and easy to collect, "The
Spathodia" Series of 1969, which again
allowed the artist to work within limita-
tion of goals, allowed him to develop into
a true colorist. It is the "Spathodia"
paintings (again numbered and not titled)
that allowed the artist to embrace to the
utmost all the painterly qualities of his
medium, in this case, oil. The richness in
textures and bold colour co-ordinations,
predominantly reds, blues, and greens
(the green versions were the least success-
ful) brought to the fore the "Eros side"
of Hyde's personality which continued
and came to full expansion in the Croton
"The Croton Series" of 1973 should
be regarded as the artist's 'magnum opus'
for the decade 1963 1973. In this series,
Hyde illustrates a calm discipline, even
detachment (not displayed in Sunflower
or Spathodia) while focussing on minute
fragments of the croton itself.
"He felt that the croton was a plant that lent
itself to graphic interpretation as did the sun-
flower, and spathodia, rather than as still life
This, itself, is important for one, the
entire series may be 'read' as abstract
designs in reds, greens, blues and oranges
really "small, self-contained worlds of
wonder and magic, calling to mind the
approach of Graham Sutherland and
Henry Moore who were the first to dis-
cover microisms in tiny fragments of
And second, the use of colour, bold
and strong though it may be, is used in a
dramatic way with a hint at 'shock value'.
The combination of warm and cool
colours applied as pure unmixed passages
with little attempt at blending or search-
Prelude to the Casualties"
1977 Mixed Media on Canvas 32x70"
Collection: Beth Hyde
Mutual Life Assurance Company
4 r- ._ No-
1979 Graphite on paper 17'x22"
Collection: Rosalie Smith-McCrea
ing for tonalities, adds to the tension of
These three floral series represent Hyde
as a colorist and at his most painterly in
his overall development. They also reveal
a side to him which clearly shows just
how much plants and flowers meant to
him. The artist approached them with
great sympathy and understanding as
though they were human beings. "He
loved plants of all varieties, particularly,
ferns, he use to talk, sing and meditate
while watering them in his greenhouse".
Resolution and Synthesis 1973 1980
Shortly after Hyde completed his
Croton Series in 1973, a series that un-
folded a subtle and intensely felt meta-
morphosis while expanding and bringing
to an end his personal inconography of
Jamaican flora, he visited Roger Bruine-
kool in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Bruinekool remarks that Hyde was
extremely restless and felt that he had
come to the end of a chapter in his develop-
ment. He complained about not being
able to use colour, but more importantly,
wanted to find a new content for his art,
and a new form to express this content.
Bruinekool admits that it was on this
occasion that he suggested that Hyde
combine his love and facility of drawing
with that of painting.
From 1975 onwards Hyde experi-
mented furiously with drawing/painting
technique, and it became apparent to the
critic that he might even have been look-
ing at new sources. In an exhibition of
painting, drawing and sculpture entitled
"Contemporary 12" at Gallery Barrington,
5 July/August 1976, the critic noticed for
the first time Hyde's changing treatment
of the figure.
"Some of the figures have been strip-
ped of flesh and one can see their bone
structure which causes one to suspect
that he might be influenced by David
Boxer's ideas to some extent only,
for one feels he has a vision of his own."
By 1977 Hyde was working at a
feverish pace. The social, political and
economic climate in Jamaica were under-
going drastic changes as well. His request
for a retrospective exhibition at the
National Gallery was also denied by the
Board. Hyde, in follow-up discussions
after the denial, made it very clear that
"his art was moving into something totally
new and one sensed the closing of a phase
and a new chapter about to begin.
When asked by Carl Bailey why this
urgency had come into his work, when he
was "creating like mad," Hyde's reply was:
"I don't know, it just happened. I
watched Parboosingh drink himself to
death and it frightened me. There are
a number of things I have to get done.
It has come home to me that it is
difficult to be a significant artist if it's
a part-time thing. One needs to work
at it constantly in order to get things
As the social, political and economic
tension mounted on the island, Hyde's
Rejection" (from the Baka Series)
"Rejection" (from the Bankra Series)
1979 Mixed media on canvas 40 X32"
Collection Beth Hyde
art became increasingly more "cryptic".
He also had a profound need to speak out
about the 'trauma' which his country was
experiencing. "One day I took a good
look at the tramp on Trafalgar Road and
started asking some questions like, what
is the nature of his pain? . .We are all
casualties...the whole painful business of
being an islander envelopes us we are
trapped in a state of dependency."
In the history of Jamaican art, we have
"Negro Aroused", "Strike" by Edna
Manley, "Vox Populi" by Carl Abrahams
and "Dinner at Jamaica House" by Karl
Parboosingh. The first two works we may
regard as products from a sculptor's pro-
found assessments of the socio-political
'tone' of Jamaica's labour force during
the years 1935 1940 "Vox Populi" and
"Dinner at Jamaica House" may be 'read'
as satires on the part of artists. However,
where "Colour is a Personal Thing" and
"The Casualties" are concerned, Hyde
was particularly clear and precise about
the inspiration behind the content, which
arose out of a protest against the social,
political and economic situation in
Jamaica, at that time.
Hyde's final drawings (which were
never exhibited) combine the Baconian
Casualty 'space frame' with Casualty head
forms and Jamaican market baskets like
"Banana Baskets with Wrapped Heads"
belonging to Sonia Jones or "Abstract
Drawing" belonging to Susan Shirley.
Included among this final set of drawings
were also luminous, vivid and simplified
coloured works on paper of the
"Heliconia." Hyde had returned once
again to his personal iconography on
Eugene Hyde was a very private and
intense man, who did not reveal himself
easily, to people, even to the few close
associates that he had.
Hyde had a recurring premonition that
he would die in his 40's. His wife, Beth,
mentioned this on several occasions. Per-
haps too, this partially explained his de-
sire to have had a retrospective of his
work at the National Gallery in 1977,
covering twenty-two years of his art
development. It also might explain the
sense of urgency that gripped him to pro-
duce more and stronger work as his life
approached its end.
With the Compliments of
JAMAICA UNIT TRUST
L u00 UNIT TRUST
S Ironically, Eugene did not
feel that he belonged to
Mainstream Jamaican art. He
S felt that as an artist trained
in California, he "started his
p career responding to a Metro-
politan world" and even que-
-, stioned the notion of 'a
j Jamaican Art Movement.'
Yet, all the evidence shows
that he was essentially a very
Jamaican artist, profoundly
moved and influenced by his
own environment, who at the
end of his life felt that as an
Artist he carried a social as
well as a personal responsibility
to himself and to the public, bearing
closely on description of the artist's
"The creative process so far as we are
able to follow at all, consists in the un-
conscious activation of an archetyral
image, and in elaborating and shaping
this image in the finished work.
"By giving it shape, the artist translates
it into the language of the present, and
so makes it possible for us to find our
way back to the deepest springs of
life. Therein lies the social significance
of art: it is constantly at work educat-
ing the spirit of the age."
The spirit in Man, Art and Literature
He was one of the early Jamaican
artists to introduce figurative and non-
figurative abstract expressionism to the
Jamaican public in the early 1960's. His
oeuvre reflects his solid commitment to
the abstract mode, at the expense of
more traditional and popular styles still
His legacy to Jamaican art lies in his
contribution to art education, and to his
founding in 1970 of the John Peartree
Gallery. Through this gallery, he was able
to bring to the fore a wider variety of
hitherto unnoticed younger Jamaican
talent. It also includes his dynamic asso-
ciation with the Contemporary Jamaican
Artists Association during its nine years
of existence. Through the gallery, the
Association collected and exhibited local
artwork, organised small showing for the
rural parishes, and exposed the Jamaican
public to foreign art and artists from
abroad. It also organized contemporary
shows for prestigious foreign venues, and
exposed the banking community and
other corporations to the notion of art
Above all, Hyde 'expanded' the ambit
of creative artmaking. He felt very strong-
ly about bringing Jamaican themes into
hotels and larger corporate structures via
large-scale mural design. His Bank of Ja-
maica "Maskin-Acom, 1938" and
"Columbus Mural" at Discovery Bay are
two very good examples. He also elevated
the status of drawing as an expressive
force, having just as much importance
Throughout his entire career, his art
took inspiration not only from the human
figure, but from the rich and varied Ja-
maican floral and fruit life, as much of
which came from his beloved native
With kind permission of the N.G. from "Eugene
Hyde a Retrospective" catalogue April 84.
