Our Living Heritage

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Our Living Heritage, Kingstown, S.V.G. c. 2013 (muralists: CYAM)

Our Living Heritage, Kingstown, S.V.G. c. 2013 (muralists: CYAM)

July 2013 the second year FADCC students along with several other CYAM members completed the Our Living Heritage mural, on the Save-A-Lot warehouse just outside the Kingstown wharf. The design and execution of the mural was the outcome of the Mural Arts: Urban Space Enhancement course. The mural project was done in collaboration with the S.V.G. Tourism Authority.

The process began during the summer of 2012 when the then first year FADCC students, along with several graduates of the A-Level Art and Design program, visited some of the national heritage sites throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines. These trips were a part of the preliminary design stage as we recorded information from each site in the form of observational drawings, photos, videos and writing. This primary research material was then used to develop a theme and i for the mural.

You can read more about Our Living Heritage experience on the Natural Belonger blog: http://naturalbelonger.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/painting-on-the-wall-the-destiny-of-one-blank-space/

 


 

The mural was designed to take the viewer on a visual tour of six national heritage site on mainland St. Vincent. The journey begins on the Windward side of the island in Owia, coming to an end in Wallilabou on the Leeward side.

Visual path embedded in composition of Our Living Heritage

Visual path embedded in composition of Our Living Heritag

  1. Owia Salt Pond
  2. Black Point Tunnel
  3. Botanical Gardens
  4. Dark View Falls
  5. Vermont Nature Trail
  6. Wallilabou Falls

 

The composition consists of a series interconnected arches, symbolic of the City of Arches (Kingstown the home of the mural), which are the gateways to each site. The arches perform the function of visually connecting and containing the different sections, allowing them to fit together as a harmonious whole.

Compositional structure of Our Living Heritage mural

Compositional structure of Our Living Heritage mural

 

Light/dark contrast was then used to create visual depth within the composition, creating a gradual movement from a dense dark foreground to receding light background.

 

Light-Dark contrast in composition of Our Living Heritage

Light-Dark contrast in composition of Our Living Heritage

 

A strong sense of movement is also created through the balance of light and dark areas. This movement alternates subtly as you move through the different sections:

 

Owia: from an expansive light background to a densely textures dark foreground

Black Point: from a light foreground to a dark background

Botanical Gardens: from a light foreground to a dark background

Dark View: from a light background to a dark foreground

Vermont Nature Trail: from a dark foreground to a light background

Wallilabou Falls: from a dark foreground to a light background

 

Movement and structure highlighted through color relationships

Color is also used to create visual balance as it unifies the various sections. Structural relationships are reinforced as a result of the connective use of color. This can be seen in the arching movement of orange from Black Point, through the palm tree in Vermont and into the dirt in the foreground at Dark View. Another example is the use of blue in the tree roots at the Botanical Gardens, which enhances the serpentine movement of the cascading waterfall.

Temperature contrast was also used to highlight the undulating movement from left to right (created using light/dark contrast) as the predominantly warms colors (red, orange and yellow hues) on the Windward side contrasts with the cool colors (blue, green and purple hues) of the Leeward side.

 

Our Living Heritage employs a number of design elements, intricately woven together within the composition, to evoke the pure responses from those who visit it in person. It successfully captures the uniquely diverse nature of each site…a true reflection of our natural heritage

Summer Hunting For Elick

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My Sunday afternoon was spent with my brother Iván as we went on a hunt for the most recent development on mainland St. Vincent – the Street Art done by “Elick”. We were not able to get very far. Our search was confined to the St. George parish due to gas restrictions and the highly anticipated (on his part) Argentina vs. Bosnia 2014 FIFA World Cup match.

However we did get a few shots of the artwork. I hope to uncover more of these public treasures soon.

Enjoy!

 

Mural Stories

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During my final week of research for the Mural Arts: Urban Space Enhancement elective I uncovered a wealth of interesting mural stories all of which have been unfolding in and around these here parts of the globe. I discovered a treasure trove  – using this amazing tool called “Google” – of murals transforming the spaces and people around them. These murals have lasting effects as they respond to and connect with the their communities.

Here are some of the stories that stood out during my search:

“Saying Merci”

"Haiti Lives: Merci From the Artists and Children of Haiti" c. 2010

“Haiti Lives: Merci From the Artists and Children of Haiti”, Haiti c. 2010

http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2010/12/haitian_murals

 

“Yankee bases outside Latin America”

Fuera Las Bases Yankis de Amercia Latina, anti-America mural in Maracay, Venezuela (photo credit The Velvet Rocket)

Fuera Las Bases Yankis de Amercia Latina, anti-America mural in Maracay, Venezuela (photo credit The Velvet Rocket)

Anti-American Murals and Graffiti in Venezuela.

via Anti-American Murals and Graffiti in Venezuela.

