I am not an art oficionado or connoisseur, but I do have some art appreciation; in the course of my day job, I happened to come across works by Ms Myrna Bernard, she came in to our offices to print images onto Canvas, the files tended to be digital illustrations and composites of her own photos and her own making, to the finished print she would then use paints to complete her works of art. I have had the honour of seeing some of her work on Exhibit at the National Art Gallery on two occasions, and I distinctly remember having to return several times to one piece to stare and be engulfed in it. Another person’s work whom I’ve seen with a similar angle is that of the ever-travelling Ian Brierley, an Englishman who has visited Guyana many times over the last two decades and has done many prints and paint on canvas among other types of artistic work.
I am no painter, but I had an idea and on chatting with a friend and painter, Ms. Nicky Williams (Nicole Bissoo-Williams), a plan was put into motion. I had taken many photographs on a trip into the Pakaraima Mountains in 2016; I went through this set in search of a particular type of image, one that was good but did not feel complete in my eyes, and which I thought lent some room for further artistic expression by Nicky.
In the end, I chose five images, after some minor post-processing in Lightroom, I printed them onto Artist Canvas, and had them stretched onto some pinewood frames. These I then gave over to Nicky with the barest minimum of instructions, basically to do as she wished, use any technique, any materials, cover as much as, or as little as desired, add or remove content, so that when finished, the pieces would be a collaborative work. It was a bit nerve-racking having someone else make alterations to something you created, without you actually approving of each and every change, but I firmly believed that if I gave the creative process free reign, that the results would be great; and I was not disappointed.
Sometime before Nicky had finished her work, I had approached a good friend, and spiritual sister Ermelinda, who is from one of the southern Amerindian villages to ask her to suggest or to ask around for a word or phrase with and of the words “Land”, “Parents”, “Ancestors”, in any of the dialects or languages of the peoples in that area; this was done only because I had no contacts at the time to anyone specific in the areas the actual images were taken. After some discussion; the phrase “Wadokozinao wizii” was chosen, it was from the Wapishana dialect and means “Our Ancestors’ Land”. This was the title I had chosen for the collection of five pieces.
I was approached by Mrs. Denise Dias MS, about some photographs to be auctioned off at a fund-raising Italian dinner for Help & Shelter (tonight, November 3rd, 2017), and it occurred to me that if she liked these pieces, maybe they could be auctioned to raise funds for the shelter. These pieces have never been seen by anyone else, but I figured that if Mrs. Dias liked them then they stood a chance at helping them raise some funds 🙂
I decided to write this post as a way of sharing photos of those pieces, taken before handing them over. So, here they are:
Wadokozinao wizii – Yakarinta – 16-1175
Wadokozinao wizii – Rukumoto – 16-1315
Wadokozinao wizii – On Monkey Mountain – 16-1526
Wadokozinao wizii – Karasabai Fenced – 16-1253
Wadokozinao wizii – Karasabai Wide Open – 16-1263
These are meant as single time creations, and no other versions of them are intended to be created.
Click on the images to see them in the Gallery.