1976 Mixed Media on canvas 72x300 "
Collection: Bank of Jamaica
ALMOND TREE RESTAURANT
Ribiaicus iabge 39otel
P.O. BOX 52
TEL: 974-2676/ 2269
With the Compliments of
THE DIANA CABINET OF MYSTERIES
Rosalie Smith-McCrea talks with David Boxer
about his Cabinet of Mysteries commissioned
by the American Ambassador William Hewitt
in 1983 -
Arts Jamaica thanks Ambassador and Mrs.
Hewitt for their kind assistance in the photo-
graphy and preparation of this interview.
RSM: In terms of your previous out-put
of collage and collage boxes, this
is a major statement to date in
respect to its incorporating allu-
sions to Art History I feel less
so allusion to film, autobiography
or even music. You refer to it as
"A Cabinet of Mysteries." For me
it seems to be a poetic ode or
requiem to the drama of Diana
and the Stag. How would you
describe it? Do you see it as con-
struction, assemblage, collage,
furniture, collage painting or a
combination of all media?
DB: I think it's all of these, Rosalie.
I personally see three traditions
combined in this cabinet. The
Renaissance Cabinet and I've
always been attracted to those
richly ornamental gold cabinets
of the Renaissance, primarily
those from Italy and France,
where there were many scenes
painted on the doors and the in-
ternal doors of the cabinets;
jewelry cabinets often, where the
compartments open up and
people would store their jewelry
in these very ornamental pieces of
This evokes that tradition, but of
course, it is not a piece of furni-
ture to be used, it is simply one to
be explored and to be viewed.
There are no compartments where
one puts anything. Every nook
and cranny is already filled up,
MODERNIST TRENDS IN JAMAICAN ART -
SOME PRACTITIONERS COMMENT ON THEIR ART
occupied by the drama of the
collages that exist in each com-
partment. The second tradition
involved in this is that of the
"surrealist box" you know I've
been a tremendous admirer of
Joseph Cornell, the first great
boxmaker in surrealist terms, and
his tiny mysterious worlds where
strange objects combined with
everyday objects create a totally
new dream-like atmosphere.
From a student at Cornell Uni-
versity where they happened to
have a room full of Cornell's, I
became interested in these boxes,
and I have been doing my own
boxes. They've grown beyond the
sort of dimensions of Cornell's
own boxes to become multiple
boxes, boxes within boxes, boxes
within cabinets. I think this is
where the film aspect comes in.
You are really looking at an ex-
ploration in almost cinematic
terms. You look at close-ups, you
look at long-shots, you look at
medium-shots all in collage
The third tradition is the tradi-
tion of the reliquary Christian
reliquaries, altar-pieces, of the
past which would have little frag-
ments, the bones, the hair of
saints wrapped and placed within
works and around the frames. One
of the ones that has affected me
greatly is a small one in Baltimore
in the Walters Art Gallery.
Surrounding that image were some
very crude little compartments
with objects tied up. I don't know
what these objects were, they are
labelled, but in Greek, And really,
I wouldn't want to know what
these objects were, though they
were probably bones, fragments,
clothing, or something from a
saint. I like to keep those
mysteries and don't want to un-
ravel them. The whole idea of a
Hidden Object has always fasci-
nated me (one thinks back to
Duchamps Ball of Twine with the
object within. Lately I was told
that someone had actually opened
it up to find out what the hidden
noise was. That disturbed me
greatly. I don't want to know
what the hidden noise is, in that
famous pun by Duchamp.)
In this particular box, there are
heads, things that are wrapped. I
wanted to evoke the sense of a
head, but it is not important that
you know it's a head. It is a
Inside of the little plexiglass cases
surrounding the shrine to Acteon,
it is not important what the things
are. They do, in fact, have a lot to
do with personal memories. In fact,
I have incorporated old works, old
reliquaries within that particular
Reliquary but I'm jumping the
gun and getting to the actual
meaning of the box...
RSM: One feels that referring to the work
as a cabinet is very important to
the central focus of it. You men-
tioned earlier that the allusions,
The Shrine of Diana: The three dimensional
image of the Goddess in ecstasy is protected by
the portucullis of her chastity on which the
'relics' of past suitors (in fact sections of their
thigh bones) prevent us modem day suitors
from approaching the Goddess. There is a portal
which penetrates to the very core of the
Goddess' mystery but it is jealously guarded by
a silver stag in whom resides the memories of
Acteon, Orion and the many, many suitors who
failed to win Diana's heart.
the references go back to
European iconography, the theme
of the Pieta, the surrealist surprise
element the box collage which
again has a long history from the
Dadaists -There are however two
allusions to Greek mythology;
apart from the panel on the left,
dedicated to Leda and the Swan,
the Cabinet's integrity and the ten-
sion which I feel between the
elements seem to concentrate very
successfully on Diana the Greek
Artemis Goddess of the Moon and
sister of the Sun God Appollo.
DB: I was interested when you said -
"apart from the left hand panel -
which deals with Leda and the
Swan." I call it very much part of
the whole box. I call it The Diana
Cabinet of Mysteries, because that
is the central theme, but I have
used Diana and the Stag as a
symbol of chaste, love and com-
pared and contrasted it with the
theme of Leda and the Swan which
I use as a symbol of very erotic,
Leda and the Swan: The imagination
of the Goddess in an autoerotic
fantasy. The bird is but a dream. A
longing for the union with Jupiter.
There are other sections however;
I have taken the two eggs of Leda,
for instance, and created a whole
cabinet which I call the "Nursery
of Leda's Eggs", with the Three
Graces tending the eggs.
- *- m^--- ^ Baf
The Nursery: The three graces tend the two
golden eggs of Diana eggs which can never
hatch. The unfertilized product of her leda-
There are other myths, too, that
are interwoven. The birth of Venus
has become the birth of Diana.
She is born as a twin in a "surreal-
ist symbolic" way. All of it
symbolises the two sides of Diana's
personality, one inward, one out-
ward. This is symbolised by the
shells from which she is born.
One is closed, one open. The
double hand from which she is
born, the hand of the Creator -
really sets the whole notion of
The Duality in motion.
- Of course, as you knowDianais a
twin the twin sister of Appollo
hence, the Golden Box...
SRSM: The Cabinet of mysteries has
assembled a wide variety of
S materials. There is an emphasis,
S however, on glass and mirrors,
again to me referring to a surrealist
S preoccupation. . illusion, repiti-
tion. There are also myriad sen-
sual materials, such as marble, and
small spiral shells alluding to the
theme of "Vanitas'* and the
S theme of Time, spinning itself out.
Much of your box collage that I
have seen seems to deal with this
theme the confrontation
between the past and the present,
time passing, especially your re-
cent "Requiem Spiel", the work
before this one. It seems to me to
be a work almost obsessed with
this confrontation and time pass-
ing. Could you expand on this for
DB: Well, consciously, I don't think
that time is that much of an im-
portant element in this box.
Naturally, there are going to be
motifs, symbols that I keep using,
that turn up here, and allude to
past boxes the spiral shell, for
"Requiem" is a very different box
responding to a particular moment
in Caribbean history.
It is a response to the murder of
Bishop in Grenada and subsequent
events. I'm not even sure that that
box is finished, or that the "subse-
quent events" are finished. That
definitely is dealing with time.
Time is probably the major theme
of that box.