 

“Eternal Memory”

Venezuela - Eternal Memory, Caracas, Venezuela (muralist: Jan Peirce)

Venezuela – Eternal Memory, Caracas, Venezuela (muralist: Jan Peirce)

http://www.tiwy.com/pais/venezuela/fotos_de_caracas/mural/eng.phtml

 

 

“Symbols of the Past, Present and Future”

Symbols of the Past, Present and Future, Puerto Rico  (muralist: Gamaliel Ramirez)

Symbols of the Past, Present and Future, Puerto Rico (muralist: Gamaliel Ramirez)

http://murallocator.org/2012/04/symbols-of-the-past-present-and-future/

 

 

 

“Peace”

Peace mural, Gordon and Walcott Memorial Methodist School, St. Lucia c. 2014 (muralist: 4koulerurgrafik)

Peace mural, Gordon and Walcott Memorial Methodist School, St. Lucia c. 2014 (muralist: 4koulerurgrafik)

http://www.stlucianewsonline.com/peace-mural-unveiled-at-gordon-and-walcott-memorial-methodist-school/

 

“Unless a grain of wheat dies, it produces much fruit”

Si el grano de trigo muere, da mucho fruto, Santiago, Chile c. 1986-88 (muralist: Andrés Romero Spethman)

Si el grano de trigo muere, da mucho fruto, Santiago, Chile c. 1986-88 (muralist: Andrés Romero Spethman)

http://hcl.harvard.edu/collections/digital_collections/chile_murals.cfm

 

“The Inherent Nobility of Man”

The Inherent Nobility of Man (demolished), 40 x 15 ft, Piarco Int. Airport, Trinidad c. 1961, (muralist: Carlisle Chang)

The Inherent Nobility of Man (demolished), 40 x 15 ft, Piarco Int. Airport, Trinidad c. 1961, (muralist: Carlisle Chang)

http://caribbean-beat.com/issue-31/carlisle-chang#axzz34tmXlMr3

http://www.nalis.gov.tt/Research/SubjectGuide/Biographies/BiographiesAC/tabid/100/Default.aspx?PageContentID=1093

 

Streetfest: 13 artists, 10 walls, 7 days

 Switi Rauw Streetfest, Suriname c. 2013 (muralist: Ramon Kuster)

Switi Rauw Streetfest, Suriname c. 2013 (muralist: Ramon Kuster)

 

http://srananart.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/visual-arts-part-of-carifesta-xi/

https://www.facebook.com/SwitiRAUW

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyAuzjkLtzo

 

 

“Dream and Joys”

Mural in Bone Vista, Colombia c. 2013 (muralists: Sueños y Alegrías)

Mural in Bone Vista, Colombia c. 2013 (muralists: Sueños y Alegrías)

http://artolution.org/suenos-y-alegrias-dreams-and-joys-mural-in-bone-vista-south-bogata/

 

“Don’t censor Street Art”

Marcus Garvey. Kingston, Jamaica (muralist: Mohamid)

Marcus Garvey. Kingston, Jamaica (muralist: Mohamid)

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20131110/cleisure/cleisure2.html

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/jamaica-police-erasing-gang-murals-slums

 

“Need FOOD not Football”

Sold, anti-FIFA mural in Brazil, c. 2014

Sold, anti-FIFA mural in Brazil, c. 2014

Thank-you FIFA, Anti-FIFA mural in Brazil c. 2014

Thank-you FIFA, Anti-FIFA mural in Brazil c. 2014

http://news.upperplayground.com/tag/mural

http://news.artnet.com/in-brief/anti-fifa-murals-cover-brazil-in-anticipation-of-world-cup-28948

 

Mural on the Brazillian national soccer team's plane for FIFA World Cup c. 2014 (muralists: Os Gemêos)

Mural on the Brazillian national soccer team’s plane for FIFA World Cup c. 2014 (muralists: Os Gemêos)

http://news.artnet.com/in-brief/os-gemeos-mark-up-brazil-soccer-teams-world-cup-jet-27431

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152424099427209&set=a.444115777208.219198.253738832208&type=1&relevant_count=1

Centennial Mural Day 5: The painting blooms, bringing smiles to all

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Journal: 6.6.14

 

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Photo by Shellece Baptiste

 

 

It was our final day on the wall today. We clocked a full eight-hour day, working from 7:00 am – 3:00 pm. As a result of our collective effort and constant encouragement we were able to meet our deadline. I am now over five shades darker as a result of the working three days straight in the afternoon sun!

 

The last day was spent applying the fade and evening out the edges of the various shapes. To achieve the desired effect the paint had to be applied using a sponge.

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Shellece continued her tips collecting social experiment, surpassing the previous day’s pot far beyond our expectations. We initially started out with the  aiming to top Joy’s record from last year. However it quickly turned into an experiment to see how much people would actually give to “support the youths/artists of S.V.G. to help buy lunches and pay for transportation”.

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There were persons who passed again today with sole purpose to make their contributions and see our progress since yesterday. We were all surprised as some individuals who promised to make a contribution the day before, did in fact keep their promises. It was amazing to witness the genuine responses as a result of the work we were doing. People gave willing without asking change, one man emptied his entire ashtray of coins.

Job opportunities arouse out of being on the wall: face painting, graphic design and even other mural possibilities.

The interaction with the passers-by was a confidence boosting experience as it took a great deal of courage to approach them. It was a display of what we were capable of as we not only showed our artistic skills but also communication and professional skills developed through the experience.

