2014 Deck – Week 42

Winslow Craig is one of my favourite local sculptors, his work appeals to me more than most, probably because I know so little about the art-form that I cannot appreciate the intricacies of others (particularly those that bested him in the 2012 GVACE; he placed third)

I was at Moray House for his recent retrospective presentation, and took a photo that I quickly grew fond of, and so did someone at Moray House; although I originally processed it in monochrome, they requested a coloured version for their inaugural magazine “Ku’wai”, as a non-profit organisation and one that supports the Arts in Guyana I really couldn’t say no, and I was honoured that they wanted it for the cover of the magazine.

Since I had only uploaded the monochrome processed version to Facebook, I decided that the coloured one worked nicely and I would also use that for the Deck Project.


Moray House, 21st October 2014  |  Sculptures on display by Winslow Craig


The piece on the table was loaned to the presentation by the current owner,  the one in the background is called “Saving Seeds”, it was the piece that placed third in the 2012 Guyana Visual Arts Competition and Exhibition; to my understanding, it is a wire-framed structure covered with a material that Winslow made called Sawdue (sawdust and glue).


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery, and to see Winslow’s current entries in the 2014 GVACE, visit the GVACE 2014 Exhibition which opens on Thursday 18th December 2014, exhibition of pieces are likely to be at Castellani House and the National Museum.


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Reflecting on Riverside

If I remember correctly, this is probably my very first blog post that does not feature a photograph of mine.

This post is about a photograph, a photographer, a poet, a son of Guyana’s soil  –  but since it’s my blog, there has to be something of mine here…

Guyana has not had many famous photographers, and when I say famous, I mean one whose name is practically a household name locally.  On the international scene, we struggle, because we struggle locally to be recognized.

One local name that has always been associated with beautiful photography of Guyana’s natural beauty is Robert J. Fernandes (or as he is better known, Bobby Fernandes), his works have appeared in numerous publications, including his own books, and he has had more than a few exhibitions of his photography at the National Art Gallery at Castellani House..

I was doing some prepress work for him for his most recent book, and the photograph he used for the cover took me back to my childhood.  It was a photo that I had seen in print at various stages of my life; I cannot remember the first time, but it was likely on a calendar when I was probably in primary school.  I attended Saint Stanislaus’ College as my secondary school (Bobby Fernandes’ Alma Mater), and at the school’s office there hung a large print of it.

After leaving that institution I don’t recall seeing it for many years, until I attended an event at Moray House and saw a small print on the wall, I instantly recognized it, and pointed it out to Nikhil.

His most recent book is a book of poetry titled “The Voice and Vision of Robert J. Fernandes”, the first section uses many of his photographs that have also inspired poems, among these is the image I refer to with a poem titled “Riverside”.

Below is an image of the cover:

Voice_and_Vision


The book is available at Austin’s Book Store, it is a collection of poems that are truly Guyanese, beautifully written by one of our very own.


This is my poem that was inspired by his photo and the book:

REFLECTIONS ON RIVERSIDE

The day wanes on the river,
the waters gurgle,
and the crickets signal
the end of another day.
Kissed by the sun,
the sky glows in the west
giving shape
to the distant mountains.
The trees cast shadowed reflections
on the rippled waters
as the boat glides,
softly paddled.
In the cooling waters
the cayman prowl
and the arapaima roll
each seeking night’s shade.
An obstruction appears
some distance ahead,
remnants of a tree
from the waters,
From the photographer’s seat
a click you hear,
the trace of a smile
beneath the hat’s brim.
in later years,
iconic,
that single click;
that light on film…
And then one day
as Sunset comes
it would be the face
of his Voice and Vision.