In the Diana box, I've deliberately
tried to go back into the past, to
stay essentially in the past. I've
not really used too many contem-
porary references in this box.
There are, obviously contempo-
rary concerns. I have dealt with
Diana in a very Freudian manner.
I have split her into her different
personalities, her different sides.
I have used mirrors to do this -
glass to do this but that is
simply a 20th century artists res-
ponding to a classical theme.
I want this cabinet to evoke the
past. I want it to evoke classical
Greece, classical mythology. I
want you to feel as if you've gone
into another world.
__ _- -
The Birth of Diana: The starting point of our
surreal exploration of the Goddess. In a Marine
Grotto the twin hands of the artists conviction
and imagination weave a spell which releases
from the spiny vulviform lambis rugosa (the
scorpion shells) really a metaphor for the
vagina dentata, the two essential aspects of the
Goddess to the left she is the celestial venus -
to the right, venere volgare.
This interview by Rosalie Smith-McCrea, assis-
tant Curator, and Dr. David Boxer Director/
Curator of the National Gallery will be con-
tinued in the next issue.
'Vanitas' type Still-Life (sub theme) -
a collection of objects chosen and arranged to
remind the spectator of the transience and un-
certainty of Life, named from Ecclesiastes (1.2)
Vanitas, Vanitatum and easily recognized by
hour glasses, shells, mirrors, butterflies, flowers,
guttering candles, books, an immediate and
universal language 'MEMENTO MORI.
-- ....._ _
'A sense of disappointment and defeat
is the essential state of mind for creative
work... Undefeated you will have nothing
to say but more of the same.'
The Milton George I bumped into the
other morning at the National Exhibition
was minus his beard and pipe. But the
contemplative air of the Philosopher
(or Fisherman) lingered. Since our desti-
nation happened to be in the direction of
Milton's home, he accompanied my
friends and I out to Hellshire. There,
while the ladies sunbathed, Milton talked
and I wrote furiously ...
The setting, with only one other couple
on the beach, was ideal for an informal
interview. The day was sunny and clear
with a strong south breeze blowing; all
the time that he spoke, Milton gestured
expansively with his long arms and hands.
There was no beard to stroke thoughtfully,
or pipe to pull on. In loosening up
physically, his thoughts flowed easily.
INFLUENCES AND STYLE
When the Jamaica School of Art was
situated at Kingston Gardens, and for
some time after it was shifted to North
Street, Milton attended part-time evening
classes off and on for five or six years -
in order to "keep in contact" with the
art scene. His fellow students in those
days included Cleve Morgan, Alexander
Cooper and Vernon Tong. The one art
teacher who stands out in his memory
is Moya Cousens.
Nietzsche said that 'Anyone who
wishes to be creative must first blast and
destroy all social values.' This is exactly
"Seya" Milton George
Acrylic on Canvas
what Milton sets out to do in his paint,
ings. He emulates Picasso, the Fauves and
German Expressionist Emil Nolde in his
determination to shatter our complacence.
Traces of Willem de Kooning's grotesque
wit peep through Milton's own manhandl-
ing of the female.
But this Expressionist need to shock
conflicts with Milton's Leonie desire for
approval: 'Leo men have to be worshipped
or die', says Linda Goodman. Because the
artist Milton usually predominates, his
Leo ego suffers the pain of personal re-
jection when the public fails to appreciate
There is not a professional artist practis-
ing at present in this country who can
match Milton for his unselfconscious
handling of his materials. There may be
conscious influence at work, perhaps
even deliberate borrowing of scheme but
whether conscious or subsconscious, the
outcome is unmistakably Milton (or, I
should say, MLTON).
Milton is an artist who has a special
penchant for shaking up his audience,
sometimes to the point of total alienation.
In the apparently easy-going Milton's
Fauvist approach to colour and form,
one recurrent theme tends especially to
raise the hackles on some female viewers.
It is the concept of woman as the 'Harpy'.
Webster's New World Dictionary de-
fines Harpy as 'any of several hideous,
filthy, rapacious winged monsters with
the head and trunk of a woman and the
tail, legs, and talons of a bird' (occurring
in Greek Mythology), or, modernlyy), as
'a relentless, greedy, or grasping person',
or 'a shrewish woman'.
How can you persuade an artist to dis-
cuss his childhood and growing up, when
he admits frankly that:
"Basically, the thing that makes me
tick is women. All the joys and all the
sorrows come from women.... A man
can't really do without a woman, you
know. It seems to me like they can do
without us though."
Milton considers "all women" to be
"dangerous in a relationship.... Women
tend to underrate themselves. They have
IT, but they don't realize they have IT"
Still, this knowledge doeS not prevent
him from going "all out in a relationship"
or anything else he undertakes, even if in
the process he should "trap" himself,
"like an animal caged":
"You become an addict."
(Enter the Harpy): "Woman becomes
a monster ready to eat you up".
"Portrait of Milton"-Lloyd Walcott
Acrylic on Canvas
"My interpretation of freedom is to be
left alone to really develop."
"As a painter talking, I don't feel I
should only talk about painting. Paint-
ing is just the end product of all this
feeling you have inside of you. . .
"Maybe the world would just dis-
integrate if people should follow what
the artists say. . I really believe that
big people should ask children what
they feel about certain things. Big
people complicate things."
"Sometimes I feel I could go look a
job, then I wouldn't have to worry
about selling because that can be a
(On the other hand):
"That can be a very dangerous thing,
you know working for money." Once
for about five years Milton held a white-
collar job making up Customs Paybills
for the Department of Supply.He says-he
was a "total misfit" at officework.
And so the discussion continued un-
recorded. Pen and paper had been set
aside in favour of Fried Fish, Festival,
Bammy, and cold Red Stripe.
An artist, and JSA graduate, Laurie Mahfood
writes regularly on art.
ON ABSTRACT ART
It has been said that to be an abstract judge except
artist is to do a lot of talking to yourself whether or r
- or to a very small company. Of all pend on our
genres, it invites suspicion suspicion But the ul
that it provides a refuge for artists who any art, in i
can't draw; suspicion that, in avoiding live with it
familiar iconographs to doesn't really communicate
belong to any national school; suspicion things about
that it deliberately cultivates obscurity gether, or wl
in order to make the viewer feel inferior, mere decorate
And, if it goes beyond mere decorative- noticed.
ness, which is the cardinal sin of much After all,
abstract art, if often demands considerable in themselves,
effort on the part of the viewer, drawing and grab you
on what he can bring to it of his own ex- in a strangle
perience and his own insights. After all, release you
we who "appreciate" art take it for the mundane
granted that artists should reveal their powerful,
souls to us on canvas or on a stage; we challenging
not so ready make the same concession if you can.
to artists all of whom rightly demand that Edna Manle3
we give a little of our soul, as well. As an Jerry Craigs
Indian writer on art once said, "We cannot affair with tl
by our own response: and
lot we can respond will de-
own state of grace".
timate test of abstract art -
act is how long you can
: whether it continues to
with you and reveal new
itself the longer you live to-
hether it settles into being a
;ion on the wall, largely un-
paintings are really entities
s. Some paintings reach out
by the throat and keep you
hold before they eventually
- somewhat shaken into
World outside. Others are
yet elusive, perpetually
you to rise to their heights,
One thinks here of certain
ys, in particular. There are
that carry on a kind of love
he viewer, making seductive
"The Old Moon" Samere Tansley
1983 acrylic on canvas 18" x 24"
Collection: Dr. and Mrs. Brendon Dunn.
gestures of line and colour that promise
unending delight. There are Rodneys that
hold you in the grip of monumental
forces before they eventually reveal that
they are nevertheless peaceful at heart.
