Red House hosts art exhibit on UN Decade of People of African Descent

Sarah Borrows poses with her painting Hair Love . Photo by Sean Douglas
Sarah Borrows poses with her painting Hair Love . Photo by Sean Douglas

Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George on Thursday launched an art exhibition in the Red House Rotunda to celebrate the UN International Decade of People of African Descent. Local artists of all ages exhibited across a range of media including painting, photography, digital art, woodcarving, beaten copper and bronze casting using the lost wax technique.

She said the exhibition was titled People of African Descent: Recognition, Justice and Development, and marked the 2013 UN declaration of 2015-2024 as the Decade for People of African Descent. The exhibition underlines the vital contributions of people of African descent worldwide to advance social justice, fight racism, promote human rights, and create prosperous communities.

Annisette-George told guests, "To participate in this theme of recognition and development, the artist was required to provide his/her interpretation of the legacy and heritage of those who are of African descent." She said the exhibition could serve to promote great understanding of the culture, history and heritage of people of African descent.

Onella Augustine-Cummings poses with her ink and acrylic picture African Royalty Queen. Photo by Sean Douglas

She said the exhibit included a 14-year-old artist (Natalia Sandy), plus an artist from Tobago (Avie Bacchus-Hopkins).

Annisette-George reflected that although it was a small nation, TT had produced many people of African descent whose extraordinary efforts had won international recognition for TT in many fields including engineering, philosophy, medicine, spirituality, culture, law and the arts.

Newsday spoke to two artists.

Sarah Burrows said her acrylic painting, Hair Love, portrayed her plaiting her eight-year-old daughter's hair. She related her experience of this to Anisette-George and Newsday.

She recalled that her brother had photographed the moment, with her then using the photo to craft a painting.

Burrows was very glad Parliament had afforded artists the chance to exhibit their works. She recalled doing art from childhood.

Onella Augustine-Cummings told Newsday her picture African Royalty Queen was a mix of black ink and gold acrylic, set on coffee-stained paper crafted by herself, portraying a traditional African body ornament. Asked about the figures lacking any facial features, she said that had been deliberate so as not to distract from her real focus - the decorativeness of the ornament plus the naturalness of the subject's Afro-styled hair. Augustine-Cummings traced her artistic development from doing art as a school subject to a true ignition of her passion by a short course, ultimately leading on to her gaining two certificates and degree from UWI.


"Red House hosts art exhibit on UN Decade of People of African Descent"

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