Mille Fleurs, White Hall and Killarney Castle along Queen’s Park West, are stunning when viewed from the outside, but in August 2022 the doors were open-wide and as a triple-treat, the public could tour the elegant heritage buildings and enjoy the works of Caribbean artists.
The art exhibition PatriARTism was held to commemorate the nation’s sixtieth anniversary in buildings built as far back as 1904. In 1962, Trinidad and Tobago gained independence from Britain, many of these prolific artists mapped that complexed journey.
In the French Provincial living rooms and hallways at Mille Fleurs, designed by none other than George Brown, and once home to the illustrious Prada family, the Angostura Collection was featured; while White Hall, the current Office of the Prime Minister, featured another impressive selection of work from the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago; with First Citizens Bank’s collection being featured at Killarney (Stollmeyer’s) Castle. Built by entrepreneur, Charles Fourier Stollmeyer, and modelled on a wing at Balmoral, the castle was one of the first buildings on the St Clair estate on lands that had previously been a government farm.
PatriARTism featured invaluable works in oils, watercolours and acryllics by pioneers like Sybil Atteck (1911-1975) who founded the Trinidad Art Society, the oldest established art organisation in the Caribbean, alongside the landscapes and engaging portraits from Boscoe Holder (1921-2007). There was a wide cross-section of contemporary art on display, with a similar range of techniques, from Brianna McCarthy, Lisa O’Connor and Donald ‘Jackie’ Hinkson to Carlisle Chang, Carlisle Harris, Shastri Maharaj, and Noel Vaucrosson. For those who were unable to visit the exhibit, the good news is that you can tour the Central Bank (https://www.central-bank.org.tt/museum/about-museum) and Angostura (https://www.angostura.com/tours/) Museums, but what must not be missed is Glenn Roopchand’s interpretation of Carlisle Chang’s masterpiece ‘The Inherent Nobility of Man’ on your way in or out of the island at the Piarco Airport.
The riches of a country are in the hands of our artists, our storytellers. So, make sure you claim your prize – visit a museum or gallery during your stay - you won’t regret it!