There are Boxers and Garlands that dare
you to enter their intensely private and
complex world at your own risk, insinuat-
ing that, once you have passed beyond
the surface of the painting you might
never be the same person again. Others,
like some of Hope Brooks, are restrained
to the point of apparent diffidence. Pass
by without addressing yourself to them
and they will probably shrug their
shoulders and comfort themselves with
the knowledge that the loss is yours. But
take the trouble to explore them in detail,
absorbing the delicate nuances of colour
and texture and the patient craftsman-
ship that has gone into their making and
you will enter a different world that adds
a new dimension to yours.
"The old moon" is a part of a series of
paintings around a theme that has in-
terested me for a number of years. The
main inspiration for which has been the
feminish studies of history, mythology
Perhaps this journey into the past
offers women the possibility of redis-
covering aspects of their grace and power
and their fundamental contribution to
human culture, which in turn will and
the resurrection of the female principle
and the transformation of the present
imbalance of male and female energy.
My aim in these paintings as well as
being a 'Journey' for myself is an attempt
to make possible a stirring of the sub-
conscious recall of the ancient and lost
memories within us all in the exchange
between viewer and painting, what Carl
Jung calls the primal experience that
reservoir of the accumulated culture of
humankind. Often I use ancient statutes
and artifacts as symbols and attributes to
the goddesses juxtaposed with an ultra-
realistic human form to create a more
powerful image. 1iei
Hwoa Pep4i da1!
"Deep within that Blue"
1981 grass stalks, satinwood,
suede 236 x 31" x 4"
Private Collection: on extended
loan to the National Gallery.
"DEEP WITHIN THAT BLUE"
I wrote a poem:
the sea, mother, death
where the blues and greens
of this world
face and no sea bed is in sight. I feel as
though I am inside myself, hence the
figure's eyes are closed, looking inward.
The moon and seaweed shapes of the
figures headdress combine experiences of
the sea. As well, I am hinting at death,
eternity, with the symbolic cross of the
suede garment and the stillness of the
figure. Perhaps I am saying that eternity
for me is silent calm as in below the
surface of the sea.
deep within that blue
touch of cool
and only silence is
And from this poem came the relief
collage "deep within that blue" The
piece, 30" wide by 22" high, made of
carved satin wood, dyed suede and grass
stalks, has two distinct sections, the figure
and the straw. While doing this con-
struction I was particularly interested in
the yin yang forces, that is, the negative
and positive events moving us through
daily life. The straw symbolises chaos,
the figure calm. "deep within that blue"
was also inspired by my love for the sea -
the sea with that rich silence one ex-
periences when floating beneath the sur-
: .. . i .
1983 acrylic on canvas 36"x 36"
A STATEMENT OF TEXTURE
". . .. the effects of time and the ele-
ments, age and weathering on the surfaces
of stones, walls, trees, old glass...... has
an aesthetic all its own. Age makes the
thing beautiful. Time can transform the
most commonplace object into something
of value and, what is more fascinating to
me, something of great beauty.
The beauty that is created by the aging
process is one that constantly attracts and
fascinates me, and the process is not ex-
clusive to objects, but its effects can be
seen on the faces of people also.
The more I am aware of this interest in
the effects of age, the clearer it becomes
to me why the paleolithic and neolithic
paintings formed the source of my early
inspiration and interest in texture. They
are beautiful examples of the 'Textures
of time'. Built up surely and slowly by
nature, these textures meld with the
drawings of those early artists to form a
The same sense of 'time laid on in
many layers' is what I strive to achieve in
the paintings. The process in nature takes
a long time and for want of a better word,
is 'accidental'. The process on canvas
tries to simulate the same natural process.
I never wantmy paintings to look 'painted',
but rather to be the result of layers built
up over time."
Extracts from "Paintings With Discs"
1981/82. Hope Brooks
The theme of "Fellow Traveller" is
freedom, although I did not verbalize this
until after the work was finished. It is
based on themes derived from many
My own series of shell paintings, which
I have derived from nature (perhaps I
have used the shell to represent the soul
or person, with definite female overtones
of beauty and procreation. I certainly
think of each shell as having a personality).
I keep returning to the chambered
nautilus shell because of its beautiful
reflections (external) and perfection of
form (internal). Structurally it is a
logarithmic spiral, which corresponds to
the Golden Mean and duplicates in
miniature the exact form of the galaxies.
Another source was the Winged Victory
or Nike of Samothrace, which is in the
Louvre. This is an anonymous piece of
Hellenistic (Ancient Greek) sculpture,
which is missing its head. It must weigh a
ton in solid marble and represents a winged
female body (quite hefty) with huge
wings, poised at the instant of take-off. A
painstaking masterpiece (marble carving
being the slowest of all) which may have
taken years to execute, representing a
split second in time. Its feminine strength
and beauty, and the instant of taking
flight, were used to symbolize victory. I
went to the Louvre to see it for the first
time last spring, but it was out for restora-
"Fellow Traveller" Tina Matkovic Spiro
1983 egg tempera, casein, oil 48"x60"
Collection: the artist.
tion. When I returned to Jamaica, the
wings somehow sprang up on the shell I
The window of "Fellow Traveller" and
the surrounding wall are actually a con-
struction, with the painting recessed in
the window sill part construction, part
painting. The shadow is my own, waving
bye-bye, or perhaps the gesture is one of
startled recognition. The bullet hole in
the upper right corner is a reminder of
violence that cannot be eliminated from
the hearts of men, and it crept in there
all by itself. The small white birds were
my husband Eran's idea, who said they
would enhance the feeling of flight,
which they did; it was a challenge to take
such diverse elements shell, wings, win-
dow and make them seem credible.
At some point in this painting, I
thought it was finished and exhibited it.
When it came back, I had to repair some
damage sustained in the exhibition. As I
worked on it again, I started adding de-
tails reflections on the shell, the moon,
birds, foam in the sea, and darkened the
tone of the wall and landed up working
another month on it. There is a very subtle
reflection in the shell of the person in the
window, almost unnoticeable, which
required 25 color changes.
I do not put a time limit on how long I
will spend on a work. You work and you
paint and paint and paint until one day
the last brush stroke goes on, and you say
"There, that's it, I cannot make it any
better." The eye and the mind are not
satisfied until this condition has been met.
Another preoccupation of mine is
aerial perspective, the idea of the canvas
being a window that opens up in the wall,
and the contradiction and sheer fun of
things seen up close and far away a
shell the size of a UFO, a house as small
as a fleck of dust. Small things seen up
close, big things far away.
I have also been fascinated by the con-
ventions of the Renaissance portrait (like
the Mona Lisa) with the subject up close
and a receding landscape ( or the province
of the sitter ) in the background. The
erotic and animistic undercurrent in my
work, is achieved largely through subtle
exaggeration of the lines and forms in
All of my work is inspired by the
beauty and grandeur of Jamaica, a paradise
which one hopes will not be spoilt by
pollution and land erosion. I hope to
paint as much of it as possible, as it
someday may be just a memory.
But ultimately, when a work is viewed,
it should communicate and stir feelings
in the viewer, regardless of the specific
references or intentions of the artist.
It should be thing of beautyunto itself.
Tina Matkovic Spiro
"Interlocking Forms" Winston Patrick
"The recurring decimal in Winston
Patrick's work is an awareness of the
potency of man's imagination in a world
of transformations; its ability to devise
or dream up zauy transformations of its
The stuff of one universe has in the
twentieth century been subjected to
rational scrutiny to the point where it has
lost much of its ancient mystery; every-
thing but its genesis (according to my
untutored view of science) is now a matter
of observable process. Man's playful
imagination daily reconstitutes matter
for utilitarian purposes, creating all sorts
of synthetic materials and even moving
into the former sacrosanct area of
recycling or reproducing human or animal
tissues. Is it not inevitable that this
should be reflected in art?
Winston Patrick's works seem to me an
elegant and witty demonstration of
characteristic contemporary impudence
in the face of old "certainties." What he
does specifically, is to turn upside down
or inside out our expectations of what
wood should or could, can, shall or may
be expected to be or do.
Gloria Escoffery in
Jamaica Journal 16/2.
