My Sugar Island London 2018 Highlights

From 25th - 28th June 2018 ‘The caribArt Exhibition – My Sugar Island’ brought the Caribbean to London at the High Commission for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. After six months of planning the event was successfully executed and took advantage of the record high temperatures that had not been experienced in London in more than 40 years! We were not kidding when we declared that we were bringing the Caribbean to London.


The spacious conference room at the High Commission of Trinidad & Tobago had its walls adorned with Caribbean works of art from established and emerging artists from countries including Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, The Turks and Caicos Islands, St Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago. My Sugar Island recounted the stories and lived experiences of the artists, revealing an authentic and intimate display of work from the region.

Incorporating paintings, jewellery and ceramic works, My Sugar Island portrayed the vibrancy and energy that is often associated with the Caribbean. Featured artists included Jean Taylor, Turks and Caicos; Nasha Bradshaw and Morris Thompson, Jamaica; Yasmin Nicholas representing Dominica and St Lucia; Salina Jane, Guyana; and Thalia-Mae Nero and Tricia Trotman-Maraj, Trinidad and Tobago.


Left-Right: Morris Thompson, Yasmin Nicholas, Salina Jane, His Excellency Orville London High Commissioner of Trinidad & Tobago, Tricia Trotman-Maraj, Jean Taylor, Nasha Bradshaw, Thalia-Mae Nero

My Sugar Island London 2018 was the first in a series of exhibitions, which will share Caribbean art with countries throughout the European region and the world. Future shows will build on the last, incorporating and uniting work from artists from a growing number of islands, as one Caribbean. The feature address was delivered by the caribArt Project's artistic director Tricia Trotman-Maraj and was given high praise by His Excellency Orville London, High Commissioner of Trinidad & Tobago, London for her efforts through the caribArt Project to ensure that the Caribbean works together to see that the Caribbean survives.


The caribArt Project is the first of its kind in the history of the Caribbean and has brought art and artists from the islands to commemorate the rich culture of the region in Europe. It was founded by Tricia Trotman-Maraj in 2015 and held its official launch at the Elizabeth James Gallery in London in 2017. Since its inception, the caribArt Project has sought to engage the local community through storytelling and Carnival workshops for children and sharing the history and culture of the region with a diverse audience. The caribArt Project provides accessibility for Caribbean art in Europe through travelling exhibitions and shipping services.


Left-Right: David Roberts, caribDirect Media; Robert Walker, Grace Foods U.K.; Tricia Trotman-Maraj, caribArt Project; George Ruddock The Voice Media Group.


My Sugar Island was attended by various diplomats, High Commissioners, Mayors, Art Societies, and media personalities from within and outside of the UK. The exhibition received overwhelming support from the general public and capped its attendee registration list at just over 500 people from various countries and regions such as Canada, U.S.A., South America, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Grenada, St Kitts, St, Vincent & The Grenadines, St. Lucia, Barbados, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Martinique, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Hungary, Ghana, The Congo, Zambia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and various parts of the United Kingdom.


The Worshipful Mayor of Croydon, Councillor Bernadette Khan and Consort Mr. Qaiyum Khan, with artist Jean Taylor from the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Thanks to the support of The High Commission of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, Grace Foods U.K., Caribbean artists, the caribArt Volunteer Support Team, TCI’s Tropical Vibes 105.5 and 103.5 FM, Liberty Radio London Studio/Sky 0186, The Voice Newspaper, Radio Features London, Videoblogg London, Wallstreet International Magazine, Tiger Tales, Miss T & T UK Pageant, Tropical Mas Association, Turks & Caicos Island’s Channel 4 Television, Caribbean Vibrations OMNITV Canada, Layers Online Magazine,Croydon Art Society, St Lucia's News Online, Maxine French and Kelvin Nicholas we have been able to reach thousands of supporters and Caribbean art lovers worldwide. Please read their testimonies here.


There were many exchanges of business cards and key opportunities to forward the caribArt Platform for Caribbean artists to access global markets with their work. Follow-up meetings have been numerous and a distinct buzz of interest developed in what the caribArt Platform has to offer in terms of authentic Caribbean art and art products, and so planning for our next exhibition has already begun.