While I dabble in some poetry, I never think that my pieces are worthy of anything but a casual read, before presenting this piece, I asked the opinion and assistance of the famous singer-songwriter Dave Martins (of the Tradewinds), and he willingly gave me advice, I am very thankful for men like Bobby Fernandes and Dave Martins, who, icons and artists in their own fields, would listen to and willingly give advice to myself and others who ask…

I recently was expressive of my gratitude to my former English teacher Ms Hazel Moses, for her hard work, allowing me to be expressive without too many mistakes in my writing 🙂

She also just released a book of Poetry, for young children, which I encourage you to buy for your children, or young relatives and friends.  It is titled “Playing with Words”; it is available at Austin’s Book Store as well as on Amazon.com

playing_with_words


Today is International Literacy Day; read a book, give a book, and support our local authors.

Land of Many Waters

I recently saw (again) a panorama of Kaieteur that James Broscombe had done, and I remember the one I had done with a Canon PowerShot S5 IS, point and shoot, so I went to look for it and upload it to my page.  It’s the one seen here:

Seeing James’ panorama also reminded me that I was meaning to write this post and share with whoever might stumble across it.

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Sarah and James Broscombe a few years ago, Sarah was working in remote areas of our country with some of the Amerindian communities and James seemed to tag along camera in hand 🙂

These two talented people made quite an impression on me, and on most (if not all) people who they’ve met and interacted with.

Whatever their initial intent on coming to Guyana, the mark they’ve left on me was most likely not in the original plans… and I daresay there are others who may feel the way I do.

I was introduced to Sarah through her blog, one that she kept as a record of her “adventures” here, what struck me about her writing was the clarity of expression, and the vividness with which I could visualise everything she described.  Her grasp of the English language and her ability to use it to reach across miles of terrain and to describe the nuances of a culture that engulfed her made her writing a compelling read for me.

But this post is more about the work of her husband, James.  James dealt not with the expression of the written word, but with the capturing of scenes from their stay in photographs.  From the streets of the capital to the trails of the Rupununi, he captured an amazing array of cityscapes, landscapes, portraits and other scenes.  His amazing panoramas are breath-taking in the book, so I can only image what they’d look like printed large.  His, now iconic, photograph of lighting over Kaieteur is featured alongside many photographs that showcase the life of the Amerindian communities they spent time in.

The book is titled “Guyana: Land of many waters”, and although t can’t cover everything, it covers more than any other book of its kind.  As a book of photographic work it is packed, no, it is crammed full of beautiful imagery.  The only thing that could have made this book better would have been short stories written by Sarah.   Although I’ve seen most or all of the images online in his blog, it was so much more satisfying to turn leaf by leaf through the book!

If you are Guyanese, or love Guyana, or even just love photography, this is a boo to own, and at that price, it is a steal considering the sheer magnitude of its content.   The book is available here, and below I’m putting some samples I think may peak your interest even more.

The cover alone, should make you want to delve into it  🙂


Pages 24 and 25


Pages 58 and 59


Pages 124 and 125


and the Back Cover, the amazing image of Lightening over Kaieteur


At the list price, James isn’t making any kind of profit, so I suggest you get one before he changes his mind about that price  🙂  Get your copy of “Guyana – Land of Many Waters”, you won’t regret it.

Also visit James’ website over at http://jmbphotography.co.uk/


About the Music

People who know me, know that I like music, I can carry a tune, I can even play one (given enough time), and I have a wide appreciation for music, meaning that I try to appreciate different styles and genres.

Everyone has their opinions, and they’re entitled to them, so not everyone will agree on the categorization of music into “good” and “bad“.  I have my own definition of music, or more specifically the “tune” or “melody” that forms the body of a song; for me it’s “If you can play it on an instrument (other than the human voice) then it may be classified as a melody or tune”

Enough of the rambling, this is actually about a photograph.  This was a photo that was a strong contender for the 2011 Deck – Week 51, but was passed over.

Jane has been the primary organist at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception for as long as I can remember, she has her quirks, but the one thing I know is that for her, it’s about the Music.  As I understood the story (as I was told as a boy) she had a development challenge and learning music (and the piano/organ) was a form of therapy, to say that Music saved her life would probably be a reasonable statement.

About the Music

Click on the image for a better view in the Gallery  🙂