When I confront my work, I must dominate,
,-,. -.I ;., '. L, ''
.'- I ': ..l I "
"Patchwork -the female Pattern" Pet Archer
1982 -Mixed Media Collection: the artist
When I confront my work, I must dominate,
it, and not the other way around. It presents
me with hundreds of possibilities; in this sense,
the subject is not important. I work mostly
from ny imagination, my road is experimental...
Fitz Harrack with "Splash Forms" (79) III
"Landscape (Trickle)" Eric Cadien
Mixed media on paper 30 X 23" 1978 '83
Collection Mr. and Mrs. Oswald Seymour
With the Compliments of
ESSO STANDARD OIL S.A. LTD.
Dard Hunter in his book "Papermaking the
history and Technique of an ancient craft" defines
paper in this way:
"To be classed as true paper the thin sheets
must be made from fibre that has been macerated
until each individual filament is a separate unit;
the fibres are then intermixed with water and, by
the use of a sievelike screen are lifted from the
water in the form of a thin stratum, the water
draining through the small openings of the screen
leaving a sheet of matted fibre upon the screen's
surface. This layer of intertwined fibre is paper."
In AD 105, Ts'ai Lun announced the invention
of papermaking to the Emperor Chien Chu' of
China. This paper was made from mulberry and
other barks, fishnet hemp and rags. By AD 470 the
use of paper spread rapidly throughout the
country and was introduced into Japan.
Samarkand was the first place outside of China to
grasp the techniques of this art (from prisoners of
war). Subsequently Egypt, Spain, Sicily and
Germany were known to have used paper
between 900 AD and 1228 AD while in England
paper was first used in 1309 AD.
By the year 1487 AD therefore almost every
country in Europe had adopted printing with
handmade paper and some time around 1638
AD, was introduced into America. The use of
paper since these early beginnings had gathered
steady momentum; today even the wasp uses
natural fibres in the fabrication of its paper-like
In the West at this time, handmade paper has
moved in just over 200 years from being a
necessity to a luxury. The mechanization of the
papermaking process, the development of
woodpulp paper, and the use of paper as a
medium for a vast range of processes from writing,
teletype and photocopies and computer printouts,
has made paper an essential item Woodpulp paper
has increased in economic importance, but for the
artist it has diminished aesthetic value -
Handmade paper may, very shortly, be found only
in museums and private libraries.
Printmaking has become the medium for fine
art. Similarly handmade paper has become a fine
art luxury material created by artists, for
drawings, prints collages and book illustrations
and by fine press printers for the publication of
limited edition volumes.
In Jamaica, artists use paper for printing, quick
studies, drawings and to a lesser degree in collages
and paintings. Canvas has been tried and tested -
as has handmade paper; many prospective
purchasers often look for a work on canvas, rather
than paper even though they may be similarly
priced, feeling that there is greater value in the
work on canvas. In the world's art capitals
however paper has brought an ever escalating art
market within the price range of the average
person. The famous artist whose works on canvas
were too large, or too expensive, are now often
accessible as prints.
Paperwork, evolved from the search for a new
visual language. This old art form was
reintroduced officially into the American art
scene in the late 60's and has attracted
tremendous response since. In handmade paper
the artist has control of the medium from the
preparation of the fibres right through to
completion. It provides spiritual fulfilment, and is
functional, versatile, plastic, and cross back and
forth between two dimensional and three
dimensional expression. Handmade paper for the
artist is new. Although there are new freedom's
opening up through the use of handmade paper,
technical mis-information has become a real
problem. There are however, an increasing
number of researchers who, in the last ten years or
so, have been trying, through make up this gap.
Woven paper by Cheryl Daley-Champagnie.
"TO CREATE A COMPOSITIONIN
WHICH THE DESCRIPTION OF THE
SURFACES OF THE VISIBLE THINGS
ARE TO BE TAKEN BEYOND THEIR
THUS A SEARCHING BEGINS WITHIN
TO FIND THE TR UTH THE
INTERPRETATION OF THE
EXPERIENCE ON ALL LEVELS.
AND SO DESIGN, COLOUR- VALUE,
TEXTURE, FORM ALL
INTER-MINGLE TOWARD THE AIM
OFMELOD Y ON CANVAS."
"Red fence" George Rodney
Acrylic on Canvas 2934x35- "
Collection: Myers, Fletcher, Gordon, Manton
Handmade Paper at Home
Most materials high in cellulose that
can be reduced to a pulplike consistency
are appropriate for experimentation.
Cotton, hay, hibiscus, jute, banana leaves
are a few such materials. Any tool that
can beat, chop, shred or cut the fibres
may be used, for example, a blender
mortar and pestle or meat grinder.
Other equipment includes
(1) A sponge
(2) Measuring cup
(3) A wooden frame
(4) A piece of gauze or calico a little
larger than the frame.
(5) Household iron or a sunny day.
(6) Small pieces of clean cotton or paper.
(7) A smooth working surface.
Plastic containers for mixing are pre-
ferable. For the using of natural materials,
these must be thoroughly dried and left
to become brittle before being used. They
must then be cut into small pieces and
then boiled in an enamel pot to rid the
fibres of their fleshy parts. Bleach may be
used when boiling the fibres, but allowing
the fibres to simmer for two or three
hours will sufficiently break down the
material without damaging (as in the case
of the bleach).
The fibres must be washed thoroughly
until the water runs clear. If they are still
tough, additional boiling may become
(1) Make sure your stuff (fibres) is
clean (2) Using any one of the cutting
instruments cut up the stuff and put in
water. (3) Use a 3-1 ratio, that is water
to dry pulp. This will vary according to
need. (4) Place frame on smooth working
surface (5) Pour beaten pulp unto picture
frame, taking care to spread it evenly
until the pulp has filled the frame. It may
be necessary to prepare more pulp. (6)
"Pat" the mixture to make sure it is even.
After a few minutes lift the frame.
(7) Place cheese cloth or calico over
the wet sheet and carefully, starting from
the perimeter, work around the sheet
with a dampened sponge to press the
water out of the paper.
Various cotton fibres used in papermaking.
Deuer, snrowrg muvrri~r, ot ne putp in a counter The beaten roll is adjusted to the desired
clock wise fashion, clearance with the bedplate; the length of time
ir that pulp is beaten determines the end product
The cotton rags after being beaten for half an hour.
The deckle frame is held tightly to the mould and a sweeping motion is used
(towards your body) to capture the pulp on top of the mould. Excess water
is shaken off sideways, backwards and forward.
The newly formed sheet is allowed to drain.
(8) When you believe you have ex-
tracted all the water remove the cloth
from the sheet further, drying in the sun
or with an electric iron can be done.
When the sheet is bone dry you would
have produced a sheet of waterleaf or un-
sized handmade paper ideal for print-
making or writing on with a ball point
pen. For painting the sheet must be made
water proof, either by emmersing the
sheet in a tray with a size or by applying
the size with a brush. (Some materials
which can be experimented with are
gelatin, animal skin or hoof glue, or corn
starch). A sheet may require more sizing
depending on its intended use. A sheet of
paper for stationery will need more sizing
than one for watercolour painting. Excess
size should be squeezed out by placing
the sheet between cloth and repeating
In the early stages of papermaking by
hand it is suggested that you use readily
available materials. In Jamaica we have
many other plants that can be ex-
perimented with. At the Jamaica School
of Art a course in Basic Papermaking, is
offered. The course is ten weeks in dura-
tion; the school may be contacted for
Removing the deckle frame after draining.
The mould is positioned for couching or
transferring the sheet to the awaiting wet felts.
The sheets are placed in this book binders press for
Cheryl Daley Champagne artist, teacher at St.
Hugh High School; she has introduced the course
in paper-making at the Jamaica School of Art
of which she is a recent graduate.
Each sheet is stripped from its felt to
another dry felt for further pressing. The sheets
are then dried.
