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RISE... Classic Style by Contemporary Artist, Keith Ward

Last month I attended Leona Fabien’s exhibition, Woodbrook, A Living Hell and was fascinated that the architecture of the space, Soft Box Studios, provided a context that was integral to the exhibition. This trend has been repeated with RISE, by local artist Keith Ward, launched on June 6th, at the Lloyd Best Institute of the Caribbean, on Tunapuna Road. This historic venue, among other things, is dedicated to promoting the integration of Caribbean Peoples and proved to be a fitting haven for Ward, whose works are replete with Caribbean Motifs……. pulling seine, fig trees, the Bélé Dancers…. musicians on pan and tassa.

As I had intimated earlier, these motifs are Classic Ward, rendered in his signature palette of vibrant primary colours. However, the introduction of viridian green and various shades of purple to his landscapes, gave these paintings the aura of a surreal world.

The Caribbean Motifs are purposefully repeated by the artist because it is an ongoing discourse about Caribbean Identity…….so many nationalities and cultures uprooted form their disparate origins and replanted together in the soil of the Caribbean...This concept is depicted, for example, in the unnatural multi-coloured leaves of the fig trees in the piece Diverging Colours.

Ward has also applied mixed media to many of his pieces, demonstrating the versatility of a contemporary artist who is not afraid to step out of the comfort zone even in the expression of traditional subjects.

I thoroughly enjoyed the show and look forward to our collaborative exhibition, Conversation in Colour, OCTOBER 26TH 2022 at Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago.

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