On this final day I was reminded of the quote by Ms. Roudette;

“Those who are victims of prejudice are the only ones who can shift those prejudices.”

This is exactly what we achieved through the demonstration of our skills and the interaction with the persons who gave us a few minutes of their time. I think we successfully altered their perception of what Vincentian youths, between the ages of 17 and 21, are capable of achieving. We were able to increase their awareness and understanding of the arts. Each person who passed us this week witnessed the transformational power of arts on the space, community and artists.

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Centennial Mural Day 4: The painting buds continue to grow

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Journal: 6.5.14

Today we began adding the background color and continued tidying up the edges of the shapes we painted yesterday. As persons continued to express their delight in our work and offered many words of encouragement, Lee-Andra and I reflected on the generosity of the passers-by while we worked on the Our Living Heritage mural. We introduced a tips collection headed by Shellece, to which persons were asked to make contribute whatever they could “to help buy lunch for our hardworking artists.”

Photo by Anjali Ramgoolam

Photo by Anjali Ramgoolam

This added a new dimension to the mural experience as we interacted with the onlookers. Persons gave verbal and monetary tips which were received with the utmost gratitude. The story behind the mural was spread with each person we stopped. They will all carry the memory of the interaction with them as they have been woven into the community story of the Centennial Mural.

It took a tremendous amount of courage and persistence to persevere in spite of the preconceptions about how persons who respond to our requests. The experience left us all (artists and passers-by included) with a different perception about our fellow Vincentians. The extent to which many of them were willing to give was surprise to us all.

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Shellece was a sight to see decked out in her painted apron with a hand painted “tips” sign taped to the front. Anjali was the umbrella holder providing shade for the both them while assisting with flagging down vehicles. Francilka observed earlier in the morning that “more people were stopping to give their encouragement and support since we started painting”. The positive remarks increased significantly once we began engaging persons as they passed.

We were grateful to everyone that passed that day. Even those who did not bother to stop. Their rejection was a source of motivation for Shellece and Anjali who eagerly jumped at the next opportunity to try their luck. In the end the rewards we recieved went far beyond the monetary contributions gained. Shellece  said it best after she was turned down by one driver (who I might add was breaking traffic);

“At least I got him to smile…that’s worth a lot more.”

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Centennial Mural Day 3: The drawing experiences life in color

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Journal: 6.4.14

 

Photo courtesy of Shellece Baptiste

Photo courtesy of Shellece Baptiste

Work began again at 7:00 am this morning. There was a three-hour delay before we could begin painting – we had to make a few adjustments to the background as well as the size and spacing of the lettering. It was important to get those aspects of the design precise before we began painting as they were integral elements within the overall composition.

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Photo by Anjali Ramgoolam

 

We started by painting all the letters in a base coat of white – it would be easier to see the edge of the letters while painting in the background. Once this was done we began putting in the three main colors in the design: dark blue, cobalt blue and yellow-orange.

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 This part was pretty straight forward as it did not require any color mixing.

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We worked until 2:00 pm, toiling away in the sun. The positive comments and feedback from passers-by and drivers increased as the wall was brought to life with color. We were also treated to an impromptu a capella singing session by local calypsonian, Vivi Soul.
The act of public art making invites other creative spirits to the express their talents and experiences. It evokes a heartfelt response…purely spontaneous expression. inspiration can be found in the most unlikely of places and persons, often disguised in a form that many would be quick to ignore.

 

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Photo by Anjali Ramgoolam

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Centennial Mural Day 2: Transferring the design = “Scaling Up”

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Journal: 6.3.14

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Photo by Anjali Ramgoolam

Having successfully completed the grid yesterday, we began transferring the design to the wall. We were split into teams of two.

The  scaled section of the Centennial Mural design (scale 7/8" = 6")

Centennial Mural group 3: Francilka and Olivia, design section 13 – 19, A – L (scale 7/8″ = 6″)

 

 

 

 

Each of us was given a section of the design, which overlapped with the following section. We started working at 7:00 am with the aims of getting most if not all of the design up by 12:00 pm.

 

 

 

 

As the design took shape, person began to inquire about what we were doing. It was an unfamiliar sight: a team of eight youths fully equipped with pencils, rulers, t-squares and design sheets hard at work…at 7:00 am! To add to this sight was the fact that our team consisted of 7 females and 1 male – which is a particularly rare sight in our society. Once we got the hazard cones and caution tape out by 8:00 am they knew we meant business.

Photo by Francilka Sam

Photo by Francilka Sam

Photo by Francilka Sam

Photo by Francilka Sam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were successful in meeting our deadline today. our success was a direct result of us being able to function as a team. The atmosphere was extremely positive as we were all fully engaged with what we were doing. I watched as persons who professed their dislike for mathematics a few weeks ago, began to understand certain mathematical concepts. They exhibited an understanding of relationships as they used fractions, ratios, proportions and performed conversions to assist in the accurate transfer of the design.

It was an example of truly creative work environment as everyone worked together to achieve a common goal; constantly observing, questioning, responding and sharing their ideas and experiences.

 

 

 

Francilka and Shellece still hard at work under the shade!