"Great art is not made with histrionic
gestures. It is made slowly and in silence "Art is like turning covers; one never
with movements of hand and arm that are knows what is around the corner until
likely to remind us of a watchmaker one has made the turn".
than of an orchestra conductor at grips
with Mahler's Eighth. Milton Avery
N. Y. Times
The sheet remains on the face
of the mould.
of the mould.
The Myers, Fletcher & Gordon,
Manton & Hart Collection
The art collection of the Myers,
Fletcher & Gordon, Manton & Hart legal
firm is one of the most highly regarded in
Jamaica, not only because it was one of
the first corporate collections to be
assembled, but because it includes vintage
examples of work by almost all of the
country's major artists.
The collection comprises approx-
imately sixty-five pieces but appears much
larger since another thirty-five to forty
pieces of lawpartner Pat Rousseau's private
collection have, until this year, been on
display with the company's works. This
reflects the integral role which Rousseau
played in both starting and stimulating
the growth of the collection. He
acknowledges: "The thing that got the
collection going was that we decided to
put up this building in the late sixties. It
was just around the time when I was very
heavily involved in the Contemporary
Jamaican Artists Association as one of
the founders. There were three artists
(Eugene Hyde, Karl Parboosingh and
Barrington Watson), A.D. Scott, myself
and Vayden McMorris who were the six
founders of that.
"Vayden McMorris and I had been
pushing to try and get firms to set aside a
part of their budget, when they were
building, to put art work into the build-
ing to decorate it. So when we came with
this building right at that time, I decided
that we shouldhave collection ourselves."
Reflecting Pat Rousseau's close relation-
ship with artists Barry Watson and Karl
Parboosingh, from whom he learned much
about the technical aspects of art, Mr.
Rousseau concentrated on making a basic
collection of the established artists, in-
cluding Carl Abrahams, Colin Garland,
Eugene Hyde, Karl Parboosingh and
Barry Watson. Albert Huie is the only
major artist not represented.
The first paintings purchased were
from the "Croton" series by Eugene Hyde
while the single largest concentration of
paintings by one artist is the work of
Carl Abrahams, of which eight are in the
collection. Most of the very large pieces,
including the Hyde's, were bought out of
the firm's original art budget.
"Black Breadfruit" by Karl Parboosingh.
Pat Rousseau remembers: "We were
trying to get people to put anything from
two to five percent of the' total cost of
the building aside as a budget to buy art
works. I don't think too many people
bothered but we certainly tried. When we
started buying, as far as I'm aware, the
only other firm that bought art work was
Maurice Facey's Pan Jamaican. Nobody
else. You couldn't get them interested.
We're talking about 1970-71. We must
have started with $150,000, which was a
good sum in those days."
The building at 21 East Street was de-
signed by the architectural firm of
McMorris, Sibley and Robinson, while the
interiors were done by Joane Sibley and
Hestor Rousseau. By all accounts, Hestor
Rousseau is responsible for assembling
approximately a third of the collection.
"I was given a pretty free hand," says.
'Mrs. Rousseau. "It wasn't as if there was a.
selection committee. It was quite a bit
of responsibility so I tried to be as re-
presentative as possible to give each person
a chance of exposure, because at that
time some of the artists were not being
recognized as serious artists. For example,
I don't think anybody would have thought
of asking Seya Parboosingh to do a mural.
"I put it to Myers, Fletcher & Gordon
to commission some art because there
were certain areas where it would have
been difficult to find pieces that were as
large as needed and that would work.
That wall that Seya did the three murals
for, I took her up there and I said, 'Look
Seya, as far as I know, you've never done
anything as large as this before, but there
is a quality in your work that I would
like to see in these spaces.' She decided to
convey joy or joie de vivre in a very
simplistic, child-like way.
"As a matter of fact, when those
murals were put in there, it caused a great
hullabaloo. 'What is this nonsense?' But it
simmered down after a while and I think
the general comment from the public was
'How bright and gay and lighthearted' -
the effect it produced.
"You sort of go out on a limb when
you're selecting in that you don't know
whether its going to please the people
who are occupying the place."
Another commissioned work which
caused controversy consisted of wooden
panals by Fitzroy Harrack which he says
were createdto convey "Communication".
Hestor Rousseau recalls: "I was accused by
one of the partners afterwards of putting
phallic symbols all around his board room
. .. .But I never read anything erotic in it
at all. I doubt if Fitz really intended that.
He looked at it from the point of view of
the visual, with some sort of movement
and continuity along the wall."
"Crucifixion" by Carl Abrahams
With the Compliments of
Ccdlate Ialmcn Ve CC. Jamaica
it .( r I K .. '"Mr. and Mrs.
/: I--v"* Goes
,- ,. Shopping "- Colin
tm. 2% tGarland
Parboosingh from 1952. Mr. Rousseau
Other commissioned works include notes that Garland's "Mr. and Mrs. Goose"
pieces by Norma Harrack created after was done shortly after the artist's return
seeing the area for which they were from a vacation in Haiti and "It looks
intended. Pat Rousseau explains: "We very much like a Haitian primitive done
have some alcoves that we built deliberate- in the Garland style. I think it's one of
ly on the third floor reception area to his really outstanding pieces."
receive small ceramic pieces and that's
really the only place we put them because
they're too delicate. We have two big
Gene Pearsons in the hallway and some-
body chipped one of them. Ceramics are
much too easy to damage."
Another of Hestor Rousseau's pre-
ferences was for the purchase of seven
superb canvases by the Guyanese artist
Aubrey Williams who now lives in London
but was then residing in Jamaica. Although
the collection consists primarily of oil
paintings, two sculptures by Edna Manley,
"Strike" in bronze, and "Father Forgive
Them" in wood, are some of the more
prized pieces in the collection.
The complete art works were last .
appraised in 1981 by Barrington Watson
and were then valued at $198,000 but
with more recent acquisitions and chang- .
ing dollar values their worth would today
be nearer $600,000 to $700,000 in Mr. .
Rousseau's estimation. Individually, the .iib'
most valuable works include Colin L
Garland's "Mr. and Mrs. Goose",
Barrington Watson's "Two Women", and .
Karl Parboosingh's "Crucifixion", the I
latter being the firm's most recent acquisi-
tion along with another smaller, untitled
Although the legal firm does not
sponsor art shows or individual artists as
such, Mr. Rousseau is very strongly in
favour of businesses getting involved in
exhibitions and sponsorship. He observes:
"Jamaica has a very sophisticated collec-
tion of art buyers. If you sponsor an artist
just because you have a connection with
him and he's no good, he won't sell any-
thing and you won't get anybody to the
show. I think it's tremendous that we're
now getting more and more companies
involved in art. Myers, Fletcher & Gordon
didn't go into art collecting on the basis
of creating wealth or as a hedge against
inflation. We just think that you can't
have a really attractive office without art
work explains Mr. Rousseau.
Members of the general public who
wish to see the Myers, Fletcher & Gordon,
Manton & Hart art collection were once
welcomed and allowed to tour the
premises but this eventually proved dis-
ruptive to work since so much of the art
is in individual offices. Students of the
Jamaica School of Art and art lovers are
now allowed to view the collection during
the lunch hour only by special arrange-
holds a doctorate
S in African
writes regularly on
folklore and art.
With the Compliments of
THE SHELL COMPANY (W.I.) LTD.
Petrona Morrison is a young artist
whose name has become well known in
local art circles, and who is currently
studying and painting abroad. A BA
(Fine Arts), Summa Cum Laude from
McMasters University in Canada, Morrison
began painting professionally on her re-
turn to Jamaica in 1976 though her
interest in art goes back to her childhood.
She taught at Wolmer's Girls School
from 1976 to 1977, and went on to work
in the mass media while painting and ex-
hibiting on a regular basis in both group
and solo shows locally. Morrison also ex-
hibited overseas in 1981 as one of Four
Artists at the Gallery House in Washington
D.C., in 1983 at the McMasters University
Alumni Exhibition and, most recently, in
October 1983, in a joint anti-apartheid
exhibition involving African and West
Indian artists and titled 'A Reflection of
Our Heritage: Africa and the Caribbean'.
