Currently at the Medulla Art Gallery, Woodbrook, Port of Spain, artist Eddie Bowen's collection of drawings and paintings titled Paintings From The Monastery, Sans Souci 2009-2012 is aptly named.
Sans Souci, Blanchisseusse, where Bowen has resettled after moving from St Ann's, Port of Spain is a place of peace and greenery and the paintings reflect that. Several of the pieces glow from within like fireflies at night. They capture the newness of a dewy morning, that ethereal unreal when the mist is everywhere, the still of spirit of the newborn day.
The exhibition is also a reflective of the Eddie Bowen most of us know. It is deliberately conceptualised, creative, organised, sardonic and somewhere in there you can see the wry expression and hear the artist chuckle.
The collection comes into a space which in this time is being described as a renaissance of sorts. An art scene that has become somewhat stagnated with technically sound, literal representations and repetitive derivatives of our Trini world is stirring again. The muse is on the march. This is not a new idea and now a book has identified her as seen by a five year old Jackie Hinkson, too young then to articulate her but now thoroughly described in his ghostwritten What Things Are True – A Memoir Of Becoming An Artist, see the book's first chapter, Life and Death at Five.
The renaissance has given us the buffet of visual arts that we are currently enjoying; Bowen, Hinkson, Minshall, Roopchand and in coming weeks Shastri Maharaj, Makemba Kunle, Leroy Clarke.
It is as if it was always coming to this. On the metaphysical plane everything is connected. One sees a synergy in Bowen's Garden drawings, Leroy Clarke's black and white gods and godesses previewed so far by a fortunate few and novelist Clive Barker's sience fiction series Imajica.
Some years ago, the artist Glean Chase showed a truly stunning collection of over 100 meticulous drawings depicting the pantheon of Orisha gods. So detailed was this work it almost hurt to look at them, they were done to scale with mathematical precision. Chase is an architect by profession so this would not surprise those who know him. That work was shown in the CCA7 building at the Fernandes compound, Laventille. It is now housed somewhere abroad, and lost to us forever, unless some government or corporate body has the foresight to bring this exhibition back home.
Getting back to the work of Bowen, suffice it to say this is a good opportunity to experience his sight, explore with him the Imajica of his Sans Souci.
Medulla Art Gallery is located at 37 Fitt Street, Woodbrook, Port of Spain and the exhibition runs until November 13.