Bolero by Luise Kimme

by Shivanee Ramlochan, Paper Based Blogger

Bolero

“Luise Kimme came amongst us and saw deep in us things, bold truths, great strength, nobility and beauty, that we are too close to ourselves to see, and she set about her task, chiselling, carving and sculpting our best-kept small-island secrets, giving us back to ourselves and celebrating us big to the world.”

– Peter Minshall, quoted in Bolero (2009)

What Minshall says about Kimme here is illustrative; what Kimme says about herself, and the process of creating art in Tobago, is equally telling: in Bolero, a Prospect Press published work, with photographs by Stefan Falke, Kimme declares, “I started making figurative carvings from whole trees in Tobago, where I am free to do what I like.” The statement continues, explaining the distinction, for Kimme, between working in the Caribbean and Europe. The Caribbean became the place in which the sculptress’ full range of expression could take flight: her influences took root in the magical everydayness of Tobago living, as well as the religious and spiritual resonances of Cuban culture.

In a tribute piece, honouring Kimme’s life and work, ARC Magazine reissued a piece by Marsha Pearce, originally published in the Trinidad Guardian’s Sunday Arts section. Pearce reports on Kimme’s March 2013 exhibition, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, contextualizing the exhibition’s title as offering the society

“a meaningful way in which to consider the art Kimme has been making for many years. A rainbow is symbolic of a bridge. Through her sculptures and drawings, Luise Kimme creates a bridge or link across which a spirit of place and people – a spirit of Tobago in particular – can traverse and take on physical, material form. With each sculptural piece and creative rendering on paper, Kimme reaches over the rainbow, and pulls what lies somewhere within us and brings it into a tangible manifestation. What she finds in us and carves into visible being is a powerful, indefatigable beauty.”

Luise Kimme passed away on April 19th, 2013. Paper Based Bookshop joins every fellow celebrant of Kimme’s outstanding legacy, in honouring her contributions to the Caribbean artistic and cultural landscape.

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Record Art Memory: Photography in Trinidad & Tobago

by Shivanee Ramlochan, Paper Based Blogger

Laura Ferreira’s All That Remains, 2009

There are at least a thousand and one stories we can tell about the lives that have been lived in Trinidad and Tobago. Sharing these stories in images: some black and white, some sepia-toned, and some in full colour: this process of archival display holds our years of history out to us again.

In the collection Record: Art: Memory: Photography in Trinidad & Tobago, the curatorial committee of Abigail Hadeed, Marsha Pearce and Mark Raymond has presented a window that peers into the past, and looks out at the future, simultaneously. It is a carefully-selected series of views, one that stretches back to 1883 Museum of Police Services images of ‘coolies’, and marches right up to Rodell Warner’s Photobooth compositions of 2011.

Archiving of this nature makes it possible for those who missed its corresponding exhibition to properly take part, to slowly leaf through the pages and spend time with each still slice of life in Trinidad and Tobago.

Record: Art: Memory is more than a catalogue of a now-concluded show. It would not be remiss to think of it as an unassuming compilation of so many of our national treasures: some forgotten, some in disuse and disrepair, all worth our attention, speculation and national pride. Record: Art: Memory is released with a limited edition set of 10 postcards featuring images from the catalogue. Both catalogue and postcard set would make splendid Christmas presents for:

  • Trinis and foreigners alike who share a deep appreciation for the past, and an archivist’s preserving zeal;
  • those who want to pass down the memories of a Trinidad and Tobago of yesteryear to their younger family members;
  • attendees of the Art Society’s exhibit, as well as those who are sorry to have missed it and want a permanent keepsake of the event.

The Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago’s formal invitation to the (now-closed) photographic display.