Artists use Trinidad and Tobago landscape as inspiration for exhibit

Artist Ryan Huggins.  - Melissa Miller
Artist Ryan Huggins. - Melissa Miller

Four artists who met through the Kunstakademie in Dusseldorf, a fine-arts academy in Germany, are participating in a 12-week art residency at the Luise Kimme Museum in Tobago. The artists, one from TT, were asked to explore the cultural landscape of TT to work on pieces for the first Heat Waves exhibition which opened on July 16.

Trini Ryan Huggins has worked at the academy with Tadashi Toyama, Jana Zatvarnicka and Janis Lohrer for seven years. Their varying traditions, cultures and languages have not hindered them from producing work for the local exhibit.

From left, artists Ryan Huggins, Tadashi Toyama, Jana Zatvarnicka and Janis Lohrer from the Kunstakademie in Dusseldorf in Tobago for a 12-week art residency. - Melissa Miller

Huggins described himself as a figurative painter who fuses ideas surrounding alternative youth sub-cultures within queer communities. He said he examines queer references and terminologies in terms of body, social identity and gender which could be considered a growing language. He said his paintings in the Heat Waves exhibition will "breathe life into queer social gatherings."

Tadashi Toyama of Japan shows off his work at the Heat Waves exhibition at the Luise Kimme Museum, Tobago. - Melissa Miller

His pieces depict pool parties using sharp lights, dark shadows and impressionist style figures, all men, to fill the painting which will highlight themes of a fun and celebratory atmosphere. Huggins will also feature life-sized figures propped by light and decorations to portray young men stimulating a sense of lust and confidence, while acknowledging youth and beauty.

Artist Ryan Huggins focuses on one of his paintings. - Melissa Miller

Toyoma's paintings merge his personal experiences with fictional events to form his very own world. He said his paintings are ever-changing since they are heavily influenced by his discoveries in nature and culture which aid in the colour-choosing process.

In Trinidad, Huggins and Toyama will launch the second part of the Heat Waves exhibition at the Y Art Gallery, Port of Spain on August 5, from 6 to 8 pm.


"Artists use Trinidad and Tobago landscape as inspiration for exhibit"

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