Re Emergence 2, a collection of paintings by Nerukhi Ato Osei, is now on display at the Central Bank, Independence Square, Port of Spain.
The formal opening took place on Monday and the exhibition will continue until February 28 – Tuesday to Friday from 9 am to 3 pm.
Some 27 pieces are on display ranging from the lowest priced Mercy Mercy to the Manzan Mangrove Revisited at the top end.
Osei told Business Day the collection, done in acrylic and canvas took him about eight months to complete.
Asked about the name of the exhibition, Osei said: “It’s a re-emergence because this is my fifth solo exhibition. I have been heavily involved in calypso and calypso management and stuff like that over the years and I really hadn’t had sufficient time to dedicate to it. But sometime last year, I decided to take a step back from the music a bit and this is the result of that.”
He said he got his inspiration for the collection from nature. “I am a nature lover and I’m particularly concerned about the fact that we are neglecting nature. We are polluting, we’re ignoring, there are some fantastic eco-sites both for locals and foreign tourists that are being neglected, so I sought to bring to the public, the treasures that we have.”
He added the exhibition is to create an awareness of the treasures that TT has and to send a message to state stakeholders that there are areas that can be marketed for tourism.
Some of the paintings are: Soothing Gran Couva, Bamboo Cathedral, The Crochet Lady, Where The River Meets The Sea, San’do Monolith, Seashells by the Seashore, Sweet Salibay, Down by the Wharf and Behind the Bridge.
“What I am really seeking to do, is to bring a little bit of balance with the music and the visual art. So you wouldn’t find me ignoring painting for as long as I have done. I’m certainly going to be doing another showing of a major collection probably in August/September this year, and I am going to be targeting various festivals like Emancipation, stuff happening in Tobago and local festivals," said Osie.
Susan Corbett, director, community development brought greetings on behalf of Community Development, Culture and the Arts Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly.
She said the exhibition stems off the Carifesta celebrations in Trinidad, last year.
“We had a museum set up at the BPTT Resource Centre in Mayaro, where all the art and craft people, especially those with artifacts in that community were on display. And coming out of that, the district officer and supervisor Omari Samuel worked with some of those who displayed their work and Ato kind of pushed it forward, and now he is displaying it at Central Bank. So we are hopeful that others also take up that mantle and be able to push through their own work,” said Corbett.
“We are hoping to see people who we can move forward, and help them to get spaces where they can display their work.”
The ministry hosted six community festivals throughout the country.
She said of Osei: “I hope this will be the first of some others to come.”
Central Bank Governor Dr Alvin Hilaire said while they are used to thinking about things in a very clinical way, where there are modules, equations, a strategic plan for financial stability, monetary policy, internal operations, and where everything is all cut and dry, measured and very well calibrated, at the same time, the bank does appreciate art.
He reasoned: “Because we understand that art often portrays things, emotions, sentiments or convictions, in a way that modules and equations cannot. Because they bring out a part of you that is deep inside and in fact a lot of times, it’s very personal.”
He said TT is privileged to have all manner of art, music, poetry, its own festival every year, Carnival, that is enjoyed so much, and that at the Central Bank, they take pride in supporting the arts.
“We support the arts in a number of ways. In addition to our own art club, we had two art exhibits with our staff. But...we have a special privilege to honour Ato Nerukhi. He is an artist not just in the visual paintings but also up front in the music.”
The Central Bank is also currently hosting an exhibition with the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians’ Association (TUCO) – Money and Music: A History of our Economy, As Told Through Calypso.