Cloud Country A Pilgrimage of Water

THIS will be Sarah Beckett’s first exhibition in south. The artist and poet will display The Pilgrimage of Water at GD gallery, Gentle Dentistry & Implant Centre, 2-12 Hilda Lazzari Terrace, San Fernando, from May 25-27. There will also be a night of poetry on May 26 at the gallery as well.

To those unfamiliar with Beckett, her work has been exhibited extensively in the Caribbean, Europe, the Far East and the USA. Beckett has recently won the International Prize, Leonardo da Vinci, Florence 2018. She won The International Prize of the Nations, Tribute to Tiziano and her work was exhibited at the Second Biennale of the Nations at the Misericordia Palace, Venice. She has also been awarded the International Prize, Raffaello, in Bologna, and the Guilio Cezare Prize, Rome.

Her work will be exhibited in I Segnalati Exhibition at the Palazzio Velli in Rome, later this year and her paintings will be featured in the exhibition art book, I Segnalati by Dottore Salvatore Russo. Beckett was educated in France (Universite d’Angers, Ecole des Beau Arts Fontainbleau) and England (Byam Shaw School of Painting, St Martin’s College of Art, Chelsea College of Art). She has also made two films; An Angels Wing, and Alabaster Moon which premiered at the TT Film Festival in 2008.


Beckett said when asked about exhibiting in south for the first time, “I always wanted to exhibit in south. Generally, I think Port of Spain artists tend not to exhibit in south, I think up till now, largely because there has been a difficulty finding appropriate venues.

“The GD gallery which is from Gentle Dentistry they, brilliantly, made available the foyer and another room in the building for us to have the show.

“Because people from south come up to see shows here all the time and I think it is time we extended the courtesy to south and take our work down there,” she said.

Her Pilgrimage of Water, she said, revolves around the idea of rain and oceans and waterfalls and lakes.

The work also “celebrate(s) primarily Trinidad and the beauty of Trinidad. My work is semi-abstract and this particular exhibition is based on vegetation and the natural world.”

Like the water Beckett will show, there is no set start time nor completion date for her work. She said she has work going on in the studio all the time and “once she gets a concept together, like I have got to this The Pilgrimage of Water, I will see what work I have got and rework it and paint it. Every exhibition of work is the outgrowth from the previous work.”

The paintings are all oil-paintings and they take months, she said. “When I first started talking to Neala (Luna, exhibition curator) about this, it was long before I went to Italy. It would have been at the beginning of the year, we started negotiating. What would happen as well, is a painting I would have gone halfway through sitting around the studio and I don’t know what to do with it and suddenly I am like…ahhhh! So I will repaint it or paint it out and start again. Painting is difficult, it never has a time span as if you’re doing a sort of formal business project where you can say, I started this one day and finished it a next day. It doesn’t work like that. It is more fluid,” she said.

Beckett hopes to have 13 or 14 pieces for the exhibition as the pieces are “big.”

When asked about collecting the award in Venice, she said with a slight chuckle, “It was amazing. First of all, I was so proud that Trini work is hanging up in beautiful venues in Italy and being seen by European public. So it was a tremendous honour and truly an amazing opportunity to…I have never been to Venice before so that was amazing. It is such a beautiful city.”

This experience, she said, settled her mind about the exhibition because Venice is built on water.

“Here I was looking at rain and clouds and water and everything reflected and I was thinking about Trinidad, an island surrounded by water. We have amazing waterfalls, we also have floods and plenty rain when the rain falls. So it all came together like that,” she said again with a slight laugh. But paintings aren’t all people will be treated to at Beckett’s exhibition.

At the poetry evening she will read from her collection of new and published poems. Speaking about some of the poetry people can look forward to, Beckett said, “I have written a long, epic poem called Cloud Country which is my great kind of love song to Trinidad. I will be reading some of that and then I have written about Caroni, the Bamboo Cathedral, and various things.”

Beckett said and there is no cover charge for the poetry evening which takes place from 6 pm to 8 pm.

The Pilgrimage of Water opens at 10 am, May 25 and closes at 3 pm, May 27.


Source: Newsday