Saving the Earth is a huge task that one person cannot successfully do alone but 12-year-old Jayda Ramjattan has decided to try anyway through her artwork.
Jayda has a strong passion for protecting the environment and wildlife because she wants to ensure the planet remains habitable for future generations. On Thursday, she displayed three art pieces of marine life affected by pollution at the Rotunda Gallery in the Red House, Abercromby Street, Port of Spain.
When asked what her inspiration was for such a heavy topic, she said, "I looked at my environment around myself. I'm also a farm girl and I have my own free-range chickens but I would do anything to make the world better. It's for our future."
Jayda's mother, Meela Rampaul, reminded her of the tour they took of the Red House, while she's waiting for her SEA results, that made her drive grow.
Her mother said, "We came to see what Parliament looked like and then we came across the art exhibit. When she looked at the art exhibit here, she told me that she's inspired and wanted to work on pieces for submission."
Jayda's pieces were called UnMASKing the Ocean, Angel Fish and Jellyfish. The Grant Memorial Presbyterian School student, who lives in New Grant, Princes Town, explained all her pieces were created from disposable masks she collected from friends and family.
"This repurposing technique will make the world a better place and I will do anything to support that."
She ensured that all of the masks were properly sanitised before putting together her artwork. Jayda said the displayed pieces, which are also for sale, took her around six hours over two days to complete.
"For the jellyfish, I used pieces of confetti and two different types of face masks, the N95 and colourful disposable masks. For the pollutants, I used broken glass that my father helped me get and stones."
Jayda added that the stones she included were ones she collected on trips around the country with her parents. She said she tries to make these trips a weekly activity and with the help of her parents she cleans and polishes the rocks for use.
She said she spent extra time meticulously adding details to her pieces and she spends at least 20 minutes or more cutting the masks into different shapes to give her work a more lively look, but to also make people think.
"I used the filter for the first layer of the animals shapes and the pieces I cut are placed on top of that. The roughness of each of them describes the harsh impacts pollution has on the environment. That's why I layered them in that way."
Jayda has also participated in other art competitions that had themes on saving Earth and recently, she placed third in one hosted by the Office of Procurement Regulations. This competition allowed children, ages 8-12, to create a poster showing ways companies can practise sustainable procurement or the disposal of public property. She constructed a green supply chain made out of recycled materials like newspapers and magazines for colour. Her poster showed many methods that can be used to achieve global sustainable management.
Besides art, Jayda considers herself an all-rounder and likes "a little bit of everything." Along with raising her chickens, she dances, sings, plants and makes her own jewellery. She did ballet and modern dance since she was five but only recently stopped because of the covid19 pandemic. As for her singing, she participated in the 2019 San Fest urban category where she won many prizes.
Jayda said planting only came to her naturally since she loves the environment and now harvests what she's grown. She said she mostly planted lettuce and tomatoes and because of the abundance of it, her family has salads almost every day.
Jayda plans to keep herself occupied as much as possible until her SEA results are revealed and hopes she gets in to her first choice, Parvati Girls' Hindu College, Debe.