Today we are happy to report that on 2nd July artistic director of the caribArt Project Tricia Trotman-Maraj and artist Salina Jane were inducted as members of the Croydon Art Society, one of the oldest art societies in the United Kingdom. Through the caribArt Project we intend to establish a distinct Caribbean presence in Croydon, London’s largest borough, through art.


Left - Right Anthony Waldbaum Chairman, Croydon Art Society; Roger Lewis, President Croydon Art Society; and Rosie G. William; Croydon Art Society.

THE HELP FOR DOMINICA RAFFLE

The caribArt exhibition grand raffle was drawn on 29th June at the High Commission of Trinidad and Tobago in the exhibition space for a total of 5 prizes which included three valuable works of art from the original caribArt Launch Collection 2017, and exclusive Angostura No. 1 Rum and Angostura 1824 Rum sponsored by Angostura UK. Winners are as follows:

1. Ludvig Bonin

2. The High Commissioner of Dominica H.E. Janet Charles

3. Patricia Williams

4. Julia Muhamad

5. Zlatka Doshkova-Hristova

We thank everyone for supporting this venture which was in aid of The Dominican Hurricane Relief Fund and we will keep you up to date on the results of this. Please subscribe to our website and Instagram @caribartcollections for future updates.



GIVING THANKS


The success of this event was heavily dependant on the kind support of organisations and volunteers who bought into the vision of the caribArt Project. Many individuals supported our efforts by providing their skills, services, spaces, and supplies and so we kindly appreciate the support of H.E. Orville London, High Commissioner For the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago and his professional and helpful staff for accommodating the caribArt My Sugar Island Exhibition and our guests in every way to ensure a safe, enjoyable, and successful four-day event.


We would like to especially thank Grace Foods UK for going above and beyond their measure of sponsorship to provide a premium catering service of sumptuous Caribbean appetizers and refreshing drinks to our guests throughout the entire evening of the main reception. Grace Foods clearly demonstrated their support for this Caribbean regional initiative and we hope that other Caribbean companies and organisations will follow Grace Food's lead.


We would like to thank Angostura U.K. for sponsoring two of our raffle prizes: Angostura No. 1 Rum and Angostura 1824 Rum, and a total of six bottles of No 5 and No. 7 for guests.


For the amazing performances during the evening special thanks goes to Soca artiste Brian Richmond of Grenada, and the Muraldo DC Dance Company.


Our official photographer for the event did a superb job capturing the evening and so we thank Maxine French for her lovely work and Kelvin Nicholas for videography.


To Ms. Angela Cox, Promoter and Chairwoman of Miss T&T UK Pageant, we thank you for your unending support and priceless role as adviser, mentor and supporter of the caribArt Project vision.


To TCI’s Tropical Vibes 105.5 and 103.5 FM thank you so much for promoting this event throughout the Turks & Caicos Islands and the Bahamas Islands. Your consistent advertising has made the caribArt Project well known throughout your territory, amongst Caribbean people from various islands and even the Turks & Caicos Islands parliament.


To Jorge Ferreira & Co Ltd for full sponsorship of the professional PMP training required to manage this project - Thank you!


To Radio Features London thank you for initially featuring this project in 2017 and continuing to follow us as we develop and grow the project. Your lovely bouquet of long stemmed flowers was amazing and came just at the right time!


To TM Boutique thank you for your lovely bespoke jewellery!


To the artists who worked to produce amazing pieces that authentically reflect the cultural heritage of their islands and share them with the world through the caribArt Platform - Thank you!


The following individuals have contributed personally and selflessly to the success of this event and we would like to publicly recognise their contribution to our success:

Afromats

Sharon Buckley

Suann Buckley-Stewart

Andrewlika Buckley- Stewart

Sahara Buckley-Stewart

Maeva Drumeaux

Keisha Drumeaux

Svetlana Leu

Amelia Smithers

Nechanette Tomlin

Christian Zsambokrety


To all of those who took the time out of their busy schedules to visit us, purchase our art, art products, and leave kind words of encouragement - Thank you!


Your show of solidarity has inspired and motivated us to continue the great work that we are doing with the caribArt Project.


If you would like to donate to this project please click the DONATE NOW button at the top of this page and make your kind contribution. The caribArt project is not funded and so every little you give towards this amazing platform counts.


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