I’ve been spending time in New York and Washington being inspired by artists, poets and musicians. I feel enriched and fortunate to speak with such creative people. Ironically, I recently received the following article on DC based artist GA Gardner. The article inspires me to experiment further with mediums and themes whilst paying more attention to my own environment.
Award-winning writer, editor, and journalism professor Olive Vassell published a review on Trinidadian born Gardner. The following excerpts feature on the ‘Repeated Islands’ blog. The full article is available to read from http://www.cawmagazine.com.
‘GA Gardner will tell you he owes much of who he is as an artist to his upbringing in Trinidad. The internationally known painter and collagist credits his Caribbean homeland with instilling an appreciation for color, the wonders of nature, as well as providing early exposure to a variety of organic materials. “I grew up in a contemporary village, Diego Martin in Trinidad, where my house faced the lush green mountains. The lush foliage and blue sea, and the dramatic skies and clouds, to me they embody nature at its best and continue to inform my color selection as an artist.”
In a recent Trinidad exhibition of his collages called “Pieces of a Puzzle,” Gardner showed his mastery in melding them all. His collages are striking – their dynamic, multi-layered construction speak to levels of complexity that encourage the viewer to look deeply and carefully at what is really being represented. Meanwhile, the bright primal, textured backgrounds infuse each piece with vitality.
Gardner’s collage work began in earnest in 2008 when he was asked to create a piece to mark U.S. President Barack Obama’s historic election, called “Elements of Hope.” The work was seen on CNN’s Larry King Live, in the New York Times and in numerous international publications. . . .
The work was so warmly received that Gardner created posters from it. The artist has since donated some of the proceeds from the sales to a variety of charities. And in 2010, he specifically created a piece titled, “Haiti: Hope for the Children,” to raise funds for the country after the devastating earthquake there.
. . . Throughout the journey, Gardner continued to make art, experimenting with different forms, such as computer generated work, film, animation, and low relief wood sculptures. When he returned to his studio full-time in 2007, it was with a burning desire to consolidate what he had learned in the years since he had been away from Trinidad. Using the foundational lessons of his birthplace, Gardner’s initial direction produced a series called The Elements. A rich range of abstract work with themes such as sky, water and earth, the pieces are a keen observation of nature, its forms, and its colors. The artist is still experimenting with the series which so far have produced variations, including “Sky and Water,” “Sand and Water,” and “Green Earth.” “My work represents my connection with the rich natural environments found in Trinidad. However it is an expressionist approach. [. . .] In essence, my work is not abstract; rather it is a representation of abstract subjects in our environment.
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