Bench Location: Barbados Trailway, Carmichael Crossing, St. George
Photos by Dondré Trotman
Anya is a 19-year old Barbadian visual artist, expressionist and hobbyist. Her eyes are the windows to her resplendent and complex imagination; her hands, her instruments. From the lively and colourful world around her, she draws her inspiration, and from it she emanates her vibrant and unique perspective.
Anya has an innate artistic gift, and from the moment she gripped a crayon, her creativity was
communicated through her strokes. With influence from her parents, she was exposed to and enamored with the sundry textures and mediums of arts and crafts. Throughout primary and secondary school, she had a drive to refine her skills and took to drawing, painting and mixed media. In secondary school, she formed a mentoring relationship with her art teacher; criticism and love. From it she attained a grade 1 at CXC Visual Arts.
She uses art as her gateway into another dimension and flourishes in the joy of creating whenever she can. Her focal point is in “Making your dreams reality.”
About the ArtWork:
Recent events in world history, particularly on my small island of Barbados, have shaken us. Throughout my life, the thought of a pandemic has never dawned on me. Initially, the virus’s emergence in China seemed far away, and I never dreamed it might travel over the ocean to Barbadian shores.
On March 17, 2020, the undesirable visitor knocked on our door, and life as we knew it appeared to alter overnight, from cases spreading like wildfire, to several country shutdowns, to wearing masks and continuously sanitizing, to studying and working on internet platforms. The virus made the social environment unstable, and virtual interaction became my reality.
As much comfort as it provided to be able to retain some distant form of social activity, such as talking to friends and family, meetings, school, etc., it will never be able to completely fill the cavern created in my social life, and I desired interaction.
In addition, ash coughed up by the La Soufriere Volcano sailed over and blanketed the island on April 10th, 2021, nature further demonstrating who is in charge. Following that, on July 2, 2021, Hurricane Elsa danced ashore with her powerful winds and rain.
We desire stability as we emerge from the mental coop that these occurrences forced us into, and the proposed concept seeks to demonstrate this. It depicts a contrast between the past: the historic train line, and the present: the Barbados Trail-Way project initiative in St. George Valley, Barbados’s south central area.
Cool coloring is utilized to illustrate the past on the left. I envision sections of the railroad passing through or nearing cane fields. I presume that the installation of the railway line made Barbadians ecstatic because many were clueless of what other areas of the island looked like except the location in which they lived. I want to capture the smile on the train operator’s face as he waves to those in the cane field. The historic trains operated on bagasse, and I envisage cane cutters cutting cane, as it was still a prevalent occupation after slavery.
Warm colors are used to color the present on the right side of this spectrum. On this trail, I see Barbadians breaking free from the clutches of the mental health crisis through sociability and exercise. I see smiles, a stroller and an elderly man in a wheel chair, hear laughter and people talking, and I feel energized as I keep healthy by walking, running and riding on the trail. Both the past and present foster positive activity and produce smiles.
The divide in the middle of the time depictions is a fusion of the past and present, with smoke puffs dispersing from the train stack on the left side, which is unfortunately detrimental to the environment. However, we embrace sustainability with foliage and health, showing fruits and greenery on the right.