A student of Howard University's
Masters of Fine Arts graduate programme
since October 1983, Morrison also plans
to exhibit at Hood College for Women,
in Maryland, with other graduate students,
and in a group show planned for New
Jersey during Black History Month.
Morrison looks at her two year sojourn
as a period which will allow her to
develop new avenues in technique and
material use. Her early work was mostly
in oils, but she has now expanded to
mixed media including oils, acrylic and
gouache and is also increasingly explor-
ing textures and using collage elements
such as rope, cement, clay and cloth.
Morrison comments that her work has
been, and continues to be, both highly
personal and also a commentary on social
and political happenings.
"I have been greatly influenced by
readings from the psychologist Jung on
symbolism and the subconscious" she re-
marks. "This is an area that I will be
focusing on in my written thesis a
requirement of the MFS degree.
"I regard this two year period as an
exciting adventure for me" she added.
"It allows me time to develop and relate
to a cross section of artists."
Two particular influences: Ethiopian
artist Skunder Boghassian, and
American artist Edgar Sorrello Adewale,
both of them lecturers in the Fine Arts
Department of Howard University, and
both of them contacts who have been en-
"Holding On" Petrona Morrison
Oil on Canvas 1981 21x236 -
Collection: the Artist
couraging the artist to develop her interest
in symbols and in the use of texture.
Morrison's Howard experience will end
with a written thesis and final exhibition
before graduation targeted for May'
Afterwards she plans to return to
Jamaica and continue painting profes-
P.O. Box 79,
"ARTS JAMAICA" a quarterly magazine of the Visual Arts celebrating and sharing
our profound artistic heritage with an ever-widening public.
Subscription rates (inclusive of postage, handling)
4 issues J$25.00 / US$20.00.
Back copies available on request.
(Please print cheques and money orders to be made payable to: Arts Jamaica,
P.O. Box 79, Kingston 8.)
eJIAMARCA ARTEST3 ABROAD
Pet Archer continues the discussion with
PA. Is it appropriate for me to use Lin-
seed oil on my wooden sculptures
which appear dull and dry?
SB. To maintain the integrity of the
sculpture one should not apply
linseed oil. This oil is heavy and
creates its own patina which changes
the colour of the original work.
Very little seeps into the wood or
has a preservative effect. The oil
also attracts dust and dirt and in the
long term wrinkles in a weblike
form on the surface of the sculpture.
What one needs in a case like this is
a penetrant solution (oil) or melted
beeswax, which is usually profes-
PA. I would like to keep my wooden
sculpture pieces out on the patio but
I am worried about atmospheric
conditions. What do you advise?
SB. This should be suitable if there is
not too much sunlight entering this
area, or if it is not exposed to too
much moisture which often en-
courages insects or reptiles.
I do not however recommend
regular movingabout of works of art
since they build up their own
equilibrium to prevailing atmos-
PA. What can I do about a piece of
wooden sculpture which appears to
be infested with termites.
SB. Initially, you will have to verify
whether your piece is termite
infested. Check for dust falling,
from affected areas or eggs em-
bedded in the woodwork. These
signs are apparent, use of a mere
household spray will not be suffi-
cient. Certain pest control com-
panies can provide solutions that
can serve to treat your works. How-
ever, if applied superficially larva
which resides inside the wood work
may remain and aggravate infesta-
It is best in severe cases to have your
work treated professionally.
PA. How best can I care for my wooden
SB. You should make regular checks on
your work for termite infestation,
cracks, dust and dirt accumulations;
over-exposure to sunlight or
This regime combined with regular
dusting with lint or soft cotton
should insure the preservation of
PA. Do works in wood last longer than
SB. Not necessarily; both materials are
organic and therefore subject to
decay. The longevity of artworks
depend primarily on careful treat-
ment and proper maintenance.
PA. Are there any types of wood that I
should avoid when buying sculpture
or be especially careful of?
SB. Yes. One should be wary of- green
hardwood, especially Lignum vitae.
other hard woods are cedar
mahogany ebony, guango and
spanish elm, all used in Jamaica.
These should also be avoided when
they have not been properly cured.
Check for signs of moisture, sap, a
damp odour, and heaviness in
weight. Also to be avoided are soft-
wood carvings, i.e. those made from
woods such as pine, butterwood or
1948 Cedar Height: 25" Collection:
Mr. Allon Miller
(On extended loan to the National Gallery
With Ihe Compliments of
Twin Gates Shopping Centre, 25% Constant Spring Road
CARING FOR YOUR WORKS OF ART IN WOOD
HATOIlO NAL GALLIIERY
The Pre 2oth Century Collectior
Visitors to the Gallery will be pleased
to note that the Pre-twentieth Century
Collection is now open for viewing. This
spacious gallery accommodates paintings,
prints and sculpture dating to as far back
as the 17th century and will offer a good
survey of the history of the visual arts in
Jamaica up to the late 19th century.
Works by itinerant artists such as Phillip
Wickstead, James Hakewill, Issaac Mendez
Bellsario and Joseph Kidd are all
The National Gallery has recently
launched a public appeal to raise funds
for the purchase of a most important
piece of Jamaican Art 'The Prophet' by
Edna Manley. This early work of Edna
Manley was one of a group carved between
1935 and 1937 and is a virtual companion
piece to 'Negro Aroused'. Whereas 'Negro
Aroused' was purchased by public sub-
scription and presented to the Institute
of Jamaica to form the basis of a National
Collection 'The Prophet' which was pur-
chased privately in 1937 was taken from
the island and has never been exhibited
since. The National Gallery is now
purchasing this work and is requesting
donations from all those who wish to see
this extremely important and moving
work included in the National Permanent
The Hyde Retrospective
Presently showing at the National
Gallery is the Eugene Hyde Retrospective,
an extensive exhibition comprising 136
works which systematically and the-
matically documents the 'ouvre' of one
of Jamaica's most important 'Abstract
expressionists'. The artist's major exhibi-i
tion takes in many of Hyde's large murals;
from corporate collections and a good
Nyammer to the
"The Prophet" -
1935 1937 Mahogany
Photography thanks to
Dr. Owen Minott -
from a series of working
number of paintings and drawings from
private collections which are rarely seen,.
and will run till early July.
Intuitive Sculpture Donated to
Jamaican Intuitive sculptor, William
Joseph, known to his friends as "Woody"
has donated to the National Gallery of
Jamaica an important sculpture which he
recently carved from breadfruit wood.
It is called "Nyammer" because, as Joseph
explains ". .. He is always eating his
mouth is always open." The sculpture is
21" inches in height, and is a welcome
and much appreciated addition to the
Gallery's growing collection of works by
this outstanding sculptor. On making
donation, Joseph quietly said: ". .. I want
to give this piece to the Gallery... some
things are more important than money."
William Joseph lives in Stony Hill where
he farms and carves his works using a
variety of Jamaican woods.
With the Compliments of
40-46 KNUTSFORD BOULEVARD,
P.O. BOX 313, KINGSTON 5, JAMAICA, W.I.
JAMAIlCA (SCHOOL (OF A'RT
JAMAICA SCHOOL OF ART
Donations, fund raising, scholarships, the
recent news at the Jamaica School of Art
certainly has a monetary flavour. But not
entirely there are also new curriculum
additions and building expansion plans
which have spouted. Let's get to the
JEWELLERY DEPT. EXPANSION
On February 26th at 10:00 a.m. several
volunteers gathered at Jamaica School of
Art to break ground for the Jewellery
Department Expansion Programme. Spear-
headed by Friends of Jamaica School of
Art the project received crucial financial
support from the Prime Minister. The
project will serve three functions:
1) to house equipment for the
2) to create storage space for the
Jamaica School of Art Collection
3) to supply additional Painting and
Drawing Studio space.
