Preparations are ramping up for the start of the CARIFESTA XIII (Caribbean Festival of Arts) in Barbados set to begin in another two weeks.
And when official and unofficial delegations from 15 countries taking part in the August 17-27 event land at the Grantley Adams International Airport, they will be greeted by a piece of art that its creator says is representative of “Barbados’ contribution to the wider CARIFESTA feast”.
Commissioned by the CARIFESTA Secretariat
and the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) and painted by one of the island’s top artists, Omowale Stewart, the mural located just between the Food Court and the arrivals hall shows traditional elements of Barbadian culture.
“What I have done is a montage which shows
the growth of our culture, which is really a folk
culture, coming through from our history of working
on the plantation . . . resisting colonialism, through
the masking of our art forms like Tuk, when the African drums were banned,” Stewart explained
as he interpreted the significance of the piece to Barbados TODAY.
“[It] also shows the indigenization and the forms that came through in dance and other art forms. Then I have the former Admiral of the [Landship], the authority figure that raised the profile of the working people. That is fused with the ‘tiltman’, which is the ancestral spirits which we retained from Africa, and I have him towering over all the activity, commandeering the evolution and growth of the cultural form.”
Stewart said he expects the mural to be ready by August 10.