We swore…that we’d by no means depart the island… is the theme of artist Kvita Mongroo’s first solo exhibition of paper collage and combined media paintings. The Trini-Canadian artist mentioned her work is a product of her experiences and struggles residing in two locations. The exhibition opened at Gentle Field Gallery in St Clair on October 1 and continues to the 15.
Mongroo started learning artwork at Naparima Women’ Excessive Faculty, the place she was uncovered to many various Caribbean artists by means of gallery visits throughout CXC and A Ranges, and was actually impressed by what she noticed.
“Even then I dreamed of changing into a Caribbean artist. It was one thing that actually resonated with me, how they captured this island we reside on. Folks like Jackie Hinkson, Lisa O’Connor, they had been my heroes then. I wished to take part in that as effectively, capturing how we reside and what we see, the sweetness that’s round us every single day that typically we take as a right.”
The artist was born in San Fernando and lived there till her household migrated when she was 4 years outdated, returning when she was 9. She went to main and secondary college in TT, and returned to Canada for college the place she studied philosophy, public coverage, and English Literature.
“I by no means misplaced curiosity in artwork, I saved it up as a ardour and a passion. My Caribbean roots had been at all times an inspiration. Artwork was a means of reconnecting on a regular basis. Even when I couldn’t be at residence, or be in Trinidad or within the Caribbean, my work was a supply of conjuring the recollections that stayed with me after which expressing myself.”
She mentioned the themes she studied come into play in what she chooses to painting in her work and the titles of her items.
“The theme We swore…that we’d by no means depart the island…” is an excerpt from Derek Walcott’s poem One other Life from E book II: Homage to Gregorias.
The phrases specific the maintain that TT or the Caribbean have on you, and whenever you depart, you swear you’ll by no means depart, as a result of it’s your recollections, it’s your childhood, and you then come again as a result of there’s one thing that pulls you again, it performs in your recollections. You come again, chances are you’ll depart once more however it’s such as you by no means depart as a result of so many issues would possibly set off a reminiscence in you.
“I bear in mind once I was in Canada and after it could rain, there could be puddles of water on the bottom and the solar reflecting in them would take me again to Mayaro seashore. And that that might be what I might bear in mind, even on a moist wet day in November.
“Once I was studying Derek Walcott’s work, it was unbelievable and it expressed for me that unnameable drive that retains the hearts of island folks embedded within the magnificence that we breathe in every single day. And I assumed ‘sure, these are the phrases that may embody my physique of labor.’”
Mongroo mentioned that is her first solo present, however she has taken half in group reveals earlier than with the TT Artwork Society, the Rotunda Gallery within the Crimson Home, and Arnim’s Artwork Galleria.
“These had been actually good experiences and gave me publicity and braveness to place my work on the market and see what the response could be, and the way folks would interpret it. Collage shouldn’t be the most well-liked medium and that provides a uniqueness to the way in which I specific the Caribbean.
“I used to be impressed by collage. I discovered that the layering course of provides depth, and it’s a really meticulous approach that I do. I tear the paper and glue every part collectively, it’s a course of. I don’t use scissors in any respect, it’s all tearing and it’s a really exact approach. However it provides you a deceptively easy end result, it’s color, sample, texture.”
Mongroo mentioned she contacted the Derek Walcott Property for permission to make use of his work and was gratified that the executors of the property got here to the opening evening.
She mentioned residing in Canada as a younger grownup and coming again to TT gave her an understanding of how the Caribbean known as folks to come back residence.
“You are feeling such as you wish to contribute not directly, you wish to come again, you wish to convey one thing again. I wish to assist folks reawaken their consciousness in what now we have right here, and what we should always worth, what we shouldn’t take as a right.”