This last function should alleviate some
of the isolation and movement trauma,
associated with a recent shift of the 4th
year Painting class away from the C.T.C.
Complex to a Central Avenue location in
an effort to create more studio space.
Heart felt thanks are extended to the West
Germans who donated a new NABER
Electric Kiln to the Ceramic Department.
The Kiln which arrived in February, will
serve a vital role in the Department. This
is the second Kiln which the West
Germans have donated to Jamaica School
of Art. So thanks again:
The Foundation Department (1st Year
Studio) at Jamaica School of Art has
begun a concerted fund raising drive. The
target amount of $10.00 is to be channel-
led back into the School principally
through student Scholarships. Already
weekly food sales are taking place and
these initial funds have been placed in a
newly established bank account. A tag
drive took place in April, the culminating
event is a Barbeque Concert in October
at which "KOTCH" will appear. In these
days of rapidly escalating fees and costs,
at Jamaica School of Art, this self-help
endeavour is greatly appreciated by
many and should be generously supported.
Further efforts to assist students are
being created through Scholarship
Awards. To name three of the most
1) Two Bryan Morgan Scholarships,
valued at $1,000 each;
2) The Mutual Life Gallery Scholar-
ship, valued at $500;
3) The Cecil Cooper Drawing Award,
valued at $500 annually. This school
thanks the respective individuals
and organizations for their support.
In the area of curriculum additions, there
is the Creative Paper Making Course, con-
ducted by Miss Cheryl Champagnie, a
graduate of painting and Art Education
of the Jamaica School of Art. The process
of paper making is highlighted in the Arts
The Course is open to the Public and
anyone interested in this creative Course
should contact the School of Art.
The Graphics Department has finally in-
troduced packaging on a formal level
under the instruction of its newest Depart-
ment Staff Member Mr. Hopeton
Fletcher. Numerous external and internal
sources pointed to this vital training need
in the society at large and the department
is glad to see the course on stream. Some
starting designs have been produced,
along with the basics and the department
head, Mr. Isaac Dodoo, co-ordinated
efforts with (Jamaica National Export
Corporation) JNEC to assess a particular
spice package assignment.
STAFF ART SHOW
Finally, the Jamaica School of Art staff
held an exhibition of their own works at
Mutual Life Gallery opened on April 18th
by Dr. David Boxer of the National
"Necklace" Garth Sanguinetti
The friends of J.S.A. seeking to raise
additional funds for the Jewellery
Department Expansion Programme
held an art auction on June 24th at
Mutual Life Centre. Over 40 artists
donated works and many art lovers
turned out to support the auction
arranged by the friends of J.S.A. to
assist this faculty which now comprises
a staff compliment of 12 full-time, 30
resource personnel and a student body
NEWS AND ENFORMATOM
ALCOA STARTS OFF AFS SCHOOL
A generous contribution from
ALCOA in April, 1984 marked the
beginning of Arts Jamaica Schools
In keeping with its policy to
enhance and stimulate knowledge
and interest in Art islandwide, Arts
Jamaica has recently began a series of
approaches to locally based corpora-
tions, with the objective of
encouraging sponsorship of magazine
subscription for the school library.
ALCOA's Marketing Manager, Mr.
Tony Rae, was quick to respond to the
proposal, agreeing to underwrite
subscription costs for several schools
in the Clarendon area. The magazine,
complete with back issues, will now be
regularly received by these schools,
and thanks to ALCOA, go a long way
towards augmenting our young
people's knowledge of the rich artistic
traditions which are theirs.
Firms and schools interested in
becoming part of this Subscription
Drive, may contact Arts Jamaica P.O.
Box 79, Kingston 8, for details.
As part of the J.S.M. 21st
anniversary celebrations, a limited
edition of prints, with a musical theme,
is now available from the school,
costing $500.00 per set. This signed
edition consists of works by Carl
Abrahams, Kapo, Edna Manley and
David Boxer. The print series was
sponsored by the Royal Bank and
prepared by Sign Arts.
ART ABOUT TOWN
Congratulations are due to Royal
Bank Jamaica Ltd. for its 1983 annual
report which interspersed 'art' with
'statistics' in a thoughtful and
Also noted with pleasure, are the
increasing number of 'art cards',
posters and art-motifs available
locally. Harmony Hall has led the way
in recent months, with a fine set of
cards, with work by a range of artists
including Kapo, Artwell, Zion, Eve
Foster Dawn Scott, Jonathan Routh
and others. Also seen in the shops,
have been eye-catching works by
Anna-Marie Hendricks, Judith
Salmon, Adrienne and "Peca" Pecotic
Arts Jamaica also notes the opening
of Life of Jamaica's new headquarters
in New Kingston and the attentiveness
of management to integrating art and
architecture. We anticipate sharing
with our readers the story behind the
elegant fibre wall hanging and other
artworks which grace LOJ's new
Montego Bay had an early 'art
happening' as the JCDC assisted by
sponsorship from National Com-
mercial Bank, held their Fine Arts
Competition there in mid March. Arts
Jamaica hopes the heightened activity
in Kingston and Ocho Rios is
Mon. Sat.: 10.00 a.m. 5.00 p.m.
Bolivar Bookshop and Gallery
ID Grove Road, Kingston 10
Mon. Fri. 830 a.m. 4.30 p.m.
Saturday 9.00 a.m. 1.00 pam.
Tangerine Place, Kingston 10
Mon. Fri. 9.00 a.m. 5.00 p.m.
70 Hope Road, 3 Mountbatten Court, Kingston 6
Mon. Fri. 10.00 a.m. 6.00 p.m.
Saturday 9.30 a.m. 12.30 p.m.
Spanish Court, New Kingston
Mon. Fri. 9.30 a.m. 5.00 p.m.
Saturday 9.30 a.m. 1.00 p.m.
The Garden Gallery
1 Mannings Hill Road
Mon. Sat. 9.00 a.m. 4.00 p.m.
108 Harbour Street, Kingston
Mon. Fri. 9.00 a.m. 4.00 p.m.
Orchid Restaurant, Waterloo
Savanna Plaza, Constant
Spring Road, Kingston 10
Mon. Fri. 9.00 a.m. -
Galleries Outside of Kingston
Ujomo Art Gallery
The Designers Gallery
Trident Hotel, Port Antonio
u-r&f L~I u _-M n -
Olympia rHall Mooen "til, moVU)egO aay
Tel: (809) 953-2211
33 University Crescent, Kingston 7
Mon. Fri 10.00 a.m. 12 noon; 12.00 p.m. 5.00 p.m.
The Round House Gallery
Mutual Life Gallery
2 Oxford Road, Kingston 5
Mon. Fri. 10.00 a.m. 5.00 p.m.
2 Orange Street, Montego Bay
Plantation Inn, Ocho Rios
St. Ann's Bay Gallery
Mon. Fri 9.00 am. 4.00 p.m.
Sam Street's Museum of African Art
58 Hanover Street, Hanover, Lucea
Gallery of West Indian Art
Gloria Escoffery's Gallery
Brown's Town, St. Ann
Gallery Joe James
Rio Bueno, Trelawny
Herb Rose's Gallery
Frame Centre Gallery
Little Pub, Ocho Rios
Mon. Fri. 10.00 a.m. 6.00 p.m.
Saturday 10.00 a.m. 2.00 p.m.
"The Bus Stop" by Carl Abrahams collection Mr. & Mrs. Garth Moodie.
The Spanish Court, 1 St. Lucia Ave.
New Kingston, Kgn. 10, Tel: 926-4174.
"The Balladier" George Rodney
1975/76 acrylic on canvas 36"x44"
Collection: The Royal Bank Jamaica Ltd.
THE ROYAL BANK JAMAICA LIMITED
Arts Jamaica thanks the Royal Bank Jamaica Ltd.
for their kind sponsorship of this page.