The Caribbean connection started with my husband John entering the old Victorian Fish Market in Leicester and the contemporary and cultural revivals by the West Indian community of their Caribbean carnivals; a great sense of humour and being avid eaters of fish, a close bond of friendship was formed with the Caribbean community. Fantastic dressmakers, natural sculptors, plus the love of colour and carnival, they brought the market stall to life, creating a wonderful display of starfish, sea monsters and octopus etc - the carnival aptly named 'Beneath the Sea'.
Large 8 foot Canvases derived from sketches of the Carribean Carnival entitled Beneath the Sea.
Caribbean Clown Culture
Joe Boyd - Head Clown.
Masks and clowns are a deeper and darker side to the carnival. By re-enacting the deep rooted roles of slavery with music, dance and mime, clowns play an important part in this revelation. With faces hidden under masks, the drama unfolds from mime and body language to the cracking of whips and drumbeats of their native Africa. It was my privilege to witness this drama.
Abstract Colour sketches
Useful, throwaway pieces of tinsel and coloured cloth, preciously collected.
This series led to deeper understanding of clown culture, the deep rooted identification of being an underdog. The role masks play to hide one's fears and emotions, the makeup and costumes cover up ones flaws and defects, for protection against good as well as evil influences. The role masks, makeup and costumes play to cover up unwanted flaws and defects in our emotions.
As time passed, I realised that from time to time my art was littered with clowns - surrogate figures of my self and